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A month ago I bought an old house by a river.
I still can’t believe and it still feels SO unreal. My indoor cat will see some grass and real trees in her life! After 6 years of living inside my small apartment. I am so excited for both of us!
So even though I wish to move there as fast as possible, the house is completely empty so I am slowly filling it with the most necessary things for life. This of course includes a brand new Christmas tree with inbuilt lights :), which is among the first things I bought there 🙂
So I have already moved my old/new couch and now I have empty space in my apartment that I want to fill with a chair. I’ve always wanted a chair to sit and watch the view outside my french windows for so many years, I just didn’t have enough space.
And I have always wanted one of those beautiful recliner chairs that seem so comfortable and just perfect for relaxing after a long working day.
I can just imagine myself diving in its softness, putting my legs up or rocking it while I look at the windows – I have a pretty good look from my windows that I was never able to fully enjoy.
BUT there is one thing that is worrying me – my best buddy, my sweet furry friend, my little cat Puffy. She loves going under things so much that I am questioning if getting a recliner chair is a smart thing to do when you have a cat at home?
So I went and did some research on this topic. This is what I’ve found out and what my conclusion is on this issue.
Here are just a few questions that people search and ask on google about cat safety around recliners:
- cat caught under recliner
- cat crushed in recliner
- cat injured in recliner
- cat killed by recliner
So this alone is enough to make my hair stand on my head. Obviously, accidents have happened and some have been with very serious consequences.
If you are brave enough you could google out what happened in all of the above cases – I for sure am not…
So Why Are Recliners Dangerous for Cats?
As I wanted a recliner chair so bad, this weekend I went to check recliners in stores and try them out.
The below-shown grey recliner felt like absolute heaven when I sat in it. The plush soft surface was like a cloud and when the mechanism started working, well it is exactly what my tired body and mind need after an exhausting day.
But then I got to look under the chair and this was a truly scary look. I mean look at this beast under that soft surface!
As you can see when you open the footrest part of the recliner you are creating an open space full of dangerous parts like springs or parts of the metal frame. For curious cats this may be a death zone.
What worries me the most and the biggest danger here would be when you forget about your cat and close the footrest part without checking where your cat is. If a cat is already inside this space it can easily get seriously injured this way. And most cats love hiding in under-spaces like this one.
Your kitty could easily run after a ball under the chair without you knowing it and if in that moment you decide to close the chair – I am not even going to finish this sentence, it’s just too sad and heartbreaking.
I tried to explore alternative ways of using such a recliner: for example if it possible to keep the footrest closed and lower down the back part – not a single one was able to do it, both manual or electric mechanisms require the footrest to be open in order for the back to lower down.
Besides the footrest, the back mechanism also looks dangerous: what if your cat wants to check something in that space and the scariest part is that in some recliners if you stand straight the mechanism moves with you, so this opens a great possibility for your cat to be caught under the recliner.
Then comes the rocking part: while your cat may be smart enough to avoid the reclining space its tail is constantly moving and it may get caught by your recliner while you are rocking it. Which is awful to even think about it!
The underlying recliner frame and its mechanism are no joke when it comes to cat safety.
Now some sellers mentioned that a cat has instincts and that it is not so easy to get injured, so considering that this is the conclusion:
I would suggest never to get a recliner chair if you have a small kitten or a very young cat at home. For an older cat it is still dangerous but if you absolutely must have this piece of heaven then there are some things you can do to lower the risk of injuring your cat with the recliner chair, described further below in this post.
I have personally given up having a recliner and a cat together in my home and this is what I have finally decided to buy:
I could not completely give up on my dream of having a rocking chair and this definitely looks a lot safer for a cat than a full recliner. Yes, my cat’s tail could potentially end up under the curled frame but this is where I am counting on her instincts! And even if something happens (God forbid) she will live through it. I have high hopes everything will be ok though (I must say it’s been so far so good!)
Let me also point out that a full recliner chair is quite expensive so if you decide on an alternative solution you’ll save money to get yourself something else that you have your eyes set on.
The above rocking chair was the best choice available in my town but if I had a variety of chairs to choose from I would get the below chair:
Rocking Chair Without Mechanism For Cat Owners (Recliner Alternative)
You can see for yourself how this rocking chair is minimizing the risk of a cat getting caught in an underlying mechanism of a recliner/chair. I would still avoid it for kittens though, but this is preventable and you can wait a little for the kitten to grow up – and they grow up so fast!
The armrest seems so much comfortable than what I have bought and I love the wooden bottom, just looks so warm and cozy. I love the color (comes in a beige version too), it so neutral and so relaxing (my chair’s blue color is just so off with my apartment colors but it was either blue or orange and the last one was even worse).
The material of this specific chair is plush which is actually ideal for cats because the surface is smooth and cat claws don’t have much to snag on.
So I would definitely look for a simple rocking chair for cat owners instead of a recliner that has so much more potential for hurting your cat.
For the legs, you can always get a separate footrest/ottoman, which you can use for various purposes, not just for your legs so you gain on plus functionality with this solution.
Best Ways to Keep Your Cat From Going Under the Recliner
If you have your heart set on having a recliner I have compiled below what you can do to prevent a cat from going under the recliner.
So the best technique is to teach your cat to stay away from the recliner and since this is such a serious matter I would suggest a few products that can help you achieve this:
An Electric Cat Deterrent Mat With Sound
I have specifically chosen this one because besides giving the controlled static shock it has the ability for a sound alarm when your cat steps on it.
I would place the mat under the recliner and your cat will learn fast that this is an unpleasant area it should avoid. The sound will help you know when your cat has stepped into the forbidden area so you can act accordingly. This way you will not unconsciously trap your cat under your recliner and this feature alone is worth getting the mat.
When training your cat I would open the footrest and the back, unplug the recliner from power (if it works automatically) and let the cat search the area to learn that it is a dangerous place with the static shock or the sound alarm it will get when stepping on the mat.
What I also like about this mat is that if your cat remains on the mat for more than 10 seconds all functionalities will stop to prevent static/sound harm to your cat. It is very good to have such a safegurad with an electric cat mat.
I think that you absolutely need a helper product like this one to make a cat resistant recliner, you can’t take any chance with this matter and you need to do your best to protect your cat from the recliner.
If your cat loves to sleep where you sit, as cats often do, then maybe you’ll need to get a separate mat for the seat of the recliner as well. It is better to keep your cat as far away from the recliner as possible. And yes it would be too perfect to hold your cat in your lap while resting on the recliner but please be disciplined with this issue for the love of your cat!
- Another great way to make your recliner cat friendly is to set it in a comfortable position and then unplug it or remove the handle for switching its position. It is a bit of a sacrifice from all the pleasurable possibilities that a recliner offers but this way you’ll be sure that the recliner won’t crush your cat when it “transforms”.
- Always have your cat on sight when you change your recliner position, for example before you sit or stand up make sure that your cat is not under the recliner. If you have more than one cat count them so you can be sure that none is under the recliner.
- You can close the space below the recliner when it is open with pillows
- If you live with other people make them understand how important is to protect the cat from the recliner and suggest these methods to them
- Be extra cautios when you have guests! You need to be very alert where your cat is if your guests will use the recliner
- If you haver a cat with disabilities like a deaf or blind cat an electronic cat mat is a must have so it can feel it should not go into that space
- You can try enclosing the space with a mesh netting
- Although recliners don’t come with cat protection you can get creative and make our own, here is a video for inspiration:
If you decide to buy a recliner you may also need a cat proof recliner cover, you can check my post on this subject.
After 2 days she has finally tried the rocking chair. My friend said: your cat is enjoying like a queen, and that is true, she is my little queen! 🙂