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What Are the Best Couch & Furniture Materials for Cats? 3 Options

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

cat on a grey couch

Owning a cat requires constantly being on guard to some extent, ready to protect your home’s precious belongings. Whether tearing into your new rugs, scratching up your trim, or climbing up your new curtains, it seems like they’re always ripping into something—not to mention all the hair you have to vacuum up daily.

So, if you plan on buying new furniture, you may want to know the best way to protect it from your feline. A suede loveseat may be calling your name, but it’s the perfect material for cats to scratch. So, what are the most durable material options for your home furnishings?

hepper single cat paw divider

The Best Materials for Cats

You want your home to be practical and stylish. When you own pets, you may not want expensive furniture since it costs more to repair or replace when your feline tears into it. However, that doesn’t mean you need to have torn-up pieces of furniture lying around.

Here are the top choices we have tested. Each of these materials is durable, well-made, and easy to clean. If you need something to stand the test of time, look here.

1. Microfiber Fabric — Best for Scratching

soften pillow decor on the grey sofa
Image Credit: PhaiApirom, Shutterstock

Microfiber is a synthetic polyester-nylon material that is becoming more popular. Faux suede is a form of microfiber that is easy to clean and repels water damage. While many love it because it is fresh and stylish, it also combats against cat-clawing fits of rage.

The texture is undesirable for cat claws. It doesn’t give them the amount of friction and resistance they crave. If cats decide to give it a whirl anyway, the tightly wound fabric doesn’t tear or unravel easily.

Even if your couch or furniture takes a few lashings, it’s likely to do minimal damage. Your cat will probably be more interested in other materials that satisfy their desires (watch out, wall trim).

One factor that might be a downfall, depending on your situation, is that microfiber isn’t always stain-resistant. If you have animals making messes, you may have to cover your microfiber furniture to defend against permanent stains.

  • Withstands heavy scratching
  • It doesn’t provide cats’ desired resistance
  • Not stain resistant

2. Vinyl or Leather — Best for Messes

close up of tan leather sofa
Image Credit: Jodie Johnson, Shutterstock

Both vinyl and leather are incredibly versatile and cleanable. Cat lovers adore the fabrics because nothing, including hair, urine, and hairballs, sticks to them. You won’t have to worry about liquids sinking into your cushions.

Genuine leather furniture might be more expensive than other fabrics, but it can be worth investing in as a pet parent. Vinyl is faux leather that is less expensive but does not have the same longevity.

While leather or vinyl is terrific for combatting liquid messes and hair, it isn’t a superb option for scratching. It’s durable but will eventually run or tear with enough force. Vigorous scratchers can do real damage if they have enough perseverance.

  • Long-lasting
  • Doesn’t soak in liquids
  • Wipes clean easily
  • Might be expensive
  • Isn’t scratch-resistant

3. Velvet — An Honorable Mention

close up of violet velvet sofa
Image Credit: WichitS, Shutterstock

First, velvet isn’t a material that fits in every décor style, but it holds up quite well against pet damage. At first glance, you might think velvet is so soft that it tears easily. However, it’s incredibly tough, withstanding everyday use and even clawing.

To reduce staining, velvet can be covered with waterproof treatments to reduce saturation and repel unwanted imperfections. Even though removing hair won’t pose much of a challenge, it still attracts and collects fur, which is pretty much guaranteed.

That is nothing that a quick handheld vacuum can’t remove, however. We admit it’s a little trickier to clean than some of the other materials, but it is still up to par with the top materials.

  • Can use waterproofing treatment
  • Withstands clawing
  • Vacuums easily
  • Collects hair

Other Helpful Tips

Rather than fighting your cat daily to keep them from destroying your stuff, you can protect your belongings and attract your cat with feline-friendly items. It’s best to channel this natural behavior toward claw-friendly areas of the home. You can provide several cat scratching posts to attract them.

If your cat is notorious for shredding your couches, you can buy protectors for the corners of your furniture. On many popular sites, you can look through fitted cat scratching posts that channel your cat’s natural impulses.

If they are excessive shedders, hairball chuckers, or vomiters, you may want to invest in water-resistant furniture covers. Adding an extra layer of protection will ensure that any nasty fluids stay away from your valuable material.

Companies also make safe treatments for certain materials you can apply to the couch. These products help reduce tracking, staining, and liquid spills.

hepper cat paw divider

Final Thoughts

You can have nice things and own pets at the same time. Sometimes, you have to do your homework to find ways that you both can have what you want. Protecting furniture doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

Once you find a material that combats your specific feline-related issue, you can put further reinforcements down to protect your belongings from sharp nails, fur collection, and bodily waste.

See also: 

Featured Image Credit: mama_mia, Shutterstock

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