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How to Keep Cats From Scratching Leather Furniture

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Cats are, by their nature, scratchers. Scratching helps them stretch back muscles and clean and sharpen their claws, and they’ll use just about anything for it, from the carpet to wooden railings to furniture.

While this is mostly harmless and actually good for your pet, it is a different story when they go after your furniture. That is especially true if it’s expensive leather furniture. You buy that to project an image of sophistication and prosperity, not to give your pet something for your pet to use as a scratching post.

We put together this guide on how to prevent your cat from scratching your leather furniture. Its purpose is to help you and your pet live together in harmony, which includes doing it in a way that is humane to your animal. Because we love our pets, we hope that you get a lot from it.

How to Keep Cats From Scratching Leather Furniture?

Cat sitting on top of leather couch

There are three primary ways to keep a cat from scratching furniture: proper trimming, offering alternatives, and deterrence.

Most of the damage cats do to furniture comes when their nails get long and sharp. If you regularly trim their nails, cats might still scratch but they will lack the sharp points that dig into and damage furniture. Do it once a week, and take care not to trim it too short. That can cause pain to your cat, who might even bleed.

You can also make a scratching post available. They are available at most pet stores and there are plans online if you want to make your own. A good tip is to make it out of something coarse that the cat can shred because they prefer these kinds of scratching posts. Place it someplace where it is easily accessible for the cat and rub it with catnip to make it more attractive.

Not all cats take to scratching posts. Some will still prefer to scratch furniture for whatever reason. Yelling at your cat will only confuse and frighten it. Buying a spray or cat tape is a superior alternative. These are available either online or at pet stores.

Will Cats Scratch Leather Furniture?

cat on top of leather furniture

Some people swear that Siamese cats don’t scratch furniture, but don’t bet your cat’s happiness on it. Scratching is standard cat behavior and is common across all breeds. Cats do it to sharpen and clean their nails and stretch back muscles. Some individual cats don’t scratch furniture, but take care not to conclude all cats of the same breed.

A better question is whether cats will scratch leather furniture.

Cats like scratching coarse materials, because the shredding action is better for their nails. Because leather is a smooth surface that your cat may have trouble gaining traction on, cats are less likely to scratch leather than furniture covered in traditional fabric.

What Repels Cats From Scratching Furniture?

cat sitting next to scratch post

The best way to repel a cat from scratching furniture is to offer it alternatives. It is natural for cats to scratch, so you want them to choose something other than your furniture. A scratching post made of coarse, shreddable materials is a good option.

If you find that your cat doesn’t immediately go for the post, you can train it by rubbing the post with catnip.

Pair a scratching post with protection for the furniture like tape. This two-sided tape will create an adhesive layer on your furniture that will cause an uncomfortable sensation in your cat’s paws when it scratches.

Remember, this is natural behavior. Your cat isn’t trying to antagonize you. React with patience and love, not anger.

DIY Methods and Any Products That Can Help With Cats Scratching Furniture

spray bottle being sprayed

For a long time, the go-to DIY method was filling a spray bottle with water and soaking the animal every time it did something naughty. We’ve since learned that this isn’t effective because cats don’t connect behavior with punishment. So, it just stresses the cat out.

You can use a spray bottle if you use it as a repellent on the furniture. Add several drops of lemon or orange essential oils to the water. Cats dislike citrus. Rather than spraying your cat with this, however, you will spray it on the area where your cat likes to scratch.

As an alternative, there are products available on Amazon. You can try everything from tape that causes an uncomfortable sensation when cats try to scratch it to shields for your furniture to specialized cat repellent spray.

If you buy a spray, make sure it is compatible with your particular couch by checking the care tag against the spray’s use instructions. Because it’s leather, if you use the wrong thing, you might stain your furniture.

Best Ways to Keep Cats Off of Leather Couches & Furniture

cat laying on top of comfortable couch by window

There are a lot of reasons why a cat will get onto furniture, which invariably leads to them scratching. If you address those reasons, you’ll go a long way to keeping your cat off your couch.

Make sure your furniture isn’t up against a window. Cats love furniture that can give them a view, and if it’s pushed up against where a window is, your cat will love to sit on it while checking out what’s happening in the neighborhood.

You can also keep the blinds drawn to get rid of the view, and remove blankets and throw pillows when not in use. Cats love to get comfortable, especially in winter.

Consumer products like repellent sprays, two-sided cat tape, or a clicker can help you keep cats off furniture, too. A clicker is an aid that gradually trains your cat to obey voice commands. If you go that route, talk to your veterinarian about setting up a training routine.

Why You Shouldn’t Declaw Kittens to Keep Furniture Safe

close up for cats claws

You might be tempted to address this at its source, by removing your kitten’s claws. This used to be a popular way to remedy cat scratching problems. But, it’s fallen out of favor as people have come to realize that it’s an inhumane way to treat animals.

Declawing a kitten is major elective surgery. Most major veterinary groups regard it as a last-gasp option, taken only when no other option exists and the alternative is an owner who plans to have the animal euthanized. It’s also illegal in some countries.

Although techniques have improved over the year to make the surgery less painful for an animal recovering from it, it still involves cutting away a part of the animal’s body. It could also involve a post-surgery infection, a risk to any kind of medical procedure.

A final reason is that a cat’s claws are its first line of defense against its enemies: other cats, dogs, and neighborhood animals like raccoons. If you get your cat declawed, it becomes an inside cat because it can’t defend itself.


There are some pretty simple ways you can prevent your cat from scratching your leather furniture, simple and also safe for your pet. Your leather furniture is important to you, but your pets are even more important.

In general, the best way is to keep your cat’s nails trimmed up so even if it does scratch at your couch it won’t damage it. This is a much better solution than declawing it, which can cause it a lot of pain and will leave it vulnerable if it gets outside. If that doesn’t work, we’ve included some additional steps you can take.

We hope you found some useful advice here. If you did, we’d invite you to leave a comment below or even share a link to this on your social media networks. We’d love to see the word spread on how to protect your animals and your furniture.

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