Will Cats Scratch Leather Furniture & How to Save It?

If you’re a cat parent who also loves your furniture, this is likely a common cause of stress. Cats are scratchers, it’s in their instincts. If you plan on purchasing a new couch, it’s important to know will cats scratch leather furniture.

Truth is, cats will scratch almost anything. Leather or not, they’ll put their claws into it. So, instead of wondering will cats scratch leather sofa, you should do what you can to protect it.

Here is some information you might find interesting, as well as what you can do to keep your furniture safe.

Why Do Cats Scratch Furniture?


Will cats scratch leather sofas and couches? They most certainly will!

In most cases, the material of furniture doesn’t matter to them. Some fabrics feel nice to them, and they’ll gladly mark an entire side of your new leather chair. But why do cats do that? There are a few reasons.

  • To keep their claws healthy. Scratching will help them shed the outer nail husk when needed. This will ensure the health of their claws.
  • To stretch. Scratching can also be mild exercise. It will provide much-needed stretching for the cat’s entire body.
  • To mark. Paws contain scent glands, and one way to release marking odors is by scratching things. This is how cats communicate and mark their territory. Even if you have only one cat in your house, this won’t stop her instincts.
  • To feel good. It’s as simple as that. Scratching makes the cat feel good. It relieves them from stress and decreases the chances of unwanted behavior.

As you can conclude from this, cats need to scratch. This isn’t some spoiled behavior you can forbid them from doing. In fact, you should encourage your cat to scratch by giving her plenty of scratching surfaces. Just make sure she has enough of the appropriate things to scratch, especially if you want to save your leather furniture. [1]

Can I Stop My Cat from Scratching Leather?


The good news is that you can train your cat to stop touching your leather furniture. In fact, you can likely do so in just a few quick steps! We’ll explain what you can do to keep your sofa safe. Then, you’ll no longer have to wonder will cats scratch leather pieces of furniture in your home. Let’s begin!

Step one

The first thing you need to do is to purchase several scratching posts, as well as some interactive cat toys. While scratching posts will give your cat an option besides your furniture, toys are essential for taking away excess energy.

This is why such items are crucial for any cat owner. Also, you have to find a scratching post made from a material that your cat will love. If you get her a post that she isn’t fond of, she won’t use it.

So, what kind of material do cats like to scratch?

Sadly, this is individual, and you probably won’t get the answer until you try it. Some cats prefer wool. Others love wooden materials. Some even prefer – you’ve guessed it – leather. There is no way to know it.

But most cats won’t have any issue sharpening their claws on your new leather couch. In fact, other than leather, some of the materials cats prefer are:

  • Canvas
  • Chenille fabric
  • Corduroy
  • Linen
  • Woven tapestry materials

This is why finding the right scratching post is essential. Your feline has to prefer the post over your sofa. If she doesn’t, you’ve wasted money for nothing. She’ll still take it all out on your brand new leather.

Step two

Once you’ve found the right scratching posts, it’s time for their placement. This has to be done strategically. If the scratching post is on the wrong spot, your cat will ignore it. Good locations can be:

  • Right next to the furniture she usually scratches
  • In the place where she typically hangs out
  • Near her regular sleeping area

Most cats would love something to scratch right after they wake up from a nap. Also, if it’s near her reach, she won’t resist scratching it. This takes up much less time for her than having to walk to the other part of the room.

Remember what we’ve said about cats scratching to mark their territory? This is why you should never place her scratching post in a secluded corner. She won’t have any interest in it if it isn’t in a place that can help her scent spread around.

Praise your cat when you see her investigating the new post. Maybe even give her some pet treat, if she likes them. This will encourage her to dedicate more time to the post than to the furniture.

Step three

Now, you have to make the sofa seem like a bad place to scratch. There are several ways to accomplish this, and we’ll count on some.

If you don’t plan on having any guests over for a few days, you can use the sheet method. Tuck a sheet around the area of the couch your cat loves scratching.

Make sure everything is tight, so your cat can’t untuck it or go under it. While this doesn’t look pretty, it will do the job, and your cat might just forget about the sofa.

There are more choices on what to put on a leather couch to stop cat scratching. You can use aluminum foil or double-sided tape, as well. However, if your cat does attempt to get through them, this can be noisy.

A persistent cat might even scratch through the foil or bite off pieces of it. This can even cause her to choke on tiny pieces. However, most cats hate the foil, so they won’t come near it.

If the cover manages to stay for long enough, your feline will soon find a new place to scratch. Hopefully, this will be the scratching post and not another sofa.

There is also furniture made from cat-proof upholstery fabric. These materials are usually:

  • Microfiber– a soft and smooth upholstery fabric that cats dislike. Their claws don’t have anything to catch on, so they’ll leave it alone. Cats don’t have any benefits from scratching them. In fact, you can even find a cat scratch guard for leather couch made from microfiber. You put it over the existing furniture, and your cat will most likely refuse to touch it.
  • Fauxsuede – this material is similar to microfiber, as it’s also smooth and won’t attract your cats. The biggest difference is that the faux suede looks much more luxurious compared to regular microfiber. If you purchase faux suede covers, your furniture will look posh, and stay scratch-free. Another benefit of faux suede is that it is easy to clean. This will make cleaning cat hair much easier, as well.

Cats love fabrics with a coarse texture, and, as you can notice, both of these materials are anything but. This makes them great cat claw repellents.

Step four

Now your cat has no other thing to scratch but her scratching post. If she doesn’t, try getting her more interested in it. You can do that by spraying the post with catnip or honeysuckle. This will draw the cat’s attention and chances are she’ll prefer it over some other spots.

You can also use some cat toys to draw the cat towards the post. Wand toys are great for this, as you can lead your cat to the object of interest.

Often, this will help the cat “discover” the scratching post and its texture, making her like it more. Soon after, she’ll come to it more and more until it becomes her scratching place.

Step five

Will cats scratch leather furniture even after they have plenty of scratching posts? Sometimes, but this will happen less and less. If she is persistent, you shouldn’t lose hope. Still, if you don’t find adequate furniture protection from cats, a leather sofa is doomed.

You might try a calming pheromone spray or a diffuser, such as Feliway. Feliway imitates the feline facial pheromone that helps the cat feel calmer. Many cats scratch things when they are feeling stressed out, and this is a good thing to help them.

Just spray it on the area your feline usually hangs out in, or plug it somewhere in that room. Keep directing her towards the scratching post, and praise her when she uses it.

Will Cats Scratch Leather Sofa That Is New?


If you bring a new piece of furniture into your house, your cat will have to inspect it. Chances are she’ll find out that the leather feels really good under her nails. This is why it’s very important to protect any new piece of furniture and make it unattractive to cats.

Repeat some of the steps above for every new leather couch or sofa you get. It will take a few days up to a week before your mischievous companion forgets about it and loses interest. Use whatever method that has previously worked the best for you and your cat.

Add new scratching posts from time to time, just to ensure she constantly has new things that keep her attention. Cats love for you to entertain them all the time, so you have to think in advance.

Should You Declaw?


Now that you know will cats scratch leather sofa, you’re probably considering declawing them. This sounds like an easy solution for saving your furniture, right?

While declawing does stop cats from scratching, you should never declaw your cat. [2]

Declawing isn’t just cutting a cat’s nails off. It’s amputation of the cat’s digits, all the way up to the first joint. This is a painful procedure that has many possible complications for your cat.

These complications can happen long after surgery, and you never know when the effects will become visible. Declawing can change the way your feline walks, keeps her balance, and even interact with the world around her.


If you must, take her to the vet who can trim her nails and do so every few weeks. This is a much more humane option to declawing, which will hurt your cat one way or another. In fact, most vets today will refuse to declaw your cat, as they understand how this procedure is harmful.

Another solution could be to use cat claw coverings. These coverings are made from a thin material, usually vinyl, which you can put over cat claws. This saves any surface she tries to scratch from damage. Just make sure any coverings you find are non-toxic.

Read Also: Can I Put Vaseline On My Cat Bum

Bottom Line

It’s in cats’ instinct to scratch on things. Will cats scratch leather furniture even after all your attempts to stop them? Some will, but most cats can be trained what not to do, no matter what you’ve heard.

You just have to prove that you are more stubborn and persistent than your feline. If you manage to do that, you can enjoy your pretty interior as well as your fluffy friend.