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Cat Proof Rocking Chair – Can This Be Done?

If you have a rocking chair, and a cat, you may be worried about what it may do to your cat, or if it damages the chair…

Why do cats like rocking chairs?

Rocking chairs combine two of a cat’s favorite things – interesting motion and a comfy chair! Some cats will play in them a little, while others will simply hop up and settle in comfortably, managing to balance themselves and keep the chair still.

Another important reason that they like them, however, is also the scent – if you spend a lot of time there, then yours is on there, and this makes your kitty feel safe in the chair.

What is a rocking chair?

A brown wooden rocking chair next to a wall.

A brown wooden rocking chair next to a wall.

A rocking chair is a standard chair that, instead of ‘feet’, uses two long, curved boards or metal bars so that a slight motion from the person in the chair can ‘rock’ the chair. These bars are called ‘rockers’ and are integral to the function, allowing the chair to move forward and back in a motion that most people find comfortable.

Cats, on the whole, seem to find them both comfortable and endlessly amusing, sometimes to the point that you won’t get to sit much in your chair!

Are rocking chairs safe for cats?

When a cat is in a rocking chair, they are perfectly safe, but that’s not the problem with these popular ‘old timey’ pieces of furniture. Where things can get dangerous is when you are sitting in one and rocking it, and your cat comes close because they are fascinated with the motion.

The cat becomes so entranced that they forget where their tails are, and inevitably the Rockers of the chair end up with your cat’s tail underneath them! The resulting panic and rush to get away can make things worse, and the momentarily-pinned tail can even be broken!

This makes Rocking chairs quite hazardous to your kitty.

What harm could a rocking chair do to a cat?

The most common injury that occurs is the rockers of the chair landing on the cat’s paws or their tail when the chair is in motion. This can break bones, but worse than that, if your cat is chasing a ball and sticks its head underneath the rocker at the wrong time it could potentially kill them!

Remember, the rocking chair is distributing the entire weight of whoever is sitting there, so if it’s an adult in the chair then this can be quite dangerous for your cat indeed.

Could a rocking chair kill a cat?

Unfortunately, yes, a rocking chair can indeed kill a cat and sometimes does. Veterinarians have reported that the most common furniture-related incidents have involved reclining chairs and rocking chairs and are often fatal. Worse, some report cases of this at least once a week!

As such, if you have a recliner or rocking chair, you must be very careful around your cat and should consider additional steps to help ensure that the kitty keeps their distance – these chairs are very unsafe for your naturally curious cat.

How do you cat proof a rocking chair?

When it comes to cat-proofing a rocker, there are certainly a few options that you choose from to help to keep your furry friend safe. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ones.

Get a gliding rocker

One option is a gliding-style rocker. These rockers still rock, of course, but the mechanism is suspended on a framework so that the rockers aren’t constantly moving to and fro on the ground.

Add a fabric ‘skirt’ to the framework to keep your kitty from sticking their paws inside to bat at the movement, and you end up with a much safer rocker where your cat is concerned.

Use orange peel or repellent spray

While most humans love the smell of lemons and oranges, cats aren’t very fond of them. As such, you can rub an orange or lemon peel on the rocker legs of your chair and this will make the floor around you smell like citrus – hopefully keeping your cat at a distance.

Concentrated citrus sprays are also available and as they are made completely of citrus oils, they are non-toxic and thus safe for your cat.

Close the rocking chair in a room

The only 100% effective method is completely closing off access to the chair. If you have an indoor kitty, for instance, then you can put your wooden rocking chair on the porch and your cat can’t get to it. If it’s in your study, then you can simply close the door.

While this isn’t always an option, if you can simply close the door to keep your kitty out, then this will work – just keep an eye out to make sure that your sneaky kitty hasn’t crept inside already!

Why does my cat scratch my rocking chair?

Cats love keeping their claws sharp and sometimes even scratch things just for the sheer joy of how it feels. With a wooden rocking chair, the wood construction makes it attractive as a scratching post, and the rocking motion just makes it a really fun one!

What can I do to stop my cat from scratching my rocking chair?

Citrus scents can help to keep your cat away and if this doesn’t work, you might consider a slipcover for the chair. A plastic cover, designed to keep the dust off of furniture being stored inside a house, is inexpensive and makes it a little more difficult for your scratch-happy cat to shred up your rocking chair.

Do cats like to be rocked in a chair?

A white and gray cat sitting on a wooden rocking chair alongside some dolls.

A white and gray cat sitting on a wooden rocking chair alongside some dolls.

While some cats do enjoy the rocking motion, the biggest ‘draw’ where they are concerned is actually how the chair smells – like you! Cats are very scent-oriented creatures and when your cat brushes against you, scent glands all over their body (even in their faces) are marking you with their scent.

The combined scents of you and your cat make your kitty feel safe and comfortable, so ultimately the reason your cat likes the rocking chair so much is that you like it… and it smells like you, too!

Lindsey Browlingdon