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Cats and leather couches

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
We're considering getting a cat. We have some nice, brand new leather couches, though, and we don't want them to get ruined. Any advice?

Thanks in advance. - Jeff
post #2 of 14
Most cats don't like leather to claw. but you could cover them temporary with a sheet of plastic to see if they show any interest.

What you need is a good sturdy 4 feet or higher scratching post with shelves, beds, etc. built in. Put the treehouse near a window for your cat to enjoy bird watching.

If you get a kitten that is 10-14 weeks old from a good breeder then they should already be trained where to scratch and should be used to having nails trimmed. You will have to establish a routine grooming that included nail trims once a week and clip as needed. Please do NOT declaw your cat to save your furniture. If you considered this option, then don't get a cat or adopt one that already has been declawed. We don't advocate declawling cats.

You might want to adopt an older cat 1-2 yrs old from a shelter. They usually have been housetrained for the most part.

Are you looking into shelter adoption or from a breeder?
post #3 of 14
We only buy leather furniture due to kitty claws, so you may not have any problem. Leather doesn't seem to be attractive to most cats. Make sure you offer alternatives in the form of scratching posts/boards/trees/mats. You might want to put some throws over the backs of the couches, as kitties seem to love to run across them, and might inadvertently leave scratches that way.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the detailed reply! I really appreciate it. We are looking to adopt a at from here:


It's the calico cat located here:

Looks like Annie is about 10-11 months old, and the shelter said she is housetrained.

Thanks again!! - Jeff
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
My wife is still a little concerned that the cat will get up on the leather couch, and as it jumps/leaps off, it'll dig its claws into the couch. What do you think?
post #6 of 14
Originally Posted by jeam97 View Post
My wife is still a little concerned that the cat will get up on the leather couch, and as it jumps/leaps off, it'll dig its claws into the couch. What do you think?
It's a possibility, or even if the cat runs across the couch while playing.They don't always have perfect control of their back claws. You can use a product called soft claws, these glue over the nails. If you're really worried you could train the cat to stay off of the furniture.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you! You guys are awesome. I really appreciate the responses. -Jeff
post #8 of 14
I had a cat who did claw leather.
Let's just say my very expensive leather coat is now only a fond memory
Hubby did buy me another one, but this one gets hung up in the closet the second I take it off.

The best way I've found to stop a cat from clawing something you don't want it to claw is, when you see the cat starting to go after something clap your hands and say "NO" very loudly and firmly.
Then take them to the scratching post and show them how to use it..sort of take their little paws and move them on the post.

With the four cats we have now that's how we trained them to only scratch the post.
Gracie only had to be shown once, Lizzie a few times, Elliott maybe three or four...Annabelle took a couple of weeks but she got the hang of it also.

Good luck with the new kitty and the new couch!
post #9 of 14
I don't know how well the soft claws work. We've never used them here. We have leather furniture.. we got it second hand in excellent condition rather than spending a fortune on new leather .. mostly because we already had cats and were not sure how they'd adapt to it. Mostly, they've done just fine. There are a few marks from them zipping across it, and I once had a notorius clawing kitty.. who has put a few marks in it since (only when her clawing boards are decimated and I've not been prompt in replacing them).

We've had the furniture for just about two years and have very few marks in it, which we're actually considering buying new when this is toast. It's still in good shape, though.
post #10 of 14
A cat's hind claws are not going to gouge furniture like a dog's would, but they could possibly scratch the surface or make indentations. I depends on how fragile your leather is. A cat will probably not do more harm than car keys or jewelry will.

(That said, I've known at least thre cats who adored clawing leather.)

If that calico has been living with a foster family, then you should try to talk with them about her clawing habits before you adopt her.

She's still pretty young, though. I would repeat the idea to adopt an older, long-ago-declawed cat. A lot of them need homes too, and it would be tragic if you decided to return or declaw the calico for the sake of the furniture.
post #11 of 14
I love Annie - she's really pretty. You shouldn't have any problems with a full grown cat and the couch. Young kittens would be more of a concern as they are not good at jumping from the floor up higher and most time kinda "scramble" up the sides till they are bigger. That's where the damage comes from.

But a full grown cat should be able to jump from floor to sofa and off again without putting any claws out. If you startle her she might do it, but not normally.

Hope she works out for you

BTW 10-11 months old is a perfect age - she's still a kitten but a little more settled.
post #12 of 14
I would keep throw blankets across the back of the couches just in case. Our kitties love to walk across the back of our couches, or sleep on the backs of our couches. I can see how if they were to jump off, it could leave a mark, depending upon the leather. Cats are usually gentle creatures, so even if you clip her claws (which you should do), unless it's really fragile leather it shouldn't be a problem.

But we use the throw blankets because it's easier to wash them every week rather than vacuum the couch - but that's for us non-leather folks. (They're also easy to fold up and tuck away when visitors arrive ).

With plenty of scratching alternatives, there shouldn't be a problem. Also bear in mind that kitties love to stretch and scratch (scratching is often part of stretching) when they wake up. So placing scratching mats, posts, pads, whatever, near where kitty takes to napping will also help.

I really hope you adopt that doll - and if you have any other questions, TCS is here!

post #13 of 14
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Young kittens would be more of a concern as they are not good at jumping from the floor up higher and most time kinda "scramble" up the sides till they are bigger. That's where the damage comes from.
This is the only problem I've had with my leather couch. When I first got my kittens at 5 months they weren't great jumpers, so to get up on to my couch they had to do a little scramble and so left claw marks. Now that they're better jumpers I don't see any additional damage.

My mom has a very nice, delicate leather couch and two cats. I can count the number of marks on it with one hand. Once incident happened when one of the cats was just new and got scared by the dog, so she put her claws into the couch.

I guess you (or your wife) just needs to ask yourself which is more important: the cat or the furniture. I understand that you don't want the little critter ruining all your things, but will the pleasure you get from the animal outweigh any damage they might do? I'm a bit annoyed about the scratches on my couch, but I'd rather have my house demolished and have my two kitties, than have a perfect place and no animals.
post #14 of 14
Our cats don't bother our leather sofas. They tried to stretch on them when we first got them (and left little tiny holes), but have only slept on them since.

They really like the wool throws we keep on the sofas.
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