Can you really find cat proof furniture? Is there any fabric that is totally cat proof? Well, I haven’t found it yet. But there's hope.
Some people have told me that they have had luck with certain materials, but the rate of success is not too high. In fact, most cat owners I know complain that once you have a cat you may forget about having nice furniture. Unless your furniture is made of plastic, stainless steel, stone or any other similar material, chances are you cat will attempt to sharpen his nails on it.
There are, luckily, some options for protecting your furniture from your cat. And please, never declaw your cats, as this procedure is extremely painful to your cat (and in my humble opinion, an inhumane procedure).
As I said at the beginning, there is not an entirely cat proof furniture. However, some people have had some success with some of the fabrics and materials described below. Of course, each case is different (depending on the cats, the type of furniture, and other conditions). Some of the materials and fabrics listed here are more effective than others, and some are not entirely earth-friendly (which I don’t recommend, but I have included them here for informational purposes). And it bears repeating, no material is 100% cat resistant.
A few cat lovers I know have told me that some cats don’t like leather. One reason is that its feel is too smooth for them. Another reason is that it is somewhat difficult for cats to sink their claws into it. On the down side, some cat owners have mentioned that some cats don’t care at all about the smoothness of it and jump right onto any leather-covered furniture and will scratch it. I haven’t tried it with my cats so the jury is still out on this one.
Jute. This is one of the strongest natural fibers. It is also one of the cheapest. Jute is used in the making of rugs, curtains, and chair covers. Jute is also used in home textiles and floor coverings. A great advantage of jute is that it is biodegradable, thus eco-friendly.
Ultrasuede. One the original microfibers, it is mostly composed of polyester (60%) and non-fibrous polyurethane. It pretty much looks and feels like natural suede, but it is much more resistant and long-lasting. In addition, it will not nick or tangle.
Micro-fiber. Some cat owners have had some success with furniture upholstered with micro-fiber, another synthetic material. This material seems to be quite resistant, hard to shred, and durable. You can find sofas and other pieces upholstered with microfiber or you can re-upholster your current furniture with it. The downside is that microfiber is not made of renewable materials. It is also flammable and the fumes it emits when burning are toxic. But since this material is durable, it can have quite a long life, which eliminates the need to buy new furniture and use new resources.
Olefin fiber. This is yet another synthetic fiber, which is used in clothing, upholstery, and draperies, among many other uses. This material is supposedly hard to snag.
So there might not be cat proof furniture, but these materials come somewhat close.
Another option that might help you save your furniture is to buy pet furniture for your cat. See below for more ideas.
Training your cat and other alternatives
Okay, if you don't find cat proof furniture, here are some alternatives.
One of the options for saving your furniture from your cat’s claws is to train him or her to stay away from your furniture. I know that this is not an easy endeavor. Many of you will say it’s nearly impossible. And honestly, I know that it is mostly true. However, you can train cats with a lot of patience, perseverance, and luck. Here are some suggestions:
--Train your cat to use a scratching post. Visit our cat scratching post page to learn more about this topic.
--Another option to reduce (even eliminate) cat scratching is to buy your cat her own cat furniture with plenty of scratching surfaces. And then train her to scratch her furniture instead of your own. There is indeed a wide selection of carpeted cat furniture to choose from.
--Spray your furniture with a strong, but nice, scent such as lemon or cinnamon. Most cats don’t like strong aromas so this tactic might discourage your cat from jumping onto your furniture.
--Trim your cat’s nails on a regular basis
--Try Soft Paws® (vinyl nail caps for cats). These caps, which are glued on to your cat’s claws, are reportedly easy to apply and are well-tolerated by most cats. I haven’t tried them myself but many cat owners are pleased with the results after using them for several weeks.
--Use a sturdy slip cover (not my favorite solution as they will scratch it also)
Go to our cat scratching page for more suggestions to help you discourage your cat from scratching your furniture.
I hope the suggestions presented here are helpful in your search for cat-resistant fabrics and cat proof furniture. Maybe these ideas will help you "pet proof" your furniture, at least to a degree. As I previously mentioned, I still haven’t found cat proof furniture but I’m pretty sure one day, I will. (My cat is laughing).