The Best (and Worst!) Fabrics for Repelling Cat Fur

A black cat peering over the edge of black faux fur blanket or fabric.
A black cat peering over the edge of black faux fur blanket or fabric. Photography ©TommasoT | Getty Images.

If there’s one thing that’s true about having cats, it’s that cat fur gets on everything. But if you’re about to go to that super important job interview or on a posh date with that special someone, you don’t want to be covered in fur. So, what can you do? Choose your fabrics wisely, for one. And here are some fabrics that do the best job at keeping cat hair from sticking to your furniture and clothing.

The best furniture fabrics for repelling cat fur

Cat asleep on a couch with his head in pillows.
Leather and vegan leather are great at repelling cat hair. Photography ©Nektarstock | Getty Images.

When thinking about furniture, consider these:

  1. Leather and its vegan alternatives. Sure, you’re not going to wear a leather bomber jacket to a job interview, but for furniture, leather’s smooth finish and easy cleanup — you can simply wipe it with a damp cloth to get rid of fur and any other feline leftovers — is a good option. Any stains can be cleaned easily if you get to them quickly, too. Word of warning: Put a scratching post near leather furniture so your cat has a proper place to maintain her claws.
  2. Microfiber. Synthetic fabrics like microfiber or microsuede have an extremely tight weave, which results in stain resistance — and fur resistance. Microfiber furniture can be cleaned with a dry cloth or a small vacuum cleaner, and it holds up well to wear and tear. If the upholstery code is “W” (you’ll see it on the tag), you can use soap and a damp cloth to clean any stains that do find their way onto the furniture.
  3. Outdoor fabrics like canvas. You may think of canvas as a rough-textured fabric that wouldn’t be comfortable to sit on, but that’s not necessarily the case. Canvas comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns, and it’s not as likely to draw fur as much as many other fabrics because of its thick weave and the fact that it doesn’t seem to attract static as much as others can.

Clothing fabrics for repelling cat fur

Cat hides in a denim jeans pants leg.
It’s easy to get cat hair off of denim. Photography ©Photoshopped | Getty Images.

When it comes to clothing, choose these fur-repelling alternatives:

  1. Silk, satin or taffeta. Silk, like microfiber, has a very tight weave that lets fur slide right off. Unlike a lot of synthetic fabrics, silk does not gather static, which also goes a long way to prevent becoming covered in cat fur.
  2. Rayon and viscose. These synthetic fabrics can look classy and repel cat fur. Although they have a slight tendency to develop static cling, they’re definitely good choices for the office or a casual date.
  3. Denim. Denim is one of the few natural fabrics that does a good job at keeping cat fur at bay. While denim does attract cat fur, its tight weave makes it easy to get that cat hair off. Besides, a classic dark-wash jean looks great on a casual date or even at the office.

Make some wise choices with your furniture and clothing, and you can save yourself lots of time and stress when it comes to keeping cat fur off everything — except their own beds. 

Avoid these fabrics if you want to repel cat fur

If tight weaves repel cat fur, looser weaves and highly textured fabrics make it stick like crazy. Avoid these fabrics to ensure that you don’t have to live a life covered in cat fur.

  1. Wool. While some weaves of wool attract less fur than others, wool is and always will be a fur magnet.
  2. Corduroy. This ribbed fabric not only attracts cat fur, it’s almost impossible to remove thanks to the fabric’s texture.
  3. Tweed. I love a good tweed, but when it comes to stickiness, it’s even worse than corduroy. Its texture catches and holds fur, and it’s almost impossible to get it off.
  4. Polyester. This fabric has a serious static-cling tendency, which makes it a no-go if you don’t want to look like a cat bed.
  5. Velvet and velour. There’s a reason those old black handle/red velvet brushes work so well to clean fur off other fabrics. Between the texture and the tendency to produce static cling, velvet and velour, although lovely, should be avoided by the fur averse.

Tell us: How do you keep cat fur at bay?

Thumbnail: Photography ©TommasoT | Getty Images.

JaneA Kelley is the author of the award-winning cat advice blog Paws and Effect and a contributing writer at She is the board secretary for Diabetic Cats in Need, a nonprofit that helped save her diabetic cat’s life.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Catster magazine delivered straight to you

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20 thoughts on “The Best (and Worst!) Fabrics for Repelling Cat Fur”

  1. I never even thought about using fabric to minimize cat hair until I noticed how easily cat hair came off one of my outdoor chair cushions. I imagine outdoor upholstery would be much easier to use a vacuum cleaner on as well.

  2. People in my area are oblivious to the fact that fast growth shampoos (of course with no sulfates, no parabens, no DEA) exist. Individuals can now attain longer hair and have more options. For sure worth exploring.

    Whether you’re looking into alopecia, damaged hair, avoiding hair disorders, hair growth, hair and scalp health in general, very similar ideas actualize.

    Generally, you have to steer clear of hair treatments and products that contain chemicals such as parabens, DEA and sulfates.

    What is good for your hair is beneficial for your skin all the same.

    For obvious reasons your content here hits the nail in the head for so many reasons. It steers away from the usual errors and errors so many fall into: using horrible alternatives. Thank you!

  3. I also disagree with the statement that velvet is bad for cat hair. I have a velvet accent chair and it’s nearly always fur-free even though my long hair kitty loves to sleep on it. For this reason, I’m considering buying a velvet slipcover for my sofa.

  4. I have had microfiber sheets for years, now that I live with my committed SO and his kitties are our kitties, microfiber is OUT!

    How can you possibly recommend microfiber? It attracts cat hair, AND it holds cat hair. I can’t shake it out, vacuum it off, or sticky roll it. Even washing/drying doesn’t remove all of it.

    I thought my dog’s fur was a pain, no, kitty furs are much finer and lighter, they float in the air. I have dry eyes and I am constantly removing kitty hairs from my eyes because even with eyedrops I don’t create enough lubricant to wash these fine invisible hairs out of my eyes, (they have a white undercoat, white on white means invisible).

    In my experience, (I don’t do silk/satin bedding because of night-sweats), the only bed fabric that repels/releases cat fur is 100% cotton 220 thread and higher.

    I adore our kitties, I abhor the hair everywhere, the fact that it is literally impossible to keep our home clean adds to my depression.

    1. Agreed! My microfiber sheets are such a pain to de-fur, even with a specialized pet hair removal vacuum attachment. You scrape and scrape and scrape to little avail. The only thing I find that helps a little is if you use several dryer sheets in the dryer with just the bed sheets. The dryer sheets coat the bed sheets in a wax that helps lift fur off it a little easier. Although on the flip side you are shortening the life of your sheets by using the dryer sheets, but it is all a give-and-take.

    2. I just found this site & saw your post. I certainly empathize with you! I have an incredible copper-colored Domestic Long Hair.
      I am looking to buy new sheets & will give your suggestion of 100% cotton, 200 count thread sheets a try.
      Here's something that may help you: I discovered that when I put a cup of regular vinegar in the washing load, it helps loosen hairs trapped within the clothes fibers. I use cold water and the normal/fast agitation speed. (Don't worry, your clothes won't smell like vinegar!)
      Give the items coming out of the wash a good shake before placing them in the dryer or on a line. Since I live in an apartment that's in an area of high humidity, I use the dryer. I like dryer sheets, as they help with static cling and also smell nice. You can use wool laundry balls (found on Amazon) or make aluminum balls, all will help lessen the static, thereby reducing hair found on clothes. Always clean the lint trap. If your clothes are extra hairy, clear the lint trap again during the cycle. I run the dryer on Regular Heat.
      I hope this helps you, even a little. I struggle with Depression, too. Penny (cat) is my everything. She once helped save my life! So, I would have her hair everywhere and on everything. I would have the occasional stinky litter box. I would have the special surprises she leaves for my feet to find. I would have all of that…because I know I am still loved. You are still loved!
      Thanks for your time…

  5. I totally agree with Marion. However I use the sticky rollers to tidy up and I don’t dress up until just before leaving the house.

  6. Also, I have found that micro-fiber furniture is not at all attractive to cats to claw up. Talked to other’s who have had similar experience. Their cats also leave it alone.

    1. I agree with this. My cats have avoided clawing my three cushion microfiber/suede couch, but one of them has been using my newer love-seat made of a stiffer material. So it looks like once she goes, I will need to reupholster this couch.

  7. Vacuum daily and use an extra strength roller. Have rollers everywhere. Sweep, sweep, sweep and furminate kitty at least 2x a week – more in the spring when they lose their winter coat.

  8. A meowtfit without any cat hair on it ain´t complete anyway MOL, but back to seriousity, although I brush/comb Gizzy and Thori daily and furminate them twice the week plus vacuum regularly here the cat hair´s EVERYWHERE, not only on my bed and on my clothes, it´s also on my notebook, on the mouse and the keyboard, on my CD stereo micro systems, on my table, in my mugs, even on my dish/es and in my food, simply EVERYWHERE haha, if you live with cats you gotta cope with this fact!!!

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