Best Couch Material for Cats | Cat-Friendly Upholstery (2023)

If you love (and have) your cats, you will love Kovi Fabrics. We offer a wide range of cat-resistant fabrics ideal for rescuing your sofa or chair from kitty claws and the inevitable stains that come from being a fur parent.

Before you get rid of your kitten or throw out the couch, opt for a facelift instead. Renovate your furniture with the best couch material for cats from the Kovi Fabrics Catalog.

Why Do Cat Owners Need Cat-Resistant Fabric?

If you are a new cat owner, you are in for a surprise. Cats are quite the force d’resistance in your home.

Cats claw at soft furnishings, sharpening their claws, and rub against furniture, leaving scents and tell-tale grime marks. As if that’s not bad enough, cats shed, leaving endless cat hair all over your furniture and life. Plus, when it rains, they leave little footprints all over your clean floors.

These are just some of the reasons why cat owners need a performance fabric that is geared to cat resistance and the survival of claw marks. To choose the best cat-resistant fabrics, opt for fully washable or wipeable upholstery fabrics, thick fabrics that won’t rip or shred, and upholstery fabrics that are resistant to pilling and pulling.

Choosing a fabric that won’t absorb cat hair is a huge plus, and while you can vacuum daily to remove the daily load of shedding, you want a fabric that won’t instantly form a bond with cat hair. Cat-proof fabrics are performance fabrics that can do all of that, and you can find the best of these at Kovi Fabrics.

(Video) What's the best type of fabric for my sofa if I have a cat?

Can Cats Damage Your Furniture and Fabric?

If you’re worried whether your cat can damage your new expensive leather sofa, the answer is a resounding YES! Cats have incredibly sharp claws, and they love to scratch furniture, pillows, and upholstery. Unlike a dog that can be trained to stay on the floor, cats believe they own your home and will continuously jump on your furniture.

Therefore, you need to be prepared with quality cat-resistant upholstery fabric and textiles to ensure you can minimize the damage. A fabric that resists sharp claws won’t let the cat shred the fibers. This kind of fabric should be fully wipeable or washable. Throw in the ability to vacuum that fabric, and you’re well up to the challenge of being a cat owner and having your home look stylish.

Do Cats Prefer Certain Furniture Types?

Cats can turn any furniture piece into a scratching post. They will happily nest on your ottoman, dining room table, or sofa. The flare arms of your wingback chair are not off-limits to them, and you will even find your cat scratching away at your coffee table legs. Nothing is cat-safe.

Best Types of Fabric for Cat Owners

Cats seem to like any furniture, but they especially love bright colors and fabrics that have some tooth to them.

Velvet, brocade, embroidery, and damask fabrics are a definite NO, as cats can sink their claws into these like a knife into butter. Additionally, cats will naturally gravitate toward fabrics that are susceptible to scratching and hooking-those are just so much more fun to a cat!

Instead, opt for upholstery fabrics that are solid, resist penetration by claws, and are not so “sink-in soft” that your cat will want to come over and hibernate there (while kneading the threads out of your sofa as they purr away).

(Video) The BEST Upholstery Fabric......Kids & Pets!!

Best Couch Material for Cats

Just remember, if a cat truly wants to, it’ll claw through just about anything. But these materials are a better choice to help combat it.

Genuine Top Grain Leather

Top-grain leather is the thickest hide available and can resist the average scrape or scratch. Unless your kitten is bent on destruction, you will be reassured with genuine leather as an upholstery choice.

Microfiber Upholstery

As the name suggests, microfiber is a tightly woven textile, and it resists cat claws. Microfiber is also quite stain-resistant, and you can wipe and wash microfiber upholstery, giving you numerous cleaning options for keeping your furniture spotless.

Microfiber has a higher thread count, which also means the fabric is more durable and resistant to infiltration by cat hair, pet hair, and other stains.

Higher Thread Count Upholstery

Cotton and marine-grade upholstery are ideal for pets and cat-friendly homes. These fabrics have a high thread count, which means pet claws aren’t so easily able to penetrate the fabric’s weave.

Fabrics such as denim, canvas, duck, and twill upholstery fabrics are all worth a try when keeping your furniture cat-proof. If your cat is truly destructive, you may need to consider the extreme, bite the bullet, and opt for 100% natural top-grain leather, the most natural and the least fragile to cat claws.

(Video) Top 4 Performance Fabrics For Upholstered Furniture

Tips for Protecting Your Couch from Cats

It’s not easy, and there’s no 100% defense against those claws and the hair, but these tips should help ease the headache a little.

  1. Provide alternative scratching surfaces
    • Invest in various scratching posts, pads, or furniture specifically designed for cats.
    • Place these alternatives near the couch to encourage your cat to use them instead of the couch.
    • Sprinkle a bit of catnip on the scratching posts to attract your cat’s attention.
  2. Use deterrents
    • Apply double-sided tape or aluminum foil to the areas of the couch where your cat tends to scratch. Cats generally dislike the texture and will avoid scratching these surfaces.
    • Use a commercial cat repellent spray, or create a homemade one using essential oils like eucalyptus or citrus (diluted and safe for cats), and spray it onto the couch. Always test it out on a small, inconspicuous area first.
  3. Trim your cat’s nails
    • Regularly trim your cat’s nails to reduce damage from scratching.
    • Alternatively, consider using soft nail caps specifically designed for cats to prevent damage to your furniture.
  4. Train and redirect
    • Train your cat to associate the couch with a negative experience, such as a loud noise or water spray, whenever they attempt to scratch the couch. Be consistent and timely with your response.
    • Redirect your cat to the appropriate scratching post or pad when you catch them scratching the couch.
  5. Use furniture covers
    • Invest in durable, washable furniture covers to protect your couch from scratches and cat hair.
    • Choose tightly-woven fabrics less likely to snag on your cat’s claws.
  6. Provide a comfortable resting spot
    • Place a cozy cat bed or blanket near the couch to give your cat a designated spot to rest and sleep.
    • Encourage your cat to use their space by rewarding them with treats or praise.
  7. Ensure your cat is entertained and engaged
    • Provide plenty of toys, activities, and mental stimulation to keep your cat occupied and less likely to scratch your couch.
    • Interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and regular playtime can help reduce boredom and anxiety, which may contribute to destructive behaviors.


What couch material will cats not scratch?

There is no couch material that cats will not scratch. However, some materials are more resistant to scratching than others. Upholstery fabrics with a tighter weave and a more textured surface tend to be more scratch-resistant than smooth fabrics like leather or microfiber.

Will cats scratch a leather couch?

Cats may scratch a leather couch, but it is less likely than with other materials. Leather is a natural material that has a textured surface, which makes it less appealing for cats to scratch. However, some cats may still scratch leather if not provided with other things they can scratch.

Do cats scratch microfiber?

Cats can definitely scratch microfiber, especially if it has a smooth surface. But they don’t have a preference for it if that’s what you’re wondering. They treat it like any other material.

What is the best pet-friendly upholstery fabric?

The best pet-friendly upholstery fabric is one that’s fairly durable, can be cleaned with ease, and is as resistant to scratching as possible. Synthetic materials and fabrics like polyester and nylon tend to be popular with pet owners, not just for cats. Leather is also a good option for cat owners, but it can get expensive and needs extra care, like conditioning.

Will my cats ruin a polyester couch?

(Video) Cat Fabrics!

Yes, because they don’t care about material, cats can scratch a polyester couch, but the material is generally more resistant to scratching than other fabrics.

Polyester is a man-made synthetic material that is extremely durable, usually easy to clean, and tends to be fairly affordable, making it a good choice for pet owners. But it’s still a smart idea to provide your cats with some decent scratching alternatives to deter them from damaging your couch.

What material sofa is best for cats?

The best fabric sofa for cats is made of durable material, fairly easy to clean, and as resistant to scratching as possible. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon are common choices because they’re durable and easily cleaned. Leather is also a good option to go with, just remember that it gets pricy.

What is the best material for a couch if you have pets?

The best materials for a couch, if you have pets, will be anything that’s highly durable and can be cleaned daily. Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon are always a good go-to pick. Leather is an all-around good pick for pet owners simply for the fact that it repels hair.

Will a cat scratch a leather couch?

Cats may scratch a leather couch, but it is less likely than with other materials. Leather is a natural material that has a textured surface, which makes it less appealing for cats to scratch. However, some cats may still scratch leather if they’re not given enough scratching alternatives.

The Purrrr-fect Material

Kovi Fabrics can help you find the best couch material for cats that can make your life much easier and keep your furniture looking new for longer. With rip-resistant, hair-repellent, and stain-proof fabrics, you can choose a textile option to suit your life (and cat), budget, and home.

