How to Outsmart Your Cat and Have a Stylish Home

Prevent your cat from destroying your beautiful house by following these tips to keep everyone happy.
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Take Away Temptation

The less fabric and wood in your home furnishings, the better. Cats scratch trees when outside so avoiding wood in interior design choices is especially helpful to avoid destruction. Choose furniture made of metal, plastic, ceramic, glass or Lucite. Install window treatments like blinds, shutters, valances and inexpensive sheers. Or, keep windows beautifully bare. All these design choices mean your cat simply won't have the option to destroy something you love.
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Scratch Here

Cats must scratch; it's normal and necessary to leave paw scent marks, trim/sharpen their claws plus to stretch and exercise. It will happen so use your cat's cues to train them to only scratch where you want them to. Put a scratching post that matches what they're destroying (vertical/horizontal, rough/smooth, hard/soft) next to that item. Remember, scent marks are their "I'm Here" sign so they need their scratches to be prominent, therefore an out-of-the-way place like the basement won't work.
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Play So You Don't Pay

Play with your cat before work or school. This exercises their legs, paws and shoulders, plus it stimulates their brain. A tired kitty is less likely to have the energy to jump up on the counters, shelves or fireplace mantel, which could lead to knocking over your favorite accessories.
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Keep Off, Kitty!

If you have furniture you want to keep cat-hair free, unsoiled or intact, train your cat to stay off of it. They dislike sticky tape, citrus-scented air fresheners and aluminum foil. Placing these items on or near the piece will deter your cat from scratching, walking or sleeping on it.
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Clever Disguises

When buying a new piece of furniture or slipcover, opt for dark fabrics, animal prints, patterns, stripes or a fabric that matches your cat's coat color to better "hide" hair and hairball messes. Double your efforts by putting throw blankets in strategic spots. Casually drape it where your cat loves to nap or along the back of the couch where she constantly walks to make cleaning up after her even easier.
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Two at Once

Cats are independent creatures. However, if socialized as kittens, they can easily get used to noise, kids, other pets and guests. If you want multiple cats but start with one, getting another later might be difficult and possibly very destructive to your household. Consider getting two kittens at once for years of companionship (or at least peaceful coexistence).
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When the Owner's Away...

Why make things harder than necessary when you're out? Give your cat a toy or a scratching post with an attached toy for independent play sessions. And, limit the amount of rooms they can access by simply closing some doors.
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Teach Kindness Toward Kitty

Children, especially young ones, don't automatically know how to interact with pets. They must be taught how to treat the family cat with love and gentleness so he feels safe, not scared. You'll avoid the chaos after a pulled-tail reaction that could result in broken decorations or a tumble into a coffee table or fireplace corner.
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Start Them Young

Get your kitten used to having its nails trimmed; it'll make this lifelong task easier and helps to reduce their urge to scratch. Also, don't be afraid to seek professional help if your kitten is too hard for you to handle in any way. If bad behavior is allowed early on, it will most likely continue. Keep your house (and sanity) intact by finding out what you can do so you're both happy.
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Freedom & Your Furnishings

If your cat's allowed outside, safety's a top priority. Provide protected catwalks or places to hide, lounge and easily get back inside when they're done exploring. Restrict or expand their outdoor activities depending on the impact those will have on your interiors (i.e. things like dirt and dead or live animal "presents").
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Refocus Their Attention

Keep your cat off the furniture by making the floor irresistible. Shag, flokati and sheepskin rugs might just be so comfy and soothing that they may not even pay attention to other room furnishings like couches, chairs, window treatments and pillows.
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Keep an Eye Out For Clues

Pay close attention to your cat's behavior, demeanor and health. If they aren't acting like themselves or are vomiting more than normal, something may be upsetting them or they could be hurting. A trip to your vet should help get them back to their old selves and on with a happy life at home.
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To Each Their Own

While some cats and dogs get along great, others just don't and won't. Give each pet their own beds, bowls and toys to enjoy. The choices are endless and offer a great opportunity to add personality to your home through these increasingly stylish necessities.
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Cleaning Up After Your Cat

Cats throw up a lot so just be ready for it with all the cleaning supplies needed — paper towels, rags, vinegar and plastic bags — in a bucket. If you have multiple levels, have a supply ready for each floor of your home.
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Offer Sun + Stimulation

Give your cat a sunny spot inside to watch the world go by, preferably an ottoman, daybed or bench covered in an outdoor fabric. They'll satisfy their instinct to conserve energy while napping (they let the sun keep them toasty) and be stimulated by birds, people and other pets. Also, if they spit up, the protected fabric will be easier to clean.
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