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The Best Cat-Friendly Fabric for Your Furniture

We love our furry friends, but we also love our furniture. Alas, there’s often a battleground in our homes—between the meticulous design of our living spaces and the whimsical nature of our feline companions. From stealth grooming techniques that leave a haze of fur in their wake to impromptu scratching posts that resemble our once-smooth armchairs, cat lovers face a unique set of challenges when it comes to protecting our furniture. Enter cat-friendly fabrics—materials for your furniture that balance practicality with comfort and style. In this guide, we’ll explore the purr-fect fabric choices that will keep our furniture both chic and cat-friendly.

cat-friendly fabric

Understanding Your Cat’s Perspective

Before we can safeguard our sofas, it’s important to understand the natural instincts driving our cats to claw, sit, and shed on certain surfaces. Scratching, shedding, and nesting are not just adorable quirks; they’re essential to your cat’s well-being.

Cats scratch to mark their territory and maintain their claws. For them, it’s a form of exercise, a grooming technique, and a way to relieve stress all bundled into one majestic stretch. Nesting and shedding, on the other hand, are behaviors that ensure your cat feels safe and can regulate their body temperature efficiently. It’s no wonder, then, that your couch catches the brunt of these activities—it’s the heart of their indoor kingdom.

Top Criteria for Cat-Friendly Fabrics

When choosing fabrics for your furniture, there are three primary criteria to consider:


This is non-negotiable. The fabric must withstand the test of time (and claws). Look for materials that are tightly woven, as this can prevent snags and pulls that occur during enthusiastic scratching or accidental snagging.

Easy to Clean

Cats are fastidious groomers, but accidents happen. Fabrics should be easy to clean without the need for specialty products that may contain chemicals harmful to your pet.


Your cat’s furniture is usually your furniture, too, so softness and comfort should not be overlooked.

With these factors in mind, let’s sink our claws into the best cat-friendly fabric for your furniture:

Top Cat-Friendly Fabric Options


Microfiber is a champion among cat owners. It’s durable, easy to clean, and can mimic the look and feel of natural materials like suede and leather. With proper care, microfiber can outlast many other fabrics.

To maintain microfiber upholstery, use a brush or vacuum with a simple nozzle to keep dirt and fur at bay. Damp cloths can effectively handle spills and sticky spots. Avoid harsh chemicals that may damage the fabric, and for stubborn stains, enlist the help of a professional cleaner.


Leather is a classic cat-friendly material. It’s resistant to scratching and incredibly durable. While it may not be as easily cleaned as microfiber, leather improves with age if properly cared for.

For regular maintenance, a gentle rub with a soft, damp cloth should suffice. Steer clear of abrasive cleaners that can strip the leather of its natural oils, and for deeper cleaning, consult with a leather specialist.

cat-friendly fabric leather

Faux Leather & Faux Suede

A more affordable alternative to natural leather, faux leather and suede are easier to maintain. They’re not only scratch-resistant but can typically be wiped down with a damp cloth.

The key to longevity is consistent gentle cleaning rather than waiting for grime to build up. Avoid placing faux leather or suede near sources of heat that can dry them out and cause cracking.


Soft, luxurious, and surprisingly durable under the influence of a cat—velvet is a regal choice for cat-friendly furniture. It’s resistant to spills, and its dense pile can hide the signs of shedding remarkably well. The tight weave of velvet also makes it difficult for cat claws to scratch and snag.

Routine vacuuming can keep velvet fluffed and looking its best, and for spills, promptly blot the area with a clean, dry cloth to prevent any damage to the fabric’s nap. If needed, a professional cleaner can help restore the luster of your velvet furniture.

cat-friendly fabric velvet


Crypton is a high-performance fabric designed to resist stains, odors, and moisture. It’s virtually indestructible and highly recommended for households with both cats and children. This fabric’s unique technology makes it difficult for liquid and odor molecules to penetrate the fibers, making it a top choice for pet owners.

Cleaning crypton fabric is as easy as wiping away spills and stains. For tougher messes, mild soap and water should do the trick. Avoid harsh chemicals and steam cleaning to maintain the integrity of this impressive fabric. Kitty lovers will get the best results from Crypton-upholstered pieces when choosing a low-pile, tightly woven construction made of 100% polyester. 

Additional Tips for Cat-Proofing Furniture

In addition to choosing the right fabric, here are a few extra measures you can take to keep your furniture in tip-top condition:

Providing Scratching Posts and Pads

This simple solution can divert your cat’s scratching urges away from your couch. Click here for tips on choosing the right scratcher for your cat and getting your cat to use it.

Regular Grooming

Yes, it’s called FURniture, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be covered in fur! Brushing your cat can significantly reduce shedding, so you’ll find a lot less of it on the couch. Trimming your cat’s nails will help with snagging and scratching the fabric on your furniture.

cat-friendly fabrics

Furniture Covers or Throws

These can be an extra layer of protection or a means to quickly cover up (or uncover) your furniture when guests (read: potential judges of a cat’s fine character) are over.

Training and Positive Reinforcement

It’s essential to teach your cat what is and isn’t a suitable place to carry out their natural instincts. A little training can go a long way in preserving your furniture.

Final Thoughts on Cat-Friendly Fabrics

Selecting the right fabric for your furniture is an essential step in creating a cozy, cat-friendly home. It’s not about choosing between your love for your pet and your love for design but finding a balance that lets both coexist harmoniously.

Remember, a cat oasis isn’t just about the furniture—it’s about the love you share with your pet. Prioritizing their comfort and safety alongside your aesthetic desires ensures that your home is a sanctuary for you both. With these fabric options and tips in hand, you’re now equipped to make cat-friendly fabric choices that will make you and your pet purr with contentment.

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