- The first tip is to train your cats/kittens. I have a detailed post on How to Train Cats & Kittens that explains our methods in detail. This is the biggest thing because it’s creating good habits in your kitties. The idea is to teach them your house rules in a way where it becomes ingrained in their habits so that them being “good” isn’t reliant on your presence and action. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’ll be 100% effective in completely stopping them. Just like us humans, cats also make mistakes or give in to temptation, but as a general rule, these training tips and methods are what keeps the decor all around our house safe from curious kitties even though we literally have a houseful of cats.
- If you’re changing out the decor in a space (like table decor, for example), do it when the cats are not around. They have no understanding of decor, so to them, all the things you’re picking up, moving around, fluffing etc is just one giant game. We have no way to properly explain to them that this is decor and not a toy, so the best thing is to make the whole thing uninteresting to them. So just put them away in their cat room, or another zone in your house (somewhere they feel safe and happy so that it’s not stressful for them), change your decor, and then when they come out, don’t make a big deal of anything. If they notice it, let them sniff it and understand it (cats are very curious and need to catalogue everything that’s in their space), if they try to play with or nibble it, just firmly but gently say “no”. You might have to do this a few times but firm and gentle is the key. Never yell or spray them with water as that only creates a negative situation that now has no connection to the actual thing you’re trying to stop for them. So just keep things calm and firm.
- If you have decor that’s at “cat level”, make good choices as to what types of pieces you have. For example, I have this clear glass vase on our living room coffee table. I chose it because it’s big, heavy, has thick glass, and is weighted in a way where it won’t tip even if the cats are leaning right on it with their paws. It’s safe to have in their space, but it’s also pretty which serves my decor purposes as well. Another example, I have this white vase on our entry way table and while it’s taller which makes it a little easier to tip than the previous case I talked about, it’s extremely heavy which makes it weighted down and unlikely to tip. One last example is in our laundry room where I use these glass canisters as part of our functional decor. They’re basically cat-proof so again, they’re safe to have in “cat space”. So it’s about making good choices that give you the look you want while creating a space where your cat can coexist without issue.
- If your cat is really, really, really curious about something new you added, I find it sometimes helps to just let them sniff it. Some cats just like to ‘catalogue’ everything in their space and if they can ‘know’ the piece, sometimes that’s enough for them. So even if it’s a piece that I won’t let them play with, I’ll often let them sniff it to ‘learn’ it if they’ve already discovered it and will keep trying to access it.
- In regards to beds & bedding, I use these lightweight quilts on our beds _over_ our regular bedding. They’re pretty to look at, but also quite light so they’re super easy to throw in the wash on a more regular basis than I would want to do all the laundry from the bed. This keeps cat hair off the bed and makes my life a lot easier.
- If you’re curious about how to keep cats from scratching furniture, I have a whole separate post about that that you can read here: How to Stop Cats from Scratching Furniture.
More cat-related posts that might help: