There are two things in life that do not go hand in hand.
Cats and air mattresses.
If you have ever been scratched by a cat or by your own cat (which happens pretty often for cat owners) there’s no denying how sharp their claws can be.
One little swat by your cat’s sharp claws on your hand or feet is enough to cause a scratch and draw blood.
Even though most air mattresses are durable enough to take some punishment from your cat’s claws, there is no guarantee that your air mattress can hold up to an all-out onslaught by your cat.
What Is An Air Mattress?
An air mattress is simple a rubber or PVC mattress that can be inflated with air to form a bed. It comes in your usual single, queen and king sizes. Or you can even get a portable air mattress for your outdoor camping adventures.
If you plan to get a big air mattress, get one with a built-in pump as many air mattresses deflate overnight.
Air mattresses are good for small living places or last-minute overnight guests. Sleeping on an air mattress allows for better blood circulation and customized mattress firmness.
Can A Cat’s Claw Puncture An Air Mattress?
Most air mattresses are built to withstand being punctured by sharp objects like your cat’s claw if it walks on it. Materials like PVC and rubber can be rather tough to penetrate. However, if you have an old air mattress that has seen better days then there’s a chance it won’t be able to handle much abuse from your cat.
A new air mattress might succumb to your cat’s constant scratching if your cat has taken a liking to the material and starts treating it like a scratching post.
Your cat doesn’t even have to burst the entire inflatable mattress to render it unusable. Just a small puncture in the air bed and air can easily seep out.
Here are some effective ways that you can use to cat-proof an air mattress.
Don’t Allow Your Cat On the Air Mattress
The first and most important thing you need to teach your cat is that the air mattress is completely out of bounds. But cats being cats, with their insatiable sense of security, will try to test your patience and defy your orders.
If your air mattress is in a room, make sure to keep the door closed the whole day. If it is out in the open or the room has no doors, there are some effective ways of keeping cats out of rooms with no doors.
Once you see your cat go near your air mattress, tell it firmly “No!” and carry your cat to another part of the house or apartment.
Make Your Air Mattress Non-Cat Friendly
If your cat is as stubborn as a mule or you can’t watch your cat all the time, you can cover your air bed with a material that cats do not like.
You don’t have to permanently cover your air bed with these materials. Once your cat has a few uncomfortable encounters with these materials, it will probably be smart enough to stay away from your air mattress.
There’s a chance that you might have to cover it up from time to time just as a reminder for your cat to stay away.
Cats have very sensitive paws and they have no wish to rest those cute little paws on something sticky like double-sided tape. Most cats will attempt to shake off anything that sticks to their paws.
Some can even get spooked and start running if the sticky offender doesn’t detach itself.
Many cats are not fans when it comes to aluminium foil. It feels uninviting, too cold, too smooth and it doesn’t sound pleasant when stepped on. Plus it feels really weird to cats when they try to scratch it.
Just make sure to crush up the foil to make it feel more crinkly when your cat lays its paws on it.
Plastic can be a hit or miss when it comes to cats. There are some cats that don’t like the feel and sound of plastic and there are cats that are attracted to plastic and can spend the whole day sleeping in a plastic bag.
Some cats have been known to even pee on plastic. Definitely not something you want happening to your air mattress.
Not only is your air mattress slowly deflating at night courtesy of your cat’s sharp nails but it also reeks of cat’s urine.
Your mileage will vary when it comes to using a plastic cover so make sure to test it first.
Give Your Cat Its Own Private Area
Cats are very territorial creatures and they might be trying to claim your air mattress and the area around it as their own.
This private area can be your cat’s chill-out zone. You can place a comfy cat bed for your cat to snuggle in. A nice tall scratching post for your cat to scratch to its heart content. And a few interactive toys if it decides to let out some energy by playing.
Once you spot your cat getting close or on your air mattress, carry your cat over to its private area and spend some time playing or petting your cat there.
What you are trying to do is redirect your cat’s attention from your air mattress to its own private area.
Your cat will soon get tired of your air mattress and will prefer hanging out in its own cat-cave.
Trim Your Cat’s Nails
Something obvious but easily forgotten by many cat owners. Make it a point to trim your cat’s nails once a week or whenever it gets too sharp.
