Does Cat Scratching Proof Fabric Exist?
Is there any cat friendly fabrics out there?
Is there any cat scratching proof fabrics or materials available? This specific question is one of our most common we’ve been asked by our clients over time. Hopefully this article will provide some answers to it.
For those who are cats lover, who appreciate their unique energy, presence and way to interact with humans, there is one point of agreement : how to deal with their natural needs to do their nails still not ruining our upholstery furniture? This natural need has to be manage, as it can become a real problem. I now personally exclude the alternative to declawing my cats. I did it once, and observed all the pain she suffered and her continual limitations as she was not longer capable to do cat things. But the question remains, how to have an hormnious life without having to worry about our upholstery?
According to our observations, client testimonies and from our readings, it looks like such a fabric does not exist… yet. But, we can also say that some fabrics are more cat friendly than others. And after years of putting fabrics on real tests (i.e. with personal cat), very few of them, but some, are offering a surprising resistance or are simply not attractive to cats. So, about the fabric per se, two aspects can guide our choice : fabric texture and weaving.
Fabrics to Avoid
Excluding here reasons why cats do their nails, and why our upholstered furniture are so attractive for our cats, some fabrics are like cat magnet : they just lllove their texture, and a simple touch activates a needling natural reflex. The worst fabrics (or the best for cats) are those similar to towel or chenille textures and all fabrics where a velcro hook (scratchy side) can stick on. Any other fabrics made with a loose weaving or made of a very light thread can be at risque of pulling threads. You can have a look on some examples beside that are not good choices for cat lovers.
Get some cues on reasons and solutions for cat nailing by visiting this page here.
Leather, faux-leather and vinyle
Cats won’t exclude to do their nailing on a funiture covered with leather, faux-leather or vinyle. Yet, it may not be their first pick, they may choose such a piece because of its location in the house or because they may not have other alternatives.
About leather, these infos apply for 100% genuine leather only. Ensure the leather is thick enough to resist cat nails walking or playing around. Such behaviors may be enough to produce scratches on the surface. This will be true if the leather is dyed on surface ony. Scratches will show less on leather dyed all through its thickness. See pictures on the below.
Faux-leather and vinyle can offer a some resistance, but they may not last very long. There is a wide variety of quality and durability. Ask your upholsterer to show you the most resistant. See an example of faux-leather beside (desktop, or below on phone). This one was only one year of usage, and my cat just walked on it.
What are the best cat scratching resistant fabrics?
First thing to keep in mind, there are no 100% cat scratching proof fabrics as no upholstery cover materials can last forever. Maybe unless your furniture is covered with a commercial carpet, you shall forget about such an expectation. But some fabrics are offering much better resistance and durability than others.
The best are microfiber fabrics and faux suede as cats are not really interested in these textures. Strong cotton or hemp canvas, and velvet or velvet like texture are not doing too badly neither. Cat nails just can’t stick on and pull thread off. But the fabric must be tightly woven and have a smooth surface. Finally, fabrics having a strong protector backing can provide very good resistance, but not all of them.
I’ve been using a big rond needle and do testing on fabrics sample for years upon client requests. You can have a look on youtube video here. It’s working pretty well and provides very quick answers sometimes. But to get more significant observations, nothing like putting fabrics on real cats nailing trials. I’ve personnaly sacrificed my home upholstered furniture to put fabrics on tests and to observe how they resist or not, and how they age over time.
Have a look at the pictures below. They grey one shows a fabric put on real cat daily nailing tests since summer 2018. To my observation, my cat is doing her nails about 4 to 5 times a day on this specific armrest. So far, all we can observe when having a close shot is a slight wear of the fabric. Nothing compared to the blue fabric that showed all those pulled threads after only a few days.
Your upholsterer : an ally for cats lover
A good upholsterer will know about cat clawing problems for owners and will be able to guide you choosing the right fabric.
Remember there is no 100% cat scratching proof fabric, but there is options better than other. Luwiss is totally aware of this concern and will be please to guide your choices for the joy of you and your cats. You can have hints about reasons for cats to do their nails and find out our best cat scratching resistant fabrics by visiting this page.