(Video) Best Furniture for Pets: Leather or Fabric?

Choose Kovi Fabrics to keep your cat-friendly lifestyle purring away with cat-friendly couch material.

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Best Couch Material for Cats | Cat-Friendly Upholstery? ›

Microfiber/Microsuede Couches

Another good fabric option for those with cats is microfiber or microsuede. These fabrics are more budget-friendly than leather, and they use very fine, tightly woven threads that are hard for cats to dig into.

What sofa fabric is cat proof? ›

Microfiber/Microsuede Couches

Another good fabric option for those with cats is microfiber or microsuede. These fabrics are more budget-friendly than leather, and they use very fine, tightly woven threads that are hard for cats to dig into.

What is the most pet-friendly material for a couch? ›

Synthetic Fibers & Microfiber Fabric

Synthetic performance and acrylic fabrics are generally used in the most pet-friendly couches. Also known as “ microfiber fabrics ,” the fine fibers used in these types of upholstery are the easiest to clean and make it hard for stains to seep through and set.

Do cats ruin fabric couches? ›

Unfortunately, cats may attempt to scratch pretty much any type of couch, but flatter, more tightly-woven fabrics are less attractive to curious claws.

Is there a cat proof fabric? ›

Fabrics such as denim, canvas, duck, and twill upholstery fabrics are all worth a try when keeping your furniture cat-proof. If your cat is truly destructive, you may need to consider the extreme, bite the bullet, and opt for 100% natural top grain leather, which is the most natural and the least fragile to cat claws.

What couches can cats not tear up? ›

Synthetic and microfiber couches (think polyester, nylon, suede , and acrylic upholstery blends) are ideal for cat owners because the fabric fibers are extremely thin and tend to be tougher, meaning they are more scratch-proof.

What furniture material holds up best for cats? ›

What is the best furniture fabric for cat owners?
  • Tight Weave Fabrics. Fabrics like canvas, denim, and human-made materials are suitable for your furniture to save it from the cat's claws. ...
  • Leather. ...
  • Microfiber or Micros Suede. ...
  • Synthetic. ...
  • Open Weave Fabric. ...
  • Velvet and Silk. ...
  • Suede.

What is the best upholstery for sofa and pets? ›

Except for leather, Cox says that synthetic materials are "always preferred over natural materials when it comes to picking a fabric for your pet-friendly furniture." Think fabrics with high polyester, acrylic, or other synthetic material (like nylon, according to Wright) content.

Which upholstery fabric is most durable? ›

Synthetic microfiber is typically the most durable furniture fabric available in today's market. Microfiber's durability can be attributed to its ultra-fine fibers. These fibers are tightly woven to create a powerful layer of protection.

What is the best stain resistant upholstery fabric? ›

Microfiber: Made from polyester, this popular upholstery fabric has a velvet-like texture but is much more durable. It resists water, stains, and fading, so it's great for high-use living areas.

How do I scratch proof my couch from cats? ›

If there's a particular piece of furniture you want to get your cat to stop scratching or to never start scratching in the first place, try covering the area with double-sided “sticky” tape, aluminum foil, or even cellophane. These are all surfaces that most cats don't like the feel (or sound) of under their paws.

Do cats scratch upholstery? ›

They scratch to mark territory or as a threatening signal other cats. And because cats' claws need regular sharpening, cats scratch on things to remove frayed, worn outer claws and expose new, sharper claws. All this scratching can cause a lot of damage to furniture, drapes and carpeting!

Is faux leather couch good for cats? ›

The best type of fabric for cats that scratch furniture is microfiber because this material is hard to scratch. If your heart is set on the look of leather, however, then faux leather is a great option for you.

What material cats won't walk on? ›

Texture: Sticky paper, aluminum foil, heavy plastic or a plastic carpet runner (knubby side up) can be placed in areas you want to be off limits. Cats hate walking on these surfaces.

Will cats scratch velvet sofas? ›

Velvet has a short, flat pile that lacks woven texture. Also, it has no loose threads or raised weaves that are prone to snagging. Therefore, most cats do not like clawing it.

Do cats scratch chenille fabric? ›

"Hairs can also become easily trapped in the fibers, and this is very difficult to remove." While chenille is a little tougher, cats love the texture, which means the chances of them clawing and scratching at it are pretty high—so your couch and your pillows will end up damaged sooner or later.

