If you’ve recently become a cat parent and you’re thinking of getting a new couch, you’re probably wondering what the best couch material for cats is.
I have created an extensive guide on the best and worst materials for both scratching and cat hair, answered some pretty frequently asked questions, and even gave you some suggestions in terms of what you can do to protect your furniture.
Read on to find out more!
The right cat-proof couch material
Note: We’ve concluded that the best and most durable material for couches of cat owners is denim. It’s capable of keeping fur at bay and it also doesn’t get scratched easily.
Before we move on to the actual couch materials, here are some good couch covers you might want to consider if you are a cat owner.
- RHF Velvet-Sofa Slipcover Stretch
- Empetric Water Repellent Thickened Sofa Cover
- Sofa Shield Original Large Sofa Protector
Microfiber is a synthetic fabric also known as faux suede, microsuede or ultrasuede. Depending on how dense the weave of the fabric is, it will be able to withstand your cat’s constant scratching.
Another reason to opt for this fabric is that it is way more budget-friendly than leather.
It makes a great contender for the title of the best couch material for cats.
But if you don’t own microfiber furniture, you can always turn your couch into cat-proof furniture by purchasing a good microfiber couch cover.
The downside to having a microfiber couch in your living room, however, is that it’s not excellent when it comes to repelling fur.
Many cat owners argue that it’s also not very easy to clean, which means that getting a cover rather than a couch might make more sense.
Accidents can be cleaned by blotting the stain with a towel and a little water and soap.
You can also easily remove pet dander from any microfiber surface by vacuuming it or by using a pet roller.
If you are focused on getting a couch that puts up with the abuse that your feline buddy’s claws could inflict upon it, velvet is the right way of going about things.
The best thing about velvet is that it is not a fabric per se – rather it is a weave. This means that it’s a mix of synthetic fabrics ranging from rayon and nylon to polyester.
The most important aspect to keep in mind is that velvet doesn’t have any potentially loose threads that your cat might be able to snag on. It’s very tight woven.
On top of everything, many cats don’t like the ‘feel’ of velvet, so they’ll be less tempted to spend time on your couch — so you’ll have less fur to clean off of it.
The downside to getting one of the many pet-friendly couches made of velvet out there is that it does tend to attract fur.
In the end, it’s a great option if you want to keep your sofa looking as undamaged as possible.
Synthetic polyester or nylon
If they are tight woven, synthetic materials can also prove to be great when getting the best couch for cat owners.
One thing to note about these fabrics is that they tend to be less absorbent.
Therefore, if you’re lucky enough to be there when the accident happens (vomit, diarrhea, or whatever else), and you clean it right away, it might not even leave a stain.
Darker color combinations are to be preferred if your pet tends to have such accidents – and this is true for all fabric options we’re showcasing here.
You were probably not expecting to find this fabric on this list. Well, the truth is that depending on how it is woven, denim can be quite durable.
Sure, it might look a little informal, but it can be cleaned easily using just mild soap and water or a paste containing baking soda.
More importantly, if it’s tightly woven, denim is going to be able to put up with your cat’s scratching — and that’s what we all want, right?
It’s also very easy to vacuum since the tight weave doesn’t attract or keep cat hair as much as other fabrics.
Best couch material for cat fur
We’ve first looked at the best couch materials for cat scratches, but which ones make the right choices if you’re focused on their fur-repelling abilities?
We’ll tell you off the bat that you can’t have the best of both worlds. While some of the following suggestions are great for cat fur, they might be too sensitive for your cat’s claws.
Leather (faux or real)
While leather is not good for scratches, it’s amazing when it comes to ease of cleaning and removing fur.
It doesn’t attract almost anything and if something gets spilled on it, you can clean it quickly.
Canvas isn’t the most popular material in the world, probably because most folks tend to think that it’s tough and too rugged to be comfortable.
While it might be so, it’s also one of the most durable fabrics that couches can be made of, and it doesn’t draw as much cat hair as other materials.
Its thick weave also makes it good enough for scratches.
