Established in 1980 – Furniture Upholstery, Restoration and Repairs in Penarth, Cardiff, South Wales and surrounding areas

Pets and Your Furniture


Having pets as companions can be a very rewarding experience, but it’s not easy on furniture upholstery. Even the most well-trained dogs cause trouble sometimes, and cats rarely respect furniture rules, so choosing the right upholstery makes your life easier and ensures furnishings are durable and easier to clean.

Possible ways pets can cause damage to your furniture

Dogs and cats can damage upholstery in some ways, and it’s not always on purpose. The simple act of a cat or a dog climbing up on a chair or couch can cause damage including:

  • Scratches
  • Claw marks
  • Pet hair clinging to and woven into upholstery
  • Dirt marks
  • Gouges

Training your pet not to jump up on furniture is an important step in protecting your upholstery, but choosing more pet-friendly fabrics is an ideal way to prevent damage and ensure that your furniture has a longer lifetime.

Good options for pet-friendly upholstery

Ideal types of upholstery fabrics for pet owners include those that are washable, durable, easy to wipe clean, have a pattern or even texture, and possess a tight weave. Darker colours work if your pet has dark hair, but if you own white Persians, your black or navy blue furnishings may soon be as furry as your cats. Good options for pet-friendly Upholstery include:

Leather and vinyl

While it’s true that cat and dog claws can