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  #1  
Old 06-26-2009, 10:07 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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What's the best upholstery if you have pets?

Eventually, if I can keep the damned house clean with the help of miracles and paid help, I'm going to upgrade my furniture so it doesn't look like a college apartment anymore. The first thing I'd like to replace is the ugly-ass chairs in the living room - nobody sits on them, but it would be nice to have a comfy reading chair over there. But I have three cats and a dog.

I assume leather is right out? What about different fabrics? What has worked for you? Microsuede? Twill?
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2009, 10:13 AM
TastesLikeBurning TastesLikeBurning is offline
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Why not leather? We have 2 dogs and leather couches for this reason, they wipe clean and fur is much easier to get off.
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  #3  
Old 06-26-2009, 10:28 AM
Minnie Luna Minnie Luna is offline
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We have leather also. My cats are not declawed and they haven't destroyed it. They know they are not allowed to use the furniture as a scratching post.

We found that the older cat who has since passed did use her front claws for leverage and to help pull herself up on the the furniture as she aged, but it never destroyed the furniture.

The two young kitties we have now will every now and then leave a scratch on the leather when running around and playing, but we don't really care all that much. We would prefer to have slightly scratched leather to having fabric that holds the hair.
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  #4  
Old 06-26-2009, 11:12 AM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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The dog also has very long nails (I think it's a breed characteristic - you can't cut them, the quicks are long also) and while I dont' care about a few scratches, you know...

I might get a leather ottoman and see how that works out.
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  #5  
Old 06-26-2009, 11:24 AM
FlyingRamenMonster FlyingRamenMonster is offline
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I don't know about dogs, but from my experience with guinea pigs, if you regularly (like every week) cut the nails close to the quick, the quick will shrink.
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  #6  
Old 06-26-2009, 11:56 AM
ratatoskK ratatoskK is offline
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For cats scratching, people say that cats like something their claws can grab into, something textured. So get a smooth upholstery. If you can afford leather I would imagine that would be perfect. I just got microfiber and I have a cat who likes to scratch, and so far, she has not scratched it (as far as I know!).

Last edited by ratatoskK; 06-26-2009 at 11:56 AM..
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  #7  
Old 06-26-2009, 11:59 AM
KlondikeGeoff KlondikeGeoff is offline
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From my experience with cats, I'd suggest stainless steel.
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2009, 01:43 PM
Lightnin' Lightnin' is offline
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We've got three dogs, so any clothing or furniture is picked primarily on its "hair magnet" rating.

We've had very good luck with microfiber upholstery. It tends to be cheaper than leather and more comfortable (at least, in our opinion). It feels like suede, so we thought it would grab and hold onto dog hair, but actually, it works really well. I suspect this is because the hair can't get into the pores of the material.
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2009, 01:48 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lightnin' View Post
We've got three dogs, so any clothing or furniture is picked primarily on its "hair magnet" rating.

We've had very good luck with microfiber upholstery. It tends to be cheaper than leather and more comfortable (at least, in our opinion). It feels like suede, so we thought it would grab and hold onto dog hair, but actually, it works really well. I suspect this is because the hair can't get into the pores of the material.
My folks also have this microfiber-suede stuff. They were also smart and their furniture is also a similar color to the dog (one of the dogs, at least). As far as I know, they don't have too much trouble cleaning it. But the dogs don't go up there much. Considering how much hair I see on the throw pillows from the white dog vs. how much hair is on the couch - I'd say microfiber works pretty well.

My furniture is in the style of "old, used, and of similar color to the dog"
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2009, 01:56 PM
Trans Fat Og Trans Fat Og is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlondikeGeoff View Post
From my experience with cats, I'd suggest stainless steel.
From my experience with cats, especially the one I ahve now, Calypso, I'd recommend

WOVEN AMAZONIUM!

Does anybody Wonder Why?!

- Jack
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  #11  
Old 06-26-2009, 02:14 PM
kathmandu kathmandu is offline
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I have a cat, a dog, and two small kids, and I would wholeheartedly recommend leather.
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2009, 02:22 PM
Rand Rover Rand Rover is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratatoskK View Post
For cats scratching, people say that cats like something their claws can grab into, something textured. So get a smooth upholstery. If you can afford leather I would imagine that would be perfect. I just got microfiber and I have a cat who likes to scratch, and so far, she has not scratched it (as far as I know!).
I second this. Our house is basically all microfiber and leather. The leather doesn't look showroom new, but we use a leather conditioner every once in a while, so the scratches smooth out into an aged look that's actually pretty nice.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2009, 04:23 PM
Zulema Zulema is offline
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I also vote for microfiber or leather. Also. there is furniture that has ready made custom slipcovers and you could get a spare cover.
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2009, 04:45 PM
Cyn Cyn is offline
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My soft gray leather couches are good for not showing hair and wiping clean. My rat terriers' nails get long---they're house dogs and don't wear nails down, so I have a PediPaws.
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  #15  
Old 06-26-2009, 04:53 PM
Cubsfan Cubsfan is offline
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Not sure what on earth would make you think to write off leather but it's definitely best for pets in almost all circumstances.
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  #16  
Old 06-26-2009, 06:48 PM
delphica delphica is offline
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Another vote for microfiber or leather. I have one couch of each, and the microfiber holds up very well even when the cat has accidentally gotten snagged on it. And the cat hair comes off easily with a lint brush.

As it happened, my cat strongly dislikes the leather. On the one hand, this is a good thing because he won't go near it so there is no scratching. However, it also means he won't sit and snuggle with me if I am reading or watching TV on that couch.

Last edited by delphica; 06-26-2009 at 06:48 PM..
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2009, 08:40 PM
lizardling lizardling is offline
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*taking notes* I've been thinking that I need to replace my couch for a long time, but it's cool to know that microfiber actually doesn't seem to be the hair magnet I had always thought it would be. (I have two XL Maine Coons that shed like no tomorrow. )
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  #18  
Old 06-26-2009, 08:48 PM
Harriet the Spry Harriet the Spry is offline
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Your leather won't stay in perfect condition. I have one leather armchair and, although the cats don't scratch it, it has claw marks from them jumping up on it.

I recommend slipcovers over your current furniture if it's structurally sound. Even if you get new furniture, I'd recommend slipcovers.
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  #19  
Old 06-27-2009, 04:23 PM
slime slime is offline
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Having been in furniture sales for a long time I can tell you that dogs and leather are the best way to go. Cats and leather can be a crap shoot. Leather is generally more expensive to purchase and to repair so its really a question of money. If your cat does decide to use it as a scratching post she can destroy it. Also just jumping on the back or arm she may use her claws to catch on and now you have some holes in the leather. You need to ask youself if you want to take the risk and can afford the consequences. If you don't I would definetly recommend the microfiber. Its easy to clean and pretty easy to get the hair off of because the hair doesn't weave into the material.
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  #20  
Old 06-27-2009, 08:18 PM
Q.N. Jones Q.N. Jones is offline
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I have a microfiber couch, and I would not buy one again. I have two cats and it seems to hold on to the cat hair via static cling. I spent an hour cleaning it recently, with my vacuum's upholstery attachment, a lint roller, and a pet hair sponge, and still, I couldn't get all the cat hair off. On the pro side, I've had it seven years and there are only a couple of snags from the cats, and stains come right off.
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  #21  
Old 06-27-2009, 09:35 PM
Mongo Ponton Mongo Ponton is offline
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This

Resists almost anything your pet can throw at it.

I bought some of their ultrasuede.
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  #22  
Old 06-27-2009, 09:45 PM
InterestedObserver InterestedObserver is offline
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I second the vote for slipcovers. I am in the process of slipcovering my couch (almost done) and arm chair (not started yet) with natural color cotton canvas (cheap-o tip #450: You can buy the stuff as painting tarps at hardware stores a HELL of a lot cheaper than from a fabric store..just wash and dry it on hot first to take care of shrinkage...nice, heavy weight cotton or cotton/poly perfect for upholstery...can even be dyed if natural is not your bag)

They can be removed and washed as needed (good for kids, too

They sell brushes which are very good at removing excess pet hair from the animals, and a good vacuum attachment designed for hair is a must. As for clawing, provide a scratching post AND get a squirt bottle or "gun" of water...only takes a few "lessons" for most cats to stop destroying the furniture. (good for kids, too

Last edited by InterestedObserver; 06-27-2009 at 09:48 PM..
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  #23  
Old 06-27-2009, 11:53 PM
Q.N. Jones Q.N. Jones is offline
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I agree--get what you want, then slipcover it. I eventually started slipcovering my microfiber couch. The cats can filth up the slipcover all they want. When it gets too gross, I toss it in the wash. When I have guests, I remove the slipcover and presto!--instant fur-free seating.

My parents have leather chairs, and their cats instantly put scratches and holes all over everything. It seems ridiculous to pay a premium for leather only to have it instantly destroyed.
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  #24  
Old 06-28-2009, 12:11 AM
Rick Rick is offline
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I suggest dog colored furniture. Works for me anyway.
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  #25  
Old 09-19-2009, 07:52 AM
LIV2THEMAX LIV2THEMAX is offline
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Best upolstery with pets

Hi all,
Thank you for your advise on best furniture upolstery with pets. This has narrowed down my search field considerably. I'm still not sure whether we'll go Leather or microfiber; $$ will probably factor into our decision.
Being a pet owner, may I leave a tip that has helped me with cleaning cat/dog hair? Don't buy expensive roller brushes or pet hair removal items..... slip on a pair of "Platex" gloves and run your hands over the furniture. You'll be SHOCKED at what comes off. Hope it works for all of you.
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  #26  
Old 09-19-2009, 02:05 PM
Countrypolitan Countrypolitan is offline
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I have a microfiber papsan, and the kitties have not clawed it (yet). Dog isn't allowed on the furniture.

Slipcovers are a great investment, too. Cats 1 and 2 like to throw up on everything, so the covers keep the puke off.
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  #27  
Old 09-19-2009, 05:46 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Cats can poke holes in just about anything so I would consider blankets for when you're not using the furniture. Then you can just pull them off and they are clean and hole free. Leather is probably the toughest. Microfiber creates a lot of static electricity in Winter so a humidifier or anti-static spray should be considered. I shut down my desktop twice from touching the mouse after getting up from a microfiber couch.
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  #28  
Old 09-19-2009, 05:54 PM
Superhal Superhal is offline
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In my experience, buy furniture that has sleeves that can be taken off and washed in the washing machine, like futon couches.
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  #29  
Old 09-20-2009, 01:26 PM
Wile E Wile E is offline
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One word: Plastics

Or I would also go with slipcovers, I worry less about hair and more about hairballs or other pet naughtiness, like my cat with dingleberry issues. I like that tarp idea! Also those Pledge pet hair rollers really work well.
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  #30  
Old 09-20-2009, 05:27 PM
Stainz Stainz is offline
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OP - did you buy anything yet?

We needed new living room furniture and decided to try the microfibre - we have a hairy dog (border collie) and a cat who loves to hang onto things with his claws, especially when he is being harassed by the dog.

I'll let you know how it goes - it arrives in a week!
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  #31  
Old 04-24-2013, 08:10 AM
Newleaf Newleaf is offline
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Cats and leather

My neighbor warned me about cats tearing up leather, so I got Naugahyde. Ooops! My cat thinks it's a great place to exercise claws despite a $70 scratching post right beside the furniture. So, goodbye fancy sofa.

I'm recovering some chairs and trying micro suede.
Barbara
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  #32  
Old 04-24-2013, 08:29 AM
6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast 6ImpossibleThingsB4Breakfast is offline
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Zombie skin is best. It's pre-marked, and you can clean it with a fire thrower.
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  #33  
Old 04-24-2013, 11:45 AM
Pixel_Dent Pixel_Dent is offline
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Our cats are perfectly happy to claw our leather furniture. Sadly it's not a solution. I'd good with wood or steel.
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  #34  
Old 04-24-2013, 01:10 PM
The Librarian The Librarian is offline
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My three cats leave my leather chairs and sofa alone. YMMV
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  #35  
Old 04-24-2013, 01:49 PM
perfectparanoia perfectparanoia is offline
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Our solution for scratching cats was twofold:

1. Slip covers.
2. Try scratching the material in the store. If you can get your nails into it, don't buy it.

No scratching has occurred and the occasional cat barf can be cleaned easily.
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  #36  
Old 04-24-2013, 03:31 PM
ThelmaLou ThelmaLou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlondikeGeoff View Post
From my experience with cats, I'd suggest stainless steel.
Or concrete
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  #37  
Old 04-25-2013, 05:05 PM
AnaMen AnaMen is offline
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Everything sticks to microfiber, especially pet hair.
My couch has a removable slipcover that and the cushions sit on top of it and have removable covers. The fabric is all-cotton denim, so the more it gets washed, the softer it gets, like an old pair of jeans. I am really happy at how easy it is to just throw all the covers in the wash.
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  #38  
Old 04-25-2013, 05:54 PM
kunilou kunilou is offline
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What's the best upholstery if you have pets?

Disposable.
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  #39  
Old 04-26-2013, 07:39 AM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnie Luna View Post
.... My cats are not declawed and they haven't destroyed it. They know they are not allowed to use the furniture as a scratching post. ......
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!

Oh wait, you're serious?

In my experience (as a former cat owner who'd have a dozen now except for the whole "you're going to quit breathing if you do that" thing), cats and "not allowed" just means they know they're not allowed to do it **while you're watching**. That said, if you provide nicer things for them to hook their claws in, they don't tend to mess with the other furniture all that much.

By "nicer", of course I mean something solid, that won't fall over and scare the cat, and something that will really let them hook their claws into like a closed-loop carpet. We used to get scrap carpet with very tight loop pile, a 4-foot length of 4x4 wood, and a large square of plywood, fasten the 4x4 to the square, cover the pieces with that carpet, and the cats LOVED it. Had to recover it every year or so as they shredded it, of course.

I don't think a cat would love shredding a leather couch as a first choice, because it's not something they can easily dig their claws into to get a good pull / stretch going on, but I wouldn't absolutely *count* on that.

All that said: if you don't mind that it'll get lots of surface scratches (vs. punctures) with pets, leather can be a great choice.
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  #40  
Old 04-26-2013, 10:36 AM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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My parents had a leather living room set for at least a decade. Stood up nicely to two cats and a large dog.

We bought a futon with a fake leather cover with my bonus last year. No dog here but we have two cats.
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  #41  
Old 04-26-2013, 12:00 PM
Laggard Laggard is offline
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I would do what we do. None of our pets have ever been allowed on furniture.

Just throwing that out as an option.
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