Cats – we love them, right?
But what we don’t love is seeing little (or large) claw marks and scratches on our lovely couch or home furnishings.
Sometimes it’s accidental, sometimes it’s deliberate. It still hurts too see an expensive and pristine condition sofa slowly pick up more puncture marks and scratches.
So, what is the best couch material for cats so that both you and your cat can be comfy, and it wont start looking tatty or appeal to them to sharpen their claws on it?
Here is a look at the most common types of material couches are made from, and how well they hold up to cats walking, climbing, and sleeping on them.
Best Couch Material for Cats
Leather – Not a Good Choice
I’ve owned some lovely leather couches over the years and am a big fan of leather. The major plus points are that they are really easy to clean, but they have even bigger drawbacks in my opinion.
Leather marks really easily. Just from walking across leather your cat is going to leave little puncture marks, and if they stretch or have a little scratch they are going to leave some pretty big permanent marks.
If you already have a leather couch and are introducing a cat then you can try using a throw or a blanket. But unless you cover the whole couch they are going to find a spot to scratch at some point.
Cotton/Linen – Not a Good Choice
Sofas finished with a natural material like cotton or linen have a lovely soft feel to them, but are far too fragile if you have cats in the home.
A cat’s claws will get caught up in these types of fabrics and cause tears or fraying and your lovely couch will start looking old and tired way before its natural life expectancy comes around.
Microfiber Fabrics – The Best Choice
Microfibers are made from various materials. They are typically soft, durable, and a comfortable material to sit or lay on so they are commonly used on couches.
Microfibers also happen to be the best couch material if you have cats. In my experience cats are very unlikely to scratch or try to sharpen their nails on microfibers as it’s too soft.
You can also get some good stain-resistant microfiber. Either that has been treated with a stain guard, or designed to be naturally stain-resistant. These will help you keep on top of fur and stains your kitty might leave behind.
What are The Best Couches for Cats That Scratch?
Taking into account the information about different fabrics above, the best style of couch for cats that scratch is soft couches finished with a durable microfiber fabric.
It’s important too that there isn’t any wood showing on the frame or as part of the design of the couch.
Some couches have wood finishes exposed as part of their design. This just looks like a scratching post to cats that love to scratch, so it’s a definite no-no.
I also have a cat blanket that my kitty loves and place that on the best spot for her to sit on the sofa (usually the only spot no one else takes).
This acts as an extra line of defence as takes the brunt of my cat stretching out and extending her claws so she doesn’t get caught in the fabric of my sofa.
Do Cats like to Scratch Leather Furniture?
I’m not sure it’s fair to say that there are many cats who ‘like’ to scratch leather furniture. But cats need to scratch something, and a leather couch is often going to be the victim.
The problem with this is that whether it takes your cat a week, month, or even a year to start scratching your leather sofa, once they do it’s too late.
The damage a cat’s claws does to leather can’t be buffed or polished out. It’s likely to be an unsightly blemish that’s only going to get worse as time goes on.
So when people ask me how to stop their cat from scratching their leather couch, I always say if you want to be 100% sure it’ll be safe – don’t have a leather couch.
How Do I Stop My Cat Scratching the Sofa?
If your cat is scratching your sofa, regardless of the material it’s made from you need to put a stop to this.
I’ve had success over the years stoppings cats from scratching my couch and other items of furniture in my home.
Here are some of the basic things I did to change their behavior:
Make Scratching Posts Available – Making sure you have some scratching posts available should be something you’ve done regardless of whether your cat is scratching elsewhere in your home.
Cats need to trim their nails and it’s just part of their innate behavior to scratch things. Scratching posts are designed to be scratched and are great at attracting, so make sure you have them available.
Use a Scent Cats Dislike – If your cat is scratching a particular area of your couch you can spray it with a scent they will not like.
If you’re not sure which scents cats dislike check out this post. There are plenty that smell nice to us, so it’s worth trying.
Use a Scent Cats like (Elsewhere) – If you’re struggling to dissuade your cat from scratching your couch, then persuading them to scratch their scratching post is the other way to tackle this.
If your cats enjoy catnip try using some on their post. Or some tasty treats as a reward for using it might work.
Use Interactive and Fun Toys – One of the easiest ways to redirect a cat’s focus or change a behavior is to redirect them with fun toys.
I’ve never had to use anything more fancy than a feather in a stick or laser pointer. Both work a treat in moving your cats focus away from your lovely couch and over to their scratching post.
Can Cats Scratch Microfiber?
Cat’s can scratch microfiber, they can scratch almost anything with their razor sharp claws. I’m not trying to say that microfiber is 100% cat-resistant, but it’s pretty close and by far the best material to last the test of time with cats.
It’s important to remember there are various types of microfiber too. If you’re buying a sofa talk with the seller about the material and how well it’s going to hold up vs your cats.
So, hopefully, that’s answered the question; what is the best couch material for cats that will survive versus their claws?
If you’re lucky enough to own a cat that has never damaged a piece of furniture and has no interest in going near your favorite leather chair, lucky you.
I’d rather err on the side of caution, and that means I’ve come to love my microfiber couch and chairs – and so has my cats.