Cats must scratch! It’s their nature. Many of my clients and readers ask about cat-friendly fabric sofa and fabric choices that are more durable for cats. I have to stop here and say that there are no miracles and cat-proof upholstery fabric is a marketing gimmick just like many others.
I don’t want to upset you, my dear, but the truth is that if your cat is not trained to unleash her scratching powers on a different object other than the sofa she will scratch anything even a metal doorknob.
The good news is that there are some fabrics that are more cat-friendly than others.
In this post, I am going over some of the questions hoping that will help you.
As a common rule, fabric with a tight weave, such as velvet and mohair are your best bet. Also, consider Perennials and tight weave poly. Although the price tag can be high for Perennials there are so many stain-resistant, water-based cleanable fabrics that will last you for a long time.
Is natural leather a good option for a cat-friendly sofa?
Many people believed that cats don’t like leather so they won’t scratch them. It depends on your cat’s personality. Some cats adore leather and scratch it as lovingly as I consume vanilla ice cream with a home-made apple strudel. Also, it depends on what kind of leather. For example, if your couch is made of bonded leather I guarantee that your kitten will have a much easier job destroying it.
A distressed, thick leather sofa is more forgiving and thus more cat-friendly than smooth thin leather.
What is the next best solution if a cat-proof fabric doesn’t exist?
Think mohair and some types of velvet. Cats are known to dislike mohair. Surprisingly, velvet is also scratch-resistant. Not all types but many.
Does Performance Velvet really perform with cats?
Kravet Armor (comes in different colors) is a Performance Fabric which means it is durable and cleans well. You don’t pay for the real cotton velvet which can be really pricey but it feels smooth and feels natural. Some commercial-grade velvets are 100% poly with durability is 50,000 double rubs. I tried to scratch it and there are no signs at all.
Lee Jofa velvet (comes in different colors) is a very durable fabric. It is 100,000 double rubs, but that’s irrelevant since you only need 15,000 double rubs so that the fabric is heavy duty for upholstery: 40% rayon; 42% cotton and 9% poly. Just be careful with it when you clean it. Rayon doesn’t clean well with water since it is based on wood pulp. So if you buy a sofa with so much rayon be aware that it is DRY CLEAN ONLY.
Dralon – a Cat-Friendly Sofa Fabric
Dralon is a performance fabric that is durable and pretty. It is stain-resistant and water repellent which makes it a perfect selection for cats. It is an acrylic fiber that feels like velvet. It looks luxurious and soft to touch. It comes in many colors.
Perennials- company that makes durable cat-friendly fabric for your upholstery
If you really want a luxurious couch, consider Perennials. I love their fabrics for many reasons. They are woven from 100% solution-dyed acrylic. This means that all the stain and mold resistant qualities are on a molecular level, thus cannot wear out. Even more, Perennials fabrics resist UV radiation, mold, and mildew. Finally, you can choose any of their gorgeous colors and collections. You can spot clean them with water-based cleaners, even bleach. Unfortunately, they are more expensive than Sunbrella or Revolution.
What if you are not ready to invest in new furniture but need to protect the sofa that you have?
In case that a new upholstery is not in your plans, there are plenty of choices for scratching posts.
You can use thick carpets, sisal or bound rope for a scratching post.
Tip: Before you buy a sofa, invest in a piece of fabric that you’ll have for your sofa and apply it to a post. Is it the fabric cat-friendly? See how she likes it. If she puts it to shreds, don’t buy it.
Please ask me about your own challenges, I am here to help.