Quick Tips: Furniture Repellent

Bitter Apple leaves a bad taste in your cat's mouth and can help prevent it from scratching your furniture.

Posted: Wed Nov 20 00:00:00 PST 2002

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Bitter Apple is a product commonly used by pet owners to ward off unwanted behaviors, primarily chewing. Margaret Reister, DVM, describes Bitter Apple as nasty-tasting but benign.

"In the veterinary clinic, we use Bitter Apple to keep animals from chewing on their bandages," she says. "It is mostly made of inert ingredients with a small percentage of bitter principles to give it that awful taste." Bitter Apple is available in pet stores.

Reister notes that Bitter Apple doesn't last long and needs to be reapplied frequently. She also believes that for couch chewing, Tabasco sauce might be a better choice. "From what I've heard, Tabasco works better than Bitter Apple in discouraging chewing on furniture." She recommends doing a patch test with the Tabasco to make sure it won't stain your furniture.

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