Why do cats rip up couches? ›

There are a number of reasons why cats want to scratch objects. Cats need to keep their claws healthy and conditioned, which can be difficult in a home environment without access to trees. Scratching also serves as a way to mark territory, to show other cats that the area where the object is located is occupied.

What fabrics do rescued cats prefer to scratch to cover upholstered furniture? ›

Chenille fabric is preferred whereas synthetic leather and waterproof grosgrain fabrics seem to be less attractive options for rescued grouped cats to scratch.

What furniture do cats like? ›

Cats enjoy climbing, scratching and hiding in dark places. Cat furniture with towers, platforms and stairs should be appealing to her. Bear in mind your cat's age and activity level. For example, if she has a hard time climbing, opt for something small, with easily accessible options.

What smells do cats hate on furniture? ›

As a general rule, cats are sensitive when it comes to smells, but there are a few scents they hate that might just surprise you. They can't stand citrus and as much as you might love the smell of fresh herbs, cats hate rosemary and thyme. Banana and mustard are a big no-no too, as well as lavender and eucalyptus.

What couch material is most durable? ›

Leather: This material is known as one of the most durable and sophisticated materials. It is a favorite for people with kids and pets, as it tends to withstand the wear and tear of everyday life while also being incredibly easy to clean.

Is microfiber or leather better for pets? ›

Microfiber, a synthetic fabric, provides another great choice for pet owners. It looks a bit like suede, is simple to clean and maintain, and wears well. Microfiber is more affordable than leather and can be found in many colors to suit most decor tastes.

How do I choose a pet friendly sofa? ›

Pick Colors & Textures that Hide Animal Hair

That way, the sofa can better conceal any pet shedding that occurs between cleanings. You can also find fabric materials with twill or textured weaves, which can help hide hair or stains better than fabrics with smooth, simple weaves like linen.

What type of couch lasts the longest? ›

Couches that have a dense hardwood frame (like maple, walnut or teak) are the most durable. Tightly woven textiles and leather are long-lasting fabric choices.

Which sofa fabric is easy to maintain? ›

Leather is the ultimate easy-to-maintain upholstery for sofas. While silk velvets are sumptuous and look stunning, the downside is they stain easily. Instead, look for velvets that are woven from cleanable, high-performance polyester. They resist fading, crushing and stains.

Which fabric does not stain easily? ›

Of all the natural fibers, says Brookstein, the most stain resistant is wool because it contains lanolin, a natural oil that repels liquids.

What fabric doesn't get stained? ›

Microfiber. Microfiber is not technically a performance fabric, but it has such a reputation for being stain-resistant and durable that we wanted to include it here. Microfiber refers to the thickness of a fiber, not to a type, like acrylic or cotton.

What color couch shows least stains? ›

Browns, grays and dark colors will hide dirt and stains easily, extending your sofa's new and tidy look.

What furniture fabric do cats not scratch? ›

“The best fabrics are ultrasuede and leather, because a cat cannot claw into these,” Juneja said. Avoid fabrics that snag easily, such as tweeds. It's also difficult to remove pet hair from these types of textured fabrics.

Do cats always scratch couches? ›

Cats prefer to scratch tall, sturdy objects that allow them to dig their nails in and get a good grip. That's why cats tend to scratch furniture. Most cats prefer (even more than furniture!) a scratching post that is at least 32” tall, will not wobble when scratched, and made of a type of rope called sisal.

Do cats prefer to scratch leather or fabric? ›

Cats like to scratch leather and other household items but don't fret – I will cover why cats like to scratch leather and how to prevent further scratching and repair leather furniture. Cats scratch leather out of instinct, boredom, and claw health, among other reasons.

How do I make sure my cat doesn't scratch my leather couch? ›

Keep Your Furniture Covered

Leather has a distinctive smell to a cat, and until your cat has learned that another option is more desirable, the furniture will be the go-to scratching source. Therefore, your best bet during this transition is to use a plastic-type covering that can't be easily scratched through.

What type of leather is best for cats? ›

Top-grain and full top grain leather are the best couch material choices for cats with claws since these types of leather are especially thick and durable.

What is the most fragile part of a cat? ›

Cat paw anatomy

If you've ever wondered why your cat doesn't like their paws being touched, it's actually because they're one of the most sensitive parts of their body. They're packed full of nerve receptors which enables them to feel vibrations and helps with balance.

