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6 Best Cat-Proof Couches That Actually Stand Up to Scratching

Investing in a great cat-proof couch will save you from a lot of heartache when the claws come out

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For cats, scratching and kneading are intuitive, making a cat-proof couch a must for any kitty owner. They scratch—not because they’re mad at you—but to mark their territory, defend themselves and to play because, frankly, they like it. Scratching is also their version of a manicure, helping them keep their claws sharp and removing any frayed outer claws. Providing your feline with an excellent scratching post is one of the many ways you can keep their claws out of your furniture. But investing in a cat-proof couch can save you a lot of heartache on those occasions the claws do come out.

The best cat-proof couches

Here are the best cat-proof couches, according to designers and reviews.

Pottery Barn York Slope Arm Slipcovered Couch
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Best overall cat-proof couch

Pottery Barn York Slope Arm Slipcovered Couch

Interior designers are obsessed with Pottery Barn’s York Slope Arm Slipcovered Sofa, especially those with children and pets. Not only is the silhouette incredibly versatile with various design styles, but the sofa is totally customizable in terms of width, cushion type and material. Because this sofa features a slipcover, you can remove and launder most of its material quite easily. (By the way, here’s how to clean every kind of couch.)

However, as Philadelphia-based interior designer Anita Householder suggests, choose your fabric with caution, sticking to those with a flatter finish—like everyday suede or performance velvet—to deter kitty from scratching. And in that worst case scenario that your cat does destroy the slipcover, purchase a replacement by contacting Pottery Barn. If you aren’t a fan of the sloped arm style, Pottery Barn also makes a great traditional roll arm sofa, the PB Comfort Roll Arm Slipcovered Sofa, also available in over 115 fabric options.

Pros

  • Timeless design, great quality
  • Available in various cat-friendly fabric options
  • Free swatches delivered in 3 to 7 days

Cons

  • On the pricier side (but having a cat-friendly piece may be well worth the investment)
  • Most sofas take 5-plus weeks to ship from order date

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Rivet Revolve Modern Upholstered Sofa
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Best cat-proof couch on Amazon

Rivet Revolve Modern Upholstered Sofa

Amazon is an easy place to shop for pretty much anything—including a cat-proof sofa. Rivet, one of their more popular furniture brands, makes an eye-catching mid-century modern style, the Revolve Modern Upholstered Sofa, that cat lovers are wild about. According to multiple reviews, even if cats do attack the couch, the damage is minimal. While it comes in eight fabric/color options, we suggest sticking to the weaves and avoiding the leathers, as cats can destroy a leather sofa in a single session.

Five-star Amazon reviewer Laiba calls the couch “kitty proof,” saying, “This is the first couch I’ve had that has not gotten ruined by my cat! The fabric is woven so that claws can go in and not rip the material.”

“I am especially happy with the way it has help up to my cat,” says verified purchaser, Nathan Moreton. “He sharpens his claws on it regularly and has caused no noticeable damage. No threads sticking out, no spurs, no holes or rips. He has been working on it for six months and it still looks like it did when I first bought it.”

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Delivery in just a few days
  • Highly rated with Amazon shoppers, with 4.4 stars and over 2,200 reviews

Cons

  • Limited color and fabric options

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Interior Define Maxwell 3 Seat Sofa
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Best velvet cat-proof couch

Interior Define Maxwell 3-Seat Sofa

Interior Define makes great sofas for anyone with kids, dogs or cats. The modern-meets-mid-century home goods brand takes pride in designing family-friendly but interior design-worthy pieces of furniture for everyone. They even offer several kid- and pet-friendly fabrics, including nine cat-friendly options. The Maxwell 3-Seat Sofa, one of their bestsellers, is an excellent option for anyone desiring a velvet couch, as their Performance Plush Velvet is the perfect intersection of luxury and functionality.

Customize the Maxwell with everything from size and depth to the type of cushion fill and even the legs style. Sixteen to 18 weeks later you (and your cat) can enjoy lounging in luxury. The brand also offers free fabric swatches and complimentary design advice for anyone needing help throughout the ordering process.

Pros

  • Gorgeous, expensive-looking velvet finish
  • Customizable
  • Lots of cat-friendly fabric alternatives
  • Free swatches and design advice

Cons

  • 16 to 18-week delivery
  • On the pricier side (although some might consider a cat-proof piece priceless)

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Burrow Block Nomad Sofa Sectional
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Best cat-proof couch for apartments

Burrow Block Nomad Sofa Sectional

Direct-to-consumer lifestyle brand Burrow takes making cat-proof couches so seriously that they even 3D-printed a claw and ran it against the fabric thousands of times to ensure it is both scratch and stain resistant. “At Burrow, we offer all our sofa styles in scratch and stain-resistant performance fabric designed to hold up to daily wear and tear,” says Stephen Bowen, Senior Furniture Designer at Burrow.

He recommends the Burrow Block Nomad Sectional Sofa in the color “crushed gravel,” made out of an ultra-tight weave fabric your kitty won’t be able to snag. “This is a 100% olefin, tight-woven engineered fabric that looks and feels great,” he says. It is also completely modular with a reversible chaise, making it perfect for apartment dwellers working with tight spaces. Like many other options on our list, the sofa features customizable options—choose from a handful of textile colors, leg finishes, leg styles and cushion types. Some combinations are available within a week, so you won’t have to wait for months on end.

Pros

  • Modular, making it great for small spaces
  • Material has been tested extensively, making it incredibly cat proof
  • Available to ship in as little as a week

Cons

  • Limited color and fabric options
  • Some reviewers felt the cushions were too firm

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Birch Lane Amari Loveseat
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Best traditional cat-proof couch

Birch Lane Amari Loveseat

Those who love the look of a traditional roll arm won’t be disappointed with the Birch Lane Amari Loveseat, which looks strikingly similar to more expensive styles at an affordable price. This timeless piece is available in over 50 colors and fabrics, including a few Sunbrella options. For those unfamiliar with the textile brand, it specializes in making fabric strong enough to withstand the outdoors, and many interior designers recommend it to their clients with pets.

If you have been dreaming of the perfect white sofa, your best bet is the Sunbrella Canvas Canvas, a bleached white that wipes down with ease. It’s also ultra-comfy, with down fill and oversized cushions. The best news? Some colors—including the one just mentioned—are ready to ship.

Pros

  • Traditional roll arm design
  • Available in durable Sunbrella fabric
  • Many colors/fabrics ready to ship

Con

  • Requires assembly

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Levity Cirque Swivel Chair
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Best cat-proof chair

Levity Cirque Swivel Chair

Ruggable’s sister brand, Levity, makes life-proof, functional and beautifully-designed furniture, including the Cirque Swivel Chair. Like all their other upholstered chairs, the Cirque features a five-layer cushion with various densities of high-resiliency foam, making it supportive and comfortable. The chair’s tightly-woven cover is also removable and machine washable, just in case kitty leaves behind any marks.

If your kitty’s claws do manage some damage (or you just get sick of the color), you can purchase a new cover replacement. If you don’t like the swivel, the chair is also available with legs.

Pros:

  • Interchangeable, swappable covers
  • Tightly-woven fabric to deter cat claws
  • Lots of great color and leg options

Con:

  • Four to six-week production time

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What to consider when buying a cat-proof couch

Cat owners should investigate the available fabric options before purchasing a sofa, suggests Bowen. “I recommend a performance fabric that is easy to clean, stain resistant and tear resistant,” he says. You should even consider the color of the material when buying the sofa, especially if your cat is a heavy shedder. “For instance, if your cat sheds a ton of white hair, getting a black sofa might not be your best bet,” he adds. “I would also avoid anything super textural or with a loose weave, as this will be more enticing to a cat and therefore more easily damaged.”

Householder agrees that some upholstery and couch fabrics hold up better than others. In general, Householder recommends sticking to materials without any kind of a pullable fiber. Instead, look for a fiber that is completely flat, such as velvet, microfiber or some performance fabrics.

How we chose the best cat-proof couches

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.

FAQ

What kind of couch will cats not scratch?

Unfortunately, cats may attempt to scratch pretty much any type of couch, but flatter, more tightly-woven fabrics are less attractive to curious claws. Keep in mind that, while cats might be less likely to scratch sleek surfaces such as leather, if they do, their claws can penetrate the material and do some serious damage.

What type of couch fabric is best with cats?

People with cats should stick to tightly woven fabric that’s less likely to snag. Popular pet-friendly materials include microfiber, outdoor and performance fabrics, and even velvet.

Sources:

  • Anita Householder, interior designer, House Edits
  • Stephen Bowen, Senior Furniture Designer at Burrow

Leah Groth
Leah Groth covers everything from cleaning hacks and consumer products to travel and pets for Reader’s Digest. When she isn’t working on a piece, you’ll find her chasing after her four children (two humans, a Vizsla and a German Shorthaired Pointer) or working on her 100-plus-year-old home outside Philadelphia.