Will Cats Scratch Faux Leather?

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Cats have a natural habit to claw things that they like, so saving your faux leather sofas or other pieces of furniture could be a difficult task.  Still, cats can be great buddies who can provide you a lifetime of love and warmth. They may look innocent but can be destructive for your furniture.

Yes, cats will scratch faux leather.  This does not apply to all cats, but some cats will scratch faux leather.  Scratches on faux leather may not be visible initially but will be visible over time as your cat continues to scratch the furniture.  

But if you have the right knowledge on which fabric to choose for your furniture you can save yourself much time and money, and let’s face it that is really beneficial!  So, what’s the cat-friendly material that you should buy? Is it faux leather or some other fabric?  Let’s go through this detailed article to find the right fabric for your furniture.

If you wonder what the best products are for your cat, check out this article that will break down all my recommendations for you: Things To Buy For A Cat Right Now!

Video:  Will Cats Scratch Faux Leather

Cats and Faux Leather

Faux leather is a cat-friendly material that many cat owners prefer to use due to its numerous benefits and can be easily cleaned with dry cloth. Faux leather’s benefits are described in this article in detail. But if your faux leather furniture catches the eyes of your cat you cannot save it anymore. Your furry friend may channel her hunting instincts and start scratching it like she does anything else.

The scratches might not get visible very soon but after a few attempts, they will become noticeable. Real leather is more resistant to scratches than faux leather but as the cat continues scratching, marks will become visible on it as well. As leather is expensive, people sometimes prefer to go for faux leather that will give their furniture an elegant look just like real leather gives but at an affordable price.

Not all cats scratch faux leather and if you train those who scratch it you can save your furniture from getting ruined. Mostly, cats prefer materials like silk, velvet, chenille, cotton, and wool. Some of these materials (wool, velvet) give them a feeling of warmth so they like scratching or playing with them.

It is in the nature of cats to scratch things. You cannot remove it from their nature but you can try to train them not to scratch your furniture and use scratching posts instead.  You may also want to try certain sprays that your cat may not like the smell of or double-sided tape.

What is Faux Leather?

Faux leather is also known as synthetic or artificial leather. It is used as an alternative to real leather in chairs, or sofa upholstery, clothing, and footwear. It has a genuine leather-like appearance which often makes finding the difference between real and artificial leather difficult for most people.

Two primary materials that are used for its manufacture are polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU). Both types of faux leather are used for different purposes. PU leather is softer and more breathable as compared to PVC leather and due to this it is mostly used for upholstery and clothing.

On the other hand, PVC leather is less breathable, harder to clean, and a bit stiffer due to which it is mostly used for making book coverings, etc. It is also considered bad for the environment and human health as it produces toxic chemicals.

The Difference Between Faux Leather and Real Leather

Visually there is only a little difference between real leather and faux leather. So before making a purchase make sure you know which one is real and which one is artificial. Faux leather is made up of man-made chemicals while real leather is made up of organic materials such as animal hides.

The main difference between these two types of material is that real leather has a unique appearance. As it is made up of hides and no two hides can be the same. So real leather has varying pore sizes and different marks. Faux leather has no such thing – there is a uniform distribution of pores as they are made synthetically. Real leather also has a rich appearance and smell.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Faux Leather

Faux leather can be used in different ways for variable purposes. It has multiple benefits as well as a few drawbacks. Let’s go through its advantages and disadvantages to understand them equally.

Benefits of Faux Leather

You can buy faux leather at a relatively low price as compared to real leather. It will be similar to genuine leather appearance-wise so if you have a low budget then it is a good option to give a real leather feel at an affordable price.

It is easy to clean faux leather so you will not have to worry about your cat’s fur too much. Food or liquid stains can also be removed with a washcloth and warm water easily. It is liquid-resistant so it will not become stiff or crackdown when washed with water.

As faux leather is a man-made product, it is accessible in the market in different shades. You can pick any color of your choice and get the same themed furniture in your room or house.

It is manufactured in industries with chemicals, not with animal skin. You can have a peaceful rest on your sofa when you know that it is cruelty-free, and no animal was harmed to make it.

It is possible to have faux leather furniture and have cats and keep your furniture nice.  As the owner of faux leather and cats though, you will have to do what you can to keep your cat from scratching the material.

Problems with Faux Leather

In real leather natural fibers are interwoven with each other very strongly as compared to the man-made fibers which makes artificial leather less durable and tough. Faux leather’s color also fades, and it cracks with time.

Although it is less appealing to cats, they can still scratch it and damage its surface. No type of faux leather is scratch-resistant.

It can be made up of toxic chemicals that can harm humans and the environment in several ways. The use of plastic or plastic related products should be avoided to protect yourself from any harm.

Why Do Cats Scratch Furniture?

Photo by Clare Chester at Unsplash.

Scratching furniture is an instinct behavior of cats that they exhibit due to numerous reasons. Here are the reasons that cause cats to scratch and ruin furniture at home:

  • Cats stretch their bodies very gracefully. They do it more often when they wake up from sleep in the morning or after any of their naps. They scratch with their claws while stretching which is a part of their grooming routine to get their paws moving and active again.
  • Any animal with claws would certainly like to keep their claws in perfect shape, decent length, and good health. When cats are kept indoors, they develop a habit to sharpen their claws on nubby textures like that of sofas, carpets, etc. as they don’t have easy access to tree trunks. This way they remove dirt and dead outer layers of their claws. This is also why scratch posts are so important for cats.
  • When cats scratch furniture they do not only leave their claw marks behind but also the pheromones produced by glands present in their paws. Through these marks and pheromones, they mark their territory to tell other cats “Hey buddy, I am here. This territory is occupied.”
  • Cats also love scratching when they need an emotional release either due to over-excitement, stress, or anxiety.

Cats do scratch for one reason or another, but they don’t know how destructive this habit could be for a faux leather sofa. A better choice is to use the materials in the below segment that don’t attract cats or to be assertive about the use of scratching posts, double-sided tape, and sprays that cats do not like.

Alternative Materials to Faux Leather for Cats

You can use faux leather for your furniture as only a few cats like scratching it. But if you still want to look for alternative materials because your cat is damaging your faux leather, then here are some alternative materials.


Cats will attack any material that is loose weave. So what makes microfiber one of the right choices for your furniture is that its weaves are tight. If your cat tries to scratch microfiber its claws will not sink in easily or will not get stuck. All in all, if you take care of the length of your cat’s claws this fabric can survive your cat’s attacks.

As it is a dense material, cats will less likely get attracted to it. It does not resist water like the faux leather does. Also, it catches cat fur easily so you will have to clean it more often. To remove cat fur, you can use a lint roller or vacuum.

Denim Fabric

Denim is known for being durable and easy to maintain or clean. Though it is more casual and may not suit well in a fancy room, you can use it for furniture. Stains can be easily cleaned with the help of warm water and a washcloth. Cat fur does not stick to it as much as they do to microfibers, but you can use a vacuum to remove them anytime.

Synthetic Materials 

Synthetic materials such as nylon, acrylic, and polyesters are a good choice for cat owners if they are looking for durable materials at a reasonable price. These materials can be easily cleaned, and cat fur can be removed with a dry cloth. They come in a variety of colors and designs.

Acrylic fabric will give you a feel of wool with its softness. It is resistant to fading. Nylon is another cat-friendly material that is less expensive and resists stains (other than oil-based stains).


You can share your home and furniture with your furry friend without any nervousness if you have made a smart choice about fabric. No fabric is 100% scratch resistant but you can prevent damage if you have this valuable information about the right choice of fabric.

To save your furniture from the attack of cats you can also try cat scratching posts, double-sided tape, and sprays that cats do not like as alternatives.

If you liked this article, check out a couple of other great articles:

Here are some of my favorite cat products

In addition to checking out some other More Meows articles, I hope you’ll check out some of my favorite cat products as well.  These are affiliate links, so if you end up using them, I’ll get a commission at no extra cost to you.  These are the products I really do find most helpful.

Litter Box:  I started out with normal, traditional litter boxes for my cat.  Then, I tried this automatic litter box on Amazon (affiliate link), which helped reduce the litter upkeep.  Finally, I am now a believer in the Litter-Robot 3 Connect on Amazon (affiliate link).  This robotic litter box is not for everyone based on the price tag, but for me the benefits (very little upkeep, works efficiently, clean, mobile app) far outweighed the cost. 

My Cat’s Litter-Robot 3 Connect (with night light on) – See the link above the photo!

Cat Tree:  I have purchased a couple of this Amazon Basics Cat Tree on Amazon (affiliate link).  My cat spends a lot of time on and around this cat tree, which I position near my sofa.  She uses the scratching posts on this cat tree multiple times a day, which means she is not scratching the sofa instead.

Cat Water Fountain:  I love this cat water fountain on Amazon (affiliate link).  There are three main benefits to having a water fountain like this for your cat.  The first benefit is that it keeps water running so that your cat doesn’t need to drink still water.  The second benefit is that it filters the water.  The third benefit is that it will keep your cat hydrated!

Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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