Skip to Content

What Couch Material Is Best (And Worst) for Cats?

What Couch Material Is Best (And Worst) for Cats?

Share this post:

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one of these links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Any cat parent knows what it’s like to deal with cat fur and scratches everywhere at home, especially in the living room.

You could even end up with a tattered sofa because your cat might want to turn it into a scratch post.

Then, how can you prevent this, and what couch material is best for cats?

This post will walk you through which couch fabrics are cat-friendly and which ones aren’t.

Best Couch Materials for Cats

It’s natural for cats to scratch anything, but a tattered sofa that your cat is responsible for should be the least of your concerns.

Protect your couch from your feline’s claws with the stylish and cat-friendly fabrics listed below:

  • Microfiber
  • Faux suede
  • Denim
  • Synthetic fabric combination
  • Velvet
  • High-quality leather
  • Outdoor fabric
  • Metallic frame furniture


This fabric of tightly-woven fibers makes your couch scratch-resistant because there are no loose threads for your cat’s claw to snag.

Even if your pet punctures it, it won’t easily tear into a wider hole.

Microfiber is also durable against spillage-causing stains.

This fabric wins another plus point for being hypoallergenic, as its tightly-knitted quality doesn’t easily collect dust and allergens–great news for your cat-allergic visitors!

Microfiber is not only durable but also comfy, ultrasoft, stylish, and budget-friendly.

Faux Suede

Faux suede, or microsuede, is more durable and stain-resistant than its genuine counterpart. You can even get its similar texture and beauty for a lesser price.

With its closely interwoven fibers, faux suede is also scrape-resistant and easy to maintain.


Denim isn’t the most conventional choice of sofa fabric, but it’s cat-friendly, trendy, and strong in quality!

Like your jeans, it comes in different lovely blue hues and textures.

It’s also an affordable option with excellent comfortability and functionality.

Synthetic Fabric Combination

Synthetic fabrics include polyester, acrylic, nylon, and rayon fibers. Although lightweight, this combination of synthetic fibers can withstand heavy wear and tear.

They’re also inexpensive and long-lasting. Even 100% polyester fabric is just as durable!


Velvet is a luxurious but wonderfully scratch-resistant fabric because it doesn’t have raised weaves for your kitten to claw into.

The downside to velvet is that it attracts cat fur, but nothing a vacuum can’t fix.

Velvet comes in a wide range of selections too!

High-Quality Leather

Leather can be a gray area in terms of being cat-friendly. While it’s easy to clean cat fur from leather with a single wipe, it’s sadly not scratch-resistant.

Being a cat parent shouldn’t discourage you from owning leather, though. A few leather furniture brands encourage cat parents to invest in high-quality leather.

This includes top-grain, full-grain, and distressed leathers, which are stronger and thicker in quality than commercial leathers.

Top-grain and full-grain leathers are heavily conditioned with special treatments to self-heal from possible kitty scratches.

On the other hand, distressed leather couches can perfectly mask cat scratches with their rugged aesthetic.

Outdoor Fabric

Outdoor fabrics are durable against harsh weather and tested for abrasion resistance.

It will surely endure your cat’s mischievous antics as well.

Metallic Frame Furniture

A couch with metallic armrests and legs is a sleek and modern furniture choice. Your feline friend won’t even think about scratching this type of surface.

Worst Couch Material for Cats

Cats are fond of scratching furniture with loosely-woven fabrics, which will inevitably cause massive tears and holes.

These are couch materials you shouldn’t get when you’re living with a kitty:

  • Chenille
  • Cotton
  • Silk
  • Tweed
  • Corduroy
  • Linen
  • Sisal
  • Faux Leather
  • Wood

Loose-weave Fabrics

Cotton, chenille, tweed, silk, linen, and corduroy all have one thing in common–they’re loosely-woven fabrics.

With their loose threads and thin texture, these fabrics will snag easily once your kitty claws into them.

They also trap stray fur and dust between their weaves, making them difficult to clean and maintain.


Sisal furniture is a gorgeous addition to your living space. Unfortunately, it’s nothing but a measly scratch post to your cat.

In fact, this is the material used for your kitty’s scratch post. Instead, reserve this material as your feline friend’s scratch pad and toy.

Faux Leather

Commercial leather and faux leather are budget-friendly alternatives to genuine leather.

However, this thin material for your couch will definitely tempt your cats to sink in their sharp claws.


Domesticated kitties are still wild creatures by heart, scratching on tree barks to file or sharpen their claws.

Instinctively, they will see the wood in your furniture as an opportunity for scratching.

How to Care for Furniture

No matter how cat-friendly some materials are, they’re still not entirely cat-proof. Your kitty will keep making the mistake of clawing at whatever it likes.

Thus, take extra steps to protect your furniture from your feline’s destructive claws.

Canvas Slipcovers

Canvas slipcovers dress up your pre-upholstered sofa beautifully while doubling as a scratch and fur protector. They’re also easy to maintain.

When they need a thorough clean, just throw them in the washer, and they’ll come out good as new.

Throw Blankets

Throw blankets are another fashionable way of protecting your sofa. You can get creative by matching the color and texture of your couch with your throw blanket.

Although thick and soft blankets call for cat kneading, it’s better than directly scratching your furniture.

Cat Scratch Furniture Protector

These feline creatures love a good scratch on wide spaces of the sofa, like the sides of the armrest.

Cat scratch furniture protectors are your best chance against kitty claws.

They’re adhesive protectors, and you can choose between vinyl, plastic, and sisal covers–whichever is to your liking. They come in pre-cut shapes and wide coverage mats or pads too.

Lint Roller and Vacuum

It can’t be helped that cat fur will most likely be trapped deep within the fabric weaves of your couch.

A good quality lint roller removes stray fur above the surface. For stubborn fur, you can use a fabric-safe vacuum for deep cleaning.

Distracting Cats Away From the Couch

What if you already have an existing couch unsuitable for your cat’s way of living?

Read on and use these practical tips you can do to distract your pet.

Cat Tree

Present your feline friend a cat tree. It’s like their own kitty kingdom, and they’re absolutely going to love it!

Cat trees come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It can range from a simple tower of bed and scratch post or a playground and bed combination.

They’ll be staying there often and forget there ever was a couch!

Scratch Posts

The nifty scratch posts will be your cat’s new best friend. Strategically placing scratch posts in furniture corners will help distract them.

If they’re not liking it immediately, sprinkle catnip so they’ll be attracted to the scratch post.

Also, give them positive reinforcement when they successfully turn their attention to the scratch post.

Trim Nails

Trimming and filing their nails is also a foolproof way of preventing cat scratches on your sofa. Thus, it’s best to maintain your feline’s trimming routine once every month.

Cat-Proof Spray

When your cats are wide awake while you’re asleep, they’ll probably be scratching up your couch like it’s nobody’s business.

Spray on cat repellent whenever you’re away. Make sure it’s non-toxic and keeps your furniture from being stained.

Repellent sprays use strong floral or citrus scents to safely deter your cat. Pheromone sprays also imitate a cat’s natural pheromone to calm them down.

Motion censor sprays are a convenient solution as well.

Final Thoughts

Now, you know what couch material is best for cats and the not-so-great ones.

Tightly-woven fabrics like microfiber, faux suede, and synthetic fibers can withstand cat scratches. They’re also budget-friendly fabrics and easy to maintain.

Consistent furniture care and cat-proofing may sound like extra work, but you must be patient and dedicated.

You and your kitty will finally be able to live together harmoniously without worrying about damaged couches.

Share this post: