Cats and Leather Furniture

We’re thinking about getting a cat, but we have a leather furniture set and my wife is concerned that if the cat jumps off the leather furniture, it will have to sink it’s claws and scratch the furniture. I know there are plenty of cat people here on the Dope. Is this true? Is it a problem? Are there easy solutions?

Here’s my experience though it is the opposite of yours. I had the cats first and then bought the leather furniture.

The cats are not only disinterested in the furniture but actually seem to avoid it. I imagine the new leather smell must be off-putting to them.

With your furniture being there already and mixed in with your household scent it may be a different outcome.

We do leave a small cat blankie which matches the room in the most inviting chair but kitties don’t seem attracted to it.

Some cats are better than others about scratching furniture. One of mine never scratches inappropriately, but with the other one it’s a constant battle. I definitely would not get leather furniture with my scratcher cat in the house. She seems to really enjoy scratching certain textures and having seen her go after a cheap office chair I can definitely imagine her taking great pleasure in feeling leather rip under her claws.

While declawing is very controversial and nowadays most people would not recommend doing it to a cat, you could look for an adult cat that is already declawed. They show up in shelters pretty regularly.

I used to have Siamese cats years ago. When I saw this thread title, I was thinking how my cats would have torn the crap out of the vertical parts of the leather furniture with their claws. They never hurt the furniture otherwise, nor did they ever puncture the waterbed when playing on it.

I believe they have spray now that repels cats from furniture that might work. That and a big scratching post for them to tear apart would be recommended.

We have a set of leather furniture, and our cat has never bothered it. She’s a good cat and came to us as a well-trained adult, though. Also, her scratching post is right there.

In my experience, it’s not the leather parts that cats enjoy scratching. It’s the softer vinyl that they generally upholster the sides and back of the chair with, that the cats seem to prefer. My cats, at least, might accidentally scratch the leather a bit when jumping down or up, but they’ll seek out the vinyl for recreational scratching.

You should also keep in mind, a cat doesn’t have to be a scratcher to hurt a leather sofa. I know that when my cats get rambunctuous, they run through the house, claws extended and jumping on and off stuff. In the process the claws will poke into the fabric. In my experience, the basic rule of thumb for cats and furniture is to not have either one in the house at the same time unless you’re willing to have the furniture scratched up or willing to get rid of the cat over it.

What **Angelsoft **said. My cats never scratched the leather deliberately, but they often did so inadvertently during “launch.”

My cats have all gone for other textures, and they leave the leather alone. The damage they’ve done to leather has been from their crazed running and leaping sprees.

We have committed scratchers in our home.

They are ignoring new leather furniture. For the new fabric set in the family room, we have placed sisal rope scratching posts at each exposed corner and a sisal mat in the middle.

So far those deflectors have worked and they are no longer scratching furniture - after destroying the previous stuff.

This. Mine never intentionally scratched the leather loveseat, but they did do a lot of damage launching from it and running over it.

We have two cats, that have been with us for many years, and a leather furniture set that we’ve only had for a couple months. We’ve had no problems so far.

Jumping on/off the furniture seems to have no impact whatsoever on the furniture, and neither cat has shown any interest in scratching the leather. They do still sometimes scratch at the canvas slipcovered chair in the family room, but for the most part they confine that activity to the new ‘cat condo’ that we bought them.

this is brilliant!!!

(except that my cats don’t have thumbs…what about yours?) :slight_smile:

From the other side, I have a cat who lives to scratch vinyl/leather furniture. Our other cat doesn’t bother it. Our vinyl couch is shredded - we probably won’t be getting any other leather or vinyl furniture while she’s still around.

Lol my mistake. I meant to put ‘expensive’ furniture. Though I’m sure living in a house with just cats and nothing else, while free of the stress of having the furniture get ruined, might be a bit uncomfortable.

My mother’s take on this was, “You can live graciously, or with cats.”

(We had some very nice furniture - covered with old towels.)

Thank you for all the responses. Yes, the concern was the cat might damage the leather furniture when “launching”. Deliberately clawing I think we can dissuade.

It’s true. It IS a problem. I’m not aware of any easy solutions.

I’ve rubbed leather conditioner on one chair that those little furry mofos seem to like the most, and it does look a bit better, but of course it still has pock-marks everywhere.

But I also have two young kids, so I’ve just come to regard furniture/rugs/etc. as disposable until the big house scoop-out-and-replace day comes in 5 years or so.

Our kitteh clawed the leather chair but didn’t rip huge gashes in it - just little pricks. It’s heavy leather, though. Discount store type leather could get pretty ripped up.

Our cats don’t scratch our (crappy, cheap) leather sofa on purpose, but they occasionally do when one misjudges the distance when it’s trying to jump onto it and it ends up scrabbling for purchase. They’re superficial scratches, not tears or holes.

We have a nicer leather couch elsewhere, and as far as I know our cats have never touched it; we rarely sit on it, so there’s no attention seeking to be done there.