Grooming your cat’s sharp nails frequently can help to prevent any unwanted mishaps on your inflatable bed.
When cutting your cat’s nails, do not cut beyond the quick as this can cause bleeding.
Most importantly DO NOT declaw your cat to prevent scratching! It is cruel and considered animal abuse to do that to any cat for this reason.
Declawing a cat is as good as amputating your cat’s paws. It is very painful for them even when recovered and many cats feel insecure without their claws.
Use A Scent Deterrent
Cats have noses that are 14 times more sensitive than humans. Their cute little noses come equipped with 200 million scent detectors. Your cat can pick up traces of smell that you can’t.
Cat owners can use this to their advantage when trying to keep their cats off their air mattresses.
Use a smell that cats aren’t fond of but isn’t toxic to them.
You can mix one part of vinegar with a few parts of water in a spray bottle and spray it on your air mattress to deter your cat from approaching.
You can also get such sprays from pet shops if you want but read the ingredients label to ensure that there are no chemical compounds that can be toxic to your cat.
Don’t use any spices or anything citrus you have at home as these items can be toxic to your cat when ingested. Sometimes inhalation is enough to harm your cat’s delicate nose.
The downside about using sprays is that you need to refresh the scent every few hours for it to be effective. This can be challenging if you need to be at work.
If you plan to spray your whole mattress with such a solution, make sure to cover up your inflatable mattress before doing so.
You don’t want to be smelling the scent of whatever you sprayed on your air bed the whole night long.
Chances are you won’t be able to sleep comfortably
It might start to be a deterrent for you instead of your cat.
Use An Electronic Deterrent Device
Thanks to the advancement of technology, there are now electronic devices being sold to deter cats from entering an area or scratching stuff.
These deterrent devices use motion sensors and sound to scare cats away.
Like its nose, cats have an amazing sense of hearing. This helps them detect the movement of prey and any incoming dangers.
These devices can detect when your cat is near and emit a high pitch frequency that is only audible to cats that can scare them away. Or some devices will let out a blast of compressed air that serves the same purpose.
Harsh or loud sounds might work better on some cats given their jumpy and flight to safety nature.
Furthermore, you don’t need to be around to refresh it like the spray method. Works great for cat owners who have to be out for most of the day.
The downside is some of these devices that actually work can be a little pricey. So shop around for the best deals.
Use A Thick Mattress Topper Or Mattress Pad
If you want to just keep it simple and less of a hassle for you, get a mattress topper or a good quality thick mattress pad. You can also use a thick blanket or bed sheets if you wish.
The protective thick layer adds another buffer layer to prevent your cat from puncturing the air mattress. Get a cover large enough to protect the sides of your air mattress as your cat might scratch that area.
Using an additional top cover is a good method to prevent accidental punctures but it won’t help to keep your cat off your bed.
Keep Your Air Mattress In Storage
If you only use the air mattress on certain occasions like when you have a guest over, it would be a good idea to deflate and keep it in storage while not in use.
This can help to minimize exposure to your cat’s sharp claws.
If your only bed is an air mattress and you plan to do this daily, do yourself a favor and get an air mattress that comes with a built-in pump. Otherwise, you will waste a lot of time trying to deflate and reinflate your air bed every day.
What To Do If There’s A Puncture?
Despite your best efforts, there’s going to be a time when the moons align and your cat will leave a puncture on your air mattress.
You don’t have to throw away the entire air mattress just yet.
An easy solution would be to buy a puncture patch kit to seal the air leak. You can just follow instructions on youtube to get it done.
Another way if you’re not a fan of DIYs is to bring your air mattress to a bicycle or car tyre shop. They specialize in repairing and sealing up punctures and can do a pretty fine job for you.
Having an air mattress and a cat isn’t always going to end up being a disaster.
But with the above methods like using an air mattress cover, a good quality thick mattress pad or even going high tech with electronic deterrent devices, can help protect your air bed from your cat’s sharp nails.
Be patient when training your cat to keep off your air mattress as they can be difficult at times. It won’t be long before your cat knows that your bed is a no-cat zone.