My friend has a three-year-old lively little boy who goes to a child-care. Unfortunately, this particular school is not equipped with a playground designed for rainy days. So, obviously, on rainy days he has no place to run around. For a young person, it’s a real challenge and the teacher complaints that he is “acting out.” Well, a three-year-old must play outside since it is the exact age when he just can’t sit still all day!
The same with cats. They must scratch! 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 a 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.
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 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.
But if your sofa is made of distressed, thick leather she will have a more difficult task. Besides, a distressed quality of the leather is more forgiving by definition.
What is the next best solution if cat-proof upholstery 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.
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 fabric
Dralon is a performance fabric that is durable and pretty. It is stain resistance and water repellent which makes it a perfect selection for cats. It is acrylic fiber that feels like velvet. It looks luxurious and soft to touch. It comes in many colors.
I love Perennials for their luxurious feel, numerous options as well as outstanding quality. They are woven from 100% solution-dyed acrylic. This means that all the stain and mold resistant qualities are on a molecular level and become part of the yarn itself, thus cannot wear out. Perennials® fabrics resist UV radiation, mold, mildew, and staining, for furniture that will last season after season, indoors or out. They are a step up from Sunbrella. They are beautiful, durable and there are so many options for patterns and colors. You can spot clean them with water-based cleaners, even bleach. Unfortunately, they are more expensive than Sunbrella in many cases but the quality is high end. Check out one of my favorite stores, Serena and Lily that carries sofas and chairs made of perennials fabric.
You don’t have to be limited by only using soloid fabrics. Perennialls latest collection includes beautiful William Morris inspired prints.
Here are some the examples from their latest collections:
What if you are not ready to invest in new furniture but need to protect what you have?
If new upholstery is not in your plans, there are plenty of choices for scratching posts as well as clear instructions on which ones are good for your kitten’s size.
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 the will be used on your future cat-friendly sofa and apply it to a post. See how she likes it. If she puts it to shreds, don’t buy it.
Please ask me about your challenges, I am here to help.