A gray kitten on a couch, licking with his tongue out.

Savvy cat guards know that to prevent cats from scratching furniture, one must provide proper stimulation and alternatives to scratching. Cats love well-designed scratching posts, and the placement of such alternatives to furniture can make all the difference. I’ve done that and my cats don’t bother my new furniture at all.

Cats are also smart at finding alternatives to scratching posts. My wife Jamie loves sharpening her claws on this non-slip plastic base for the cat water bowls. The little stubs are just stiff enough to provide the texture she likes.

What if we steered this concept in the opposite direction? Can you choose furniture that cats won’t scratch? In particular, I wondered if furniture with harder surfaces would do this, or furniture whose fabric doesn’t have a “nap” (or obvious texture) on it. There is also microfiber. My husband and I bought a microfiber couch and the cats are not interested in it.

I asked several furniture experts and got a lot of ideas. The answers varied and some contradicted each other. Regardless, you will likely get some ideas on what to try.

Which substances prevent cats from scratching? Photography © liveostockimages | iStock / Getty Images Plus.

Cats don’t want to scratch furniture with full upholstery and recessed legs

Sean Juneja, Co-Founder and CEO of Decor Aid, offers this tip: look for fully upholstered pieces with recessed legs made of wood or metal.

“The best fabrics are ultrasound and leather because a cat can’t scratch them,” said Juneja.

Avoid fabrics that are easily caught, such as B. Tweeds. It is also difficult to remove pet hair from these types of textured fabrics.

When asked why full upholstery is important, Juneja said it prevents cats from scratching wood on furniture.

“While most prefer something they can chop up, there are cats who prefer wood,” Juneja said, and recessed legs are inaccessible because they are hidden and smaller.

These chairs are covered with ultrasound.

Furniture cats don't scratch

Photo via decor aid

And here is a leather couch and metal tables.

Furniture cats don't scratch

Photo via decor aid

Cat owners should choose furniture that will hold up their wear and tear

Chandler Elmore of Kuni Furniture had similar advice on choosing furniture that “holds up well”, although he was less positive about leather.

“The more a piece of glass, metal, and wood, the better it wears than leather and suede, which are usually decent materials,” Elmore said.

He pointed out that the “absolutely worst materials for furniture” are chenille, velvet, wool, linen, silk and tweed.

Another expert advocates leather, thin carpets, and cat furniture

Donna Arbietman of Magnolia Brook said she had a lot of questions about cats and furniture, and while every cat is different, she offers the following guidelines:

  1. In general, cats don’t seem to like leather as much as other materials. “Leather is easy to clean and maintain, so it’s always a safe bet.” Arbietman suggested adding scratch protection to the leather.
  2. Shaggy and jute rugs are the “perfect playground for cats to trim their nails and have fun. So stick to thinner carpets with less hair. “
  3. Provide cat posts and a cat bed nearby for your cats. “When cats have their own furniture, they are less likely to ruin yours.”

Parents of cats should choose chenille versus microfiber

Mike McCann of the Wholesale Bar Stool Club says thin microfiber, which is often the cheapest item, is easily torn by clawed cats.

“Microfibers are said to be easy to clean of stains and spills, not to withstand punctures or to last for a long time,” said McCann.

He believes a chenille fabric is best for cats: “It’s more durable and more resistant to animal abuse. It may be a little harder to clean, but it will outlast its cheaper microfiber counterpart. “

This contradicts the above advice from Kuni Furniture’s Elmore.

When it comes to furniture, cat owners should keep it simple

Finally, Tamalpais NatureWorks recommends modular furniture made of wood and steel. William Callahan calls it the healthiest and easiest-to-care-for furniture in the world for people and pets.

“If a kitten (or dog) breaks a table leg, just put a new one in its place,” Callahan said.

None of this furniture is upholstered so it is easy to clean and repair.

The bottom line on furniture that cats won’t scratch

Not all advice works in every situation. These furniture professionals had many ideas, including two that contradicted each other. We know cats are different too – some cats may scratch leather and some may not.

Tell us: Do you have any creative ideas or advice on choosing furniture that cats won’t scratch? What furniture did your cats scratch and what furniture did they leave alone?

Thumbnail: Photography by 5second / Thinkstock.

This piece was originally released in 2016.

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