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10 Cat-Friendly Couch & Furniture Fabrics for Cat Hair and Claws

Written by: Chris Dinesen Rogers

Last Updated on January 9, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Cat on couch

10 Cat-Friendly Couch & Furniture Fabrics for Cat Hair and Claws

We understand your frustration when your cat seems to think the new sofa you bought is another toy for them, but they see it as a giant scratching post. It’s essential to understand that this behavior is instinctive. Your kitty scratches the furniture for a good reason. It’s a non-verbal sign to other felines in the wild that this territory is taken. It’s an excellent way to avoid fights with other cats.

Luckily, you have several options for upholstery that are cat-friendly and offer good protection against your pet’s sharp claws. Some also won’t attract stray hairs, which can be equally annoying.

cat paw divider

The 10 Cat-Friendly Couch & Furniture Fabrics

1. Faux Leather

Faux leather is an excellent choice if you want the look of the real thing without the high price tag. A well-made piece of furniture won’t act like a hair or dander magnet, either. Of course, you also have plenty of style, decor, and color options. Cats find the sound and texture unpleasant without a throw or pillow on it. However, it’s not entirely protected against sharp claws.

Oleksandr Volchanskyi, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Pxfuel

2. Leather

Leather offers all the advantages of our previous entry and then some. It succeeds because of its durability, and it can take a lot of punishment. The best thing is that the worn look it gets over time makes it an even better perk.

Again, your cat may turn up their nose at the sound, texture, and perhaps even the smell of it. It’s not scratch-resistant, but your pet probably won’t puncture it.

3. Faux Suede

Like its leather counterpart, faux suede is an excellent choice at a more affordable price. It is more scratch-resistant because it has a tighter weave than other fabrics like wool. That makes it harder for your kitty to dig their claws into the material.

However, your cat may like the texture and knead any furniture made with the fabric. At least their claws might not be out to catch the material.

lilac burmese cat lying on sofa
Image Credit: Tom Gardener, Shutterstock

4. Microfiber

Without loops in the fabric to catch claws, your cat is less likely to damage microfiber materials. It’s also durable enough to handle some abuse. Besides, you’ll both enjoy its soft texture. On the downside, it isn’t stain-resistant; it may attract hair instead of repelling it.

5. Marine-Grade Fabric

Marine-grade fabric is about as tough as it gets regarding materials for couches. Although your cat may poke some holes in it, it resists tears. It’s a good choice for the vertical sides of furniture. After all, that’s a cat’s preference for scratching posts.

The downside is that it’s not a comfortable material to the touch. It’s something you’d see covering small areas instead of an entire sofa.

donskoy cat lying on a sofa
Image By: Viachaslau Herostratos, Shutterstock

6. Canvas

Canvas is another attractive cat-resistant option. It’s durable enough to handle heavy household use. It also has a tight weave, which can act as a deterrent for your pet. Your kitty will find it hard to get a claw into it, but it’s not impossible.

Hair is another story, and canvas will not keep your pet’s fur off of it. However, you may find it easier to vacuum.

7. Dralon

Dralon is a synthetic acrylic fiber often produced to replicate the look and feel of other materials, such as wool. It’s soft and lightweight, making it a good choice for accessories like pillows and throws.

You’ll find many options for this cat-resistant fabric, which will withstand abuse remarkably well. However, it attracts stray cat hairs, necessitating occasional vacuuming.

long haired adult cat laying on a tan sofa
Image Credit: Danielle Armstrong, Shutterstock

8. Tight-Weave Polyester

Tight-weave polyester provides the same deterrent as other materials we’ve discussed. It’s all about preventing that first hole from becoming a gaping tear. We suggest looking for higher thread counts for better resistance to scratching. That can make your furniture more expensive, but it might offer a more affordable choice in the long run.

9. Outdoor Furniture Fabrics

Outdoor furniture fabrics are made to handle harsh conditions. They’re often stain- and water-resistant, making them a good choice for families with small children.

Some materials might not attract cat hair, either. Manufacturers have updated the products to make them attractive for being in your living room. However, they’re not as readily available as conventional furniture.

blue oriental shorthair cat lying outdoor
Image Credit: TalyaPhoto, Shutterstock

10. Denim

Denim is another top candidate for a material that can stand up to a cat that likes to scratch. Think of all the punishment your jeans take without ripping. The fabric can handle everyday wear and tear and whatever your cat brings its way. On the downside, you may have difficulty finding pieces to match your decor since it’s pretty much typecast.

3 cat face divider

Tips for Protecting Your Stuff

No matter what fabric you choose, you should start by preventing your cat from using your furniture as scratching posts in the first place. Instead, buy or make your own to teach your pet to use it rather than your sofa. It’s infinitely easier to train your cat to use one than trying to stop them if they’ve already made their mark on your furniture.

We suggest placing a post near your pet’s usual sleeping spot or where they’ve already started scratching. You can also sprinkle a little catnip on it to entice your cat to check out the new post. If they return to their old habits, distract them with a loud noise or clapping. You shouldn’t scold them for engaging in instinctive behavior.

You can also reward your cat when they use their scratching post. Felines are intelligent animals. Your pet will soon figure out what they’re supposed to do and what they shouldn’t. We recommend getting more than one post if you have more than one cat.

However, we agree with the position that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) have taken against declawing. It’s not a solution.


Cats will be cats, and that means they will scratch. While it’s irritating, it’s just their nature. Fortunately, you can take proactive steps by selecting materials that will put up a decent front against your pet’s claws. You’ll find many choices to match your decor in the style you want.  However, it’s also essential to train your kitty to use a scratching post, which can make both of you happy.

Featured Image Credit: RONEDYA, Shutterstock

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