Does it feel like your cat is possessed, and their only aim in life is to destroy your furniture? Or does your dog spend so much time lounging on your sofa that when you finally get to use it, you realize it smells … exactly like him? If you have pets, slipcovers can be a godsend. But although slipcovers offer a valuable. additional barrier, they too can get scratched up or infused with strange odors. What’s a pet owner to do? We hear you! Here are some tricks to address your most common struggles.
Sprays That Deter Cats from Scratching at Your Slipcover and Furniture
If you’re a firm believer there’s a product out there for everything, you will definitely feel affirmed by the existence of cat deterrent sprays like Claw Withdraw Cat Scratch Spray Deterrent, which uses natural, plant-based ingredients to keep your cat from scratching up your sofa. The instructions are super simple: just spray it directly onto your couch or slipcover to create a temporary invisible shield that keeps your cat away.
While the spray is gentle and non-staining on fabric, it’s not necessarily gentle on everyone’s noses; some may find the odor too pungent to use inside the home. It also doesn’t work on all cats out there, but given the low price tag (and the money-back guarantee), it’s worth a try to see if your particular furball responds.
Repairing Cat Scratches in Slipcovers and Upholstery
If you’re long past the step of deterrence, and are forlornly staring at some scratched-up, torn fabric, here are ways to repair your kitty’s handiwork.
Mending Small Rips
Scratches in your slipcover can cause small rips to appear in the fabric, most commonly in the seams. You can stitch these tears with just a few items:
- A small, curved upholstery needle
- Nylon thread in a color that matches the fabric
- Fabric sealant to prevent fraying
First, apply the fabric sealant around the edges of the tear so it won’t fray further. If the tear is in your upholstery, push any stuffing back into place. Next, fold in the edges of the tear and then pull the folded edges together. Using your needle and thread, stitch the two edges together, using very small, neat stitches, and then tie everything off with a sturdy knot.
Patching Large Tears
For a larger tear, obtain a small swatch of the same fabric as your slipcover or upholstery, or at least a very close match. You need a patch sized a little bigger than the area of your tear. (If you’re dealing with upholstery fabric, you can often find a small piece of excess fabric in a hidden area of your sofa.) You’ll also need to gather the following:
- Upholstery pins
- Fabric glue
Slide the patch underneath the tear. Insert the spoon handle into the tear to help smooth out the two layers. Then pin the patch in place and spread the fabric glue across the patch, making sure to cover the portions that will meet the edges of the tear. Press gently; if you press too hard, you’ll squeeze out the glue. Try to eliminate any air bubbles. Then simply wait for the glue to dry and remove the pins.
Removing Pet Odors
If your main pet-meets-furniture struggle is unwanted odors, here are a few tricks to try.
Remove any part of your couch that can be washed—including seat cushion covers, blankets, and throw pillow covers. Double check labels to make sure that the fabrics are machine-washable, then wash them according to the instructions. For extra odor-fighting power, add a half-cup of vinegar to the wash cycle.
Before drying, do a sniff test. If some pet odor remains, repeat the wash cycle. You don’t want to throw the covers in the dryer before you’ve completely eliminated the offending smells, since high heat can actually set those odors into the fabric. Once your covers emerge from the wash smelling clean, you can safely dry them according to the instructions.
If you don’t have time to wash the covers, or if you want to fight smells in between washes, try sprinkling baking soda onto the sofa and let it sit overnight. The baking soda will help absorb odor. In the morning, simply vacuum up the baking soda.