Depending on how tightly woven it is, microfiber can be good enough for cat guardians who do not want to deal with as much cat hair as possible.
However, if the weave is not tight, the hairs will get into the strands and you’ll have a hard time cleaning your couch.
Viscose and rayon
These synthetic fabrics look pretty decent, they come in a wide range of colors, but they do develop static cling.
That might not be something you will look forward to, but it’s definitely something that your cat is not going to appreciate, so she will avoid the couch at all cost.
Plus, both rayon and viscose have the capability to repel cat fur.
Its tight weave is great both for putting up with your cat’s scratching, but it also means that the cat fur will just sit on its surface, without getting into the fibers.
Worst couch material for cat hair
Despite the variety of weaves that exist when it comes to wool, almost all varieties tend to attract cat fur as much as possible.
This is another fabric that doesn’t clean as well as some other materials that you might consider. On top of that, it tends to produce static cling, which some people might not be great fans of.
The structure of this material makes it a magnet for cat hair, but not only that.
It’s also ribbed, which is why you will have a particularly hard time getting the fur off its surface.
Worst couch material for cat scratches
Suede is the worst couch material for cats for a number of reasons.
It’s not as resistant as other fabrics out there, and a small incident involving water, urine, vomit, or feces, can damage your couch forever.
In fact, even if you have a cat-proof couch cover, the liquid could get to the suede surface and leave a stain.
Open weave fabric
This is a generic name for fabrics such as corduroy or tweed.
As beautiful as they might be, they are capable of capturing all of the dust and fur in your and your cat’s living environment.
And no one likes a dirty couch, especially if there was a particularly colorful incident that has happened on it.
The open weave also means that this type of material is not durable over time. In fact, your cat’s nails are going to damage it in record time!
This agave plant whose leaves are utilized for manufacturing cat scratchers is probably the worst couch material that a cat owner can get.
Even wicker baskets can be damaged by a particularly energetic cat in just several weeks, let alone a sisal couch frame.
Naturally, you’re not going to want a sisal couch in your living room, but it’s a quite popular material for outdoor furniture.
If you have a cat, it might be better to steer clear of it.
Preventing and solving the problem
Preventing the issue is much easier than having to solve it, especially if you made the mistake of investing in a leather couch, for example.
I’ve put together a list of several ideas and products that you could use to make your feline friend less interested in your furniture. Check them out below!
Couch covers good for cat scratching
As much as some people might not be fond of the idea, the truth is that keeping your couch covered at all times, especially when you don’t have people coming over, is the best way to protect it from your cat’s claws or hair.
Here are some couch covers for cat scratching that you might want to try.
- HF Velvet-Sofa Slipcover Stretch
- Empetric Water Repellent Thickened Sofa Cover
- Sofa Shield Original Large Sofa Protector
Couch arm protectors
Did you know that cat scratchers that can be installed on the lateral sides of couches now exist?
They’re pretty groundbreaking in my opinion, especially if your cat seems to have a favorite spot on your furniture.
Unfortunately, my own cat tends to scratch both its sides, but sometimes she has a penchant for the center, so in these cases, I’d argue that a full cover AND a side protector work best.
- One Sight Cat Scratch Training Deterrent Tape
- In Hand Furniture Scratch Guards
- Stelucca Amazing Shields Store Furniture Protectors from Cats
One Sight Cat Scratch Training Deterrent Tape
This is perhaps the narrowest protector model that I have stumbled upon. It’s specifically made for the bottom sides of your couch.
One thing to note about this product is that it is made from perfectly safe materials, so even if your cat scratches it as much as possible, it won’t affect her health.
The tape can be applied on other types of furniture, not just couches and armchairs — pretty much anything your feline friend seems to have a specific interest in.
In Hand Furniture Scratch Guards
Being both rugged and flexible, these furniture protectors are great as they aren’t made with any nasty ingredients, and they’re even eco-friendly.
Like other choices out there, they are also transparent, so they aren’t going to be as visible as other models in the same line.