What material are cats afraid of? ›

Aluminum foil: Many cats don't like how aluminum foil feels or the sound it makes when they land on it. Even more, cats are actually afraid of it. Taping some strips of aluminum foil on your counters or placing it on the furniture you want your cat to avoid might do the trick.

What material is resistant to cat hair? ›

When it comes to clothing, choose these fur-repelling alternatives: Silk, satin or taffeta. Silk, like microfiber, has a very tight weave that lets fur slide right off. Unlike a lot of synthetic fabrics, silk does not gather static, which also goes a long way to prevent becoming covered in cat fur.

Do cats scratch vinyl couches? ›

While it's true that cat and dog claws can scratch leather or vinyl on occasion, overall, it's durable enough to stand up to most pets. A bonus is that many pets don't like being on leather or vinyl furniture, and even if they do, it's easy to clean with a simple wipe because pet hair doesn't cling or weave into it.

Can a cat damage a leather sofa? ›

There are two different types of cat damage that you can get on your leather furniture. The first is where the cat scratches the sides of the sofa, by plucking out the fibres/hairs from the leather. The second is where the cat will scratch the seating cushion causing a more straight line scratch.

What is the best cat scratching fabric? ›

Sisal material, not sisal rope, is the best cat scratching substrate. It doesn't catch cats' claws, is rough, and holds up well to intense scratching. Learn more here: "Sisal Fabric: the Best Material for Cat Scratching Posts."

What materials are best for cats to scratch? ›

The most popular scratching materials are cardboard, carpet, sisal, and wood. (Cardboard and carpet are less expensive than sisal and wood, and prices can vary depending on the quality of the materials.)

How do I cover my couch so my cat doesn't scratch? ›

Tuck a sheet around the scratched area of the couch tightly so your cat can't get under it to scratch the couch. Use double-sided tape or aluminum foil on the couch. Spray the couch with a citrus-scented spray because cats have a natural aversion to citrus odors.

What fabric spray deters cats from scratching furniture? ›

Aristopet No Scratch contains a blend of essential oils that discourage cats from scratching the treated area.

Can cats be trained not to scratch couch? ›

The best tactic when dealing with scratching is not to try to stop your cat from scratching, but instead to teach her where and what to scratch. An excellent approach is to provide her with appropriate, cat-attractive surfaces and objects to scratch, such as scratching posts.

Do cats scratch leather upholstery? ›

Leather or not, cats usually find a way to scratch furniture if the correct preventative measures are not taken to curb this behavior. Leather couches, leather sofas, and even plastic and wooden furniture are not safe from cat scratching.

Do cats scratch all couches? ›

Cats prefer to scratch tall, sturdy objects that allow them to dig their nails in and get a good grip. That's why cats tend to scratch furniture. Most cats prefer (even more than furniture!) a scratching post that is at least 32” tall, will not wobble when scratched, and made of a type of rope called sisal.

Can I spray something on furniture to stop cats scratching? ›

Spray your couch or other furniture with a citrus-scented solution (cats are known for disliking the smell of citrus!). Apply double-sided tape to the scratched area (cats hate the feeling of stickiness on their paws). Or, you can simply cover the area with aluminum foil to prevent cat scratches.

Does cat anti scratch spray work? ›

Our experts said that cat scratching deterrent sprays are not helpful for redirecting furniture scratching. "They don't really work, and they're an aversive," said Calder.

What smell do cats hate to stop scratching furniture? ›

Cats dislike eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint – just choose the ones you don't mind the scent of yourself.

What kind of furniture do cats like to scratch? ›

What Scratching Materials Do Cats Like? Cats like tree bark, sisal rope, and even corrugated cardboard (especially if it's infused with catnip.) They also like leather, wool, and all fabric types, as you may have noticed if they scratch furniture.


1. Top 5 Best Couch Materials for Cats in 2023 | Review and Buying Guide
(Purchase Guide)
2. Top 5 Best Cat Scratch Protector | Chair Sofa Couch Protectors From Cats Scratching | Deterrent
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3. How to Cat-Proof Your Sofa Stylishly | CRAFT | Great Home Ideas
(Great Home Ideas)
4. Easily repair cat-scratched/damaged couch NO SEW method!
(Tingri Tibet)
5. How to Choose Quality Sofa Upholstery Fabric like a Pro
(Furniture Studio)
6. How to Stop Your Cat From Scratching Furniture (10 Methods)
(The Purring Journal)


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