Cute, cuddly and feisty, cats make a great addition to the family and give people that much-needed companionship. But, they are well-known for scratching. While scratching is perfectly normal behaviour for a cat, it can cause some serious damage to your furniture.
Isolated rips, tears and snags in upholstery, scratches on leather, we understand how frustrating it can be to witness your pet damage your sofa. This is why, at Swyft, we’ve made sure our sofas are as pet-friendly as possible. And, we’ve created this guide to help you protect your sofa from cat scratches and try to prevent any future damages.
Why Does my Cat Scratch Furniture?
For cats, scratching helps to exercise the muscles in their front legs and spines to keep them fit. It also loosens and removes the outer part of the claw to reveal the sharper surface underneath. When in a playful mood, cats can start to scratch frantically to get their owners attention. If you notice your cat is scratching furniture or the carpet excessively, particularly during a time of change in the household, either a new baby, a new animal or a move, then it could be a sign of stress and anxiety.
So, while you may think cats scratch just because they feel like it or to be annoying, there are actually a number of very valid reasons behind it and they shouldn’t be punished for something completely natural to them.
How do you Fix Cat Scratches on a Sofa?
When it comes to fixing cat scratches on a sofa, first of all, you’ll need to assess the damage. Take note of all the areas that have been scratched and how severe it is. Oftentimes, scratches look a lot worse than they actually are so don’t panic too much. However, the more the cat has scratched at the fabric, the more likely the scratches will turn into snags which can then result in rips and holes. So, it’s important to tackle the problem earlier to prevent this.
Of course, reupholstering your fabric sofa is always an option, albeit an expensive and time-consuming one. Instead, if the scratches aren’t severe and are on the sofa cushions, try covering the area with a throw or even a slipcover if possible. You can also cover the damaged area with decorative scatter cushions. Not only will this hide the scratches, but it may also help to prevent them from scratching at it at all with the extra fabrics. Plus, dressing your sofa is a great way to inject some personality and enhance the look and the comfort of the piece. If the damage is on the arms or legs, then reupholstering just those areas is likely the best solution for you.
Discovered a rip in the sofa? Usually, this happens when a cat has snagged the fabric and continued to scratch at it, causing a rip. Thankfully, it’s mendable with just a needle and thread. If the rip is bad enough that some of the filling has come loose or been destroyed, it’s easy to buy extra fabric such as quilt batting or polyester fiberfill to stuff the cushions. Or you can entirely replace the sofa cushions yourself with foam. Read our sofa replacement cushion guide for more information on how to do this properly. Once the filling has been restored, fold the edge of the rip in so that the frayed parts are neatly tucked away. This will help to prevent further fraying and your cat won’t see the enticing strands either. Then, pinch the two edges together and carefully stitch them using small, close stitches and close with a strong knot.
If the tear is larger than a needle and thread can fix, you can always try a patch repair. This requires you to cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than the hole from an area of the sofa that can’t usually be seen. Then, slide the new piece of fabric underneath the torn piece and pin it in place. Use fabric glue on top of the patch and around the edge of the tear, then gently stick the torn flap to the patch. Make sure you smooth it down so as not to create any air bubbles! Once the glue has dried, just remove the pins and you’re good to go.
How Can I Get My Cat to Stop Scratching the Sofa?
Now that you’ve successfully managed to hide or repair the scratches and tears, you’ll no doubt want to do something to stop your cat from scratching the sofa again and direct them to somewhere else. Here are some of our top tips to help:
- Provide a proper scratching post nearby - alternative scratching surfaces such as posts and boards are easily available in any pet store and provide a solid, rigid area they can scratch their claws on. You can also buy a multi-level piece of cat furniture to allow them to climb, scratch, perch and even sleep on in a fun and safe way. If you don’t have enough room for these items, then flat panels with a rough surface that can be fixed to walls are also a great option.
- Put double-sided sticky tape on the areas your cat likes to scratch the most - this is a more extreme measure but it is effective. Placing double-sided sticky tape on the areas your cat tends to scratch will eventually discourage them from using it when their paws stick to the surface. Of course, do make sure that the tape isn’t too sticky as this could be harmful to your cat.
- Clean the damaged area to remove their scent - cats tend to stick to the same spot because their scent is already there, making it a more comforting place for them. By cleaning the damaged area and washing away their pheromones immediately, they’ll be less likely to revisit that spot
- Buy a citrus-scented spray - there are many safe cat scratching deterrents available that can be sprayed on the area to prevent them from going near it. Typically citrus-based scents are the most effective as they seem to really repulse cats.
How are Swyft Sofas Cat Scratch Proof?
Wondering what makes our sofas cat scratch proof? Well, we use industry-leading, stain-free technology from FibreGuard fabrics. This means that no matter what your cat brings in, from mud to other unpleasant ‘gifts’, any and all stains will lift easily. Plus, our sofa cushions are made from a dual-layered foam and polyester fibre blend which makes them extra durable and able to withstand cat scratches.
We fully believe in the quality of our sofas which is why we offer a 15-year frame warranty and a 2-year fabric guarantee so if anything does go wrong you can count on us to put it right.
Not sure how long your sofa should last? We’ve got you covered. Have a read of our sofa lifespan guide to learn how to know when it’s time to replace your sofa.