All of the protectors are equipped with screw pins which can be installed easily and conveniently on the sides of your couch.
Stelucca Amazing Shields Store Furniture Protectors from Cats
This couch saver is capable of discouraging your cat from wanting to scratch on your couches and armchairs and more importantly, it will also protect them from your cat’s claws.
They’re transparent and easy to apply on your furniture, so they look less weird compared to some of the other models I’ve come across.
However, these ones are particularly large (measuring 17 inches in length and 12 inches in width) so make sure they match your furniture in size.
Using a cat scratch deterrent
There are some solutions (which come in spray bottles) that cats don’t like and so they’ll avoid the area they’re applied on.
Honestly, I have mixed opinions about this type of solution, but I’d figure I’d mention it here anyway.
I usually do not condone the use of cat repellents as they can be pretty detrimental for cats – they can produce anxiety or unnecessary stress, so your cat is not only going to avoid the couch, but even that room altogether.
On top of that, I couldn’t find any really good cat scratch deterrents or repellents out there, so I might as well advise you to make your own.
Look for several recipes online – some smells that cats don’t like are mint, citrus, and even rosemary.
So long as you only use natural ingredients, they can’t hurt your cat’s health.
Please use them wisely and as rarely as possible – I’d really hate for your feline friend to be stressed because of them.
Plenty of cat scratching furniture
So your cat seems to be too interested in your couch… why not get a couch for cats?
There are plenty of models available, and if you don’t find one in the exact design you like, you can at least get several scratching posts, cat trees, and other such accessories specifically made for this purpose.
Cat couches, especially those that have been filled with or sprayed on with catnip oil solutions, can make it possible for your feline friend to be so interested in them that she’ll completely ignore the ‘human’ furniture.
Here are some of my favorites in terms of scratching furniture for cats!
- Furhaven Pet – Tiger Tough Tall Cat Tree
- PetnPurr Cactus Cat Scratcher
- Coching Cat Scratcher Cardboard Pad
Furhaven Pet – Tiger Tough Tall Cat Tree
Not only does this scratching post look cute, but it actually comes with not one, but two sections that can be scratched!
It’s cozy, cat-friendly, and it can be cleaned easily, and it’s not going to wear down as quickly as other cat trees.
PetnPurr Cactus Cat Scratcher
Isn’t this one absolutely adorable? If your interior design is a little rustic, you can definitely consider this option, especially since it’s garnered the appreciation of more than two thousand people.
This product is durable, easy to assemble, and provides a variety of entertainment opportunities for one or more kitties.
Coching Cat Scratcher Cardboard Pad
If you have nothing against your cat making a bit of a mess while trying to sharpen her claws, you can try out this model.
What’s most important about this one is that it is completely environmentally friendly, having been manufactured using non-toxic 100% recycled cardboard.
It’s not going to last as much as the first two units, though, but it’s also pretty affordable.
Do cats ruin leather furniture?
I couldn’t help noticing that lots of people on the Internet recommend real leather as the best couch for cats.
The first question that popped into my mind was: ‘Do you people keep your living room door closed at all times so that the cat never gets in?’
Don’t get me wrong – leather looks absolutely amazing and it’s also sleek and soft. It doesn’t even retain any hair or odors, so it’s fairly easy to clean.
But if you’ve ever seen a ruined leather couch or a shredded leather armchair before, you probably know that nothing attracts cat claws more than this fabric.
Just one single scratch can ruin the look of a whole piece of furniture made of this material, so what would be the point of you investing your hard-earned cash into something like this?
Perhaps a leather couch does make pet-friendly furniture for some types of dogs – but definitely not for cats.
What couch material have you found to be good for cats?
I’d love to hear all about your personal experiences with picking the best couch for cat owners!
I’ve honestly reached the conclusion that the best way of going about things is to invest in a thick and durable cover and take it off the couch when you have people coming over.
Sure, your cat might be interested in it then, but if you also attach some sofa shields (cat scratchers) to its sides, she’ll damage the material a lot less.
Please leave your suggestions in the comments if you have any!
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