cat furniture

How to Choose Furniture Your Cat Won't Destroy

Cat having a little too much fun with your furniture?

If your couch looks like it was attacked, you might have some thinking to do. Cats will be cats, but you can discourage clawing by providing your cat with scratching posts in the rooms where he spends most of his time. You can also make a few smart furniture choices to ensure your home stays as scratch-free as possible.

Avoid Delicate Textiles

Silk, tweed, and chenille look great as pillow covers and even sofa covers, but the fabrics are unforgiving and won't stand up very well to scratching. "Of all fabrics, silk is perhaps the most unforgiving of cat scratches," says Amy Kilvington from Wooden Blinds Direct. "The expense of this fabric also means it's especially disappointing when damage is done." Tweed is another fabric to avoid, as it snags very easily—tiny claws will pull out the looped fibres. "The texture of tweed is also appealing to cats and they'll be more tempted to scratch," says Kilvington. "Hairs can also become easily trapped in the fibers, and this is very difficult to remove." While chenille is a little tougher, cats love the texture, which means the chances of them clawing and scratching at it are pretty high—so your couch and your pillows will end up damaged sooner or later. A better option is synthetic weaves such as ultrasuede and microfibres, as both are highly durable, tough, and easy to clean.

Pick Metal Over Wood Whenever Possible

Most cats prefer something they can get their claws on at the right height, which explains why furniture with wooden legs is often a favorite scratching option. Switching to furniture with metal legs is an easy way to prevent this, says Adam Egarr from the Collingwood Batchellor furniture company. "And while there’s this stereotype with metal furniture that suggests it can be cold and boring, there are plenty of different styles and metal-wood combinations available," he says.
cat blinds ©istockphoto/AlbinaTiplyashina

Don't Forget Your Blinds

When it comes to window dressings, venetian and vertical blinds can be tricky when you're sharing your home with a cat. "Your furry friend may be tempted to squeeze between the slats, play with loose cords and also scratch the material," says Kilvington. Not only is this frustrating when you've spent a lot of money on nice blinds, but it's potentially a lost cause: replacing the blinds will only lead to your cat playing with them again. Instead, Kilvington recommends using curtains, rollers, or Roman blinds, which cats will be less tempted to play with. "Remember to secure unrestrained cords or chains too, which will prevent your cat from getting tangled or hurt," Kilvington adds.

Fake Clean Fabrics

Some fabrics are better than others at disguising cat hair and damage caused by scratching. "Patterns will hide any damage better than plain fabric," says Kilvington. "Obviously, a fabric in a similar color to your cat will also hide hairs, so you won't have to vacuum as often." And unless you have a very white cat, avoid white fabrics and very light pastel colors for sofa covers, throws and bedding, as this will show any stray hair that happens to fall on them.

Diana Bocco

Diana Bocco is a full-time writer and avid adventurer. She's gone hiking in Siberia, snorkeling in Thailand, and canoeing in the Mekong River. She also loves caves and has been known to get lost in one or five around the world. Diana's work has been published in the Discovery Channel website, Yahoo!, Popular Mechanics, and more. You can read more of her work on her website at
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