Pets behaving badly

Some dog or cat owners just don’t like the idea of their pets climbing up on the furniture, and many pet owners will tell you tales about their pets damaging their favourite chair or sofa.

The answer is to set the house rules as early as possible and train your pet consistently. If you want to keep your dog off the sofa, for example, you have to catch them going on it and then issue a stern ‘No!’ or ‘Off’ to make your view clear. Make sure you pick only one of the commands, and stick to it; and that you persevere over a few weeks if necessary. As you train them not to go on to the sofa, you could also try to give them a treat when they do the right thing.

If you need to keep them out of certain areas, for example the living room, when you go out of the house, try closing the room off. If you can’t, then try putting newspaper on the furniture when you leave. Some dogs don’t like the noise of the paper when they go to climb on it.

In more general terms, there are many dog training courses around the country and a few weeks attendance at ones of these for you and your dog would no doubt be a good idea.

Clever climbers

Cat training is probably more difficult. Cats also take to furniture, and they also have a phenomenal ability to climb. But the principles are the same. Make it clear what your wishes are, and stay consistent.

If you need to keep cats off your kitchen counters or tables, some owners have found that if they cover specific pieces of furniture or locations with aluminium foil, their cats will leave them alone. But you have to persevere for a month, leaving the foil on when you leave the house!

Other tips to keep your pets off the furniture are:

  1. Using animal repellent sprays that don’t damage the furniture.
  2. Putting double-sided sticky tape on the furniture in question.
  3. Covering your furniture with plastic.
  4. Giving your pet their own pet furniture to lie on.

Cats and carpets

An age-old problem is the cat ripping up the carpets on the floor or stairs, leaving unsightly patches.

The answer is to have plenty of other items around that the cat can scratch. Remember that your ‘official’ scratching post might be made of carpet, and this is confusing your cat, who thinks that any carpet is fair game.

Try swapping to scratching materials that don’t use carpet. Alternatives include sisal rope, corrugated cardboard, or carpet turned the wrong-way out. If you retrain your cat with these alternatives, you could just save your carpet!

Other options include covering a particular carpeted area with a thick plastic covering and securing it with nails if needed; or eradicating a particular odour if it’s attracting your cat, by cleaning it thoroughly with an enzyme-based cleaner.

Insurance for damage caused by pets

If your dog or cat does manage to cause damage in your house and you want to make a claim, you would not be covered under Churchill pet insurance. However, you may be able to claim against your home contents insurance. If you’re out and about and your dog causes damage to a third party’s property, then you may be able to make a claim on your Churchill pet insurance policy – please note that this type of third party liability cover is only provided for dogs. We are also unable to cover any damage done by your pet to another’s property if you have asked them to look after your pet. For more information on claiming for property damage caused by pets, read the Churchill pet insurance policy documents on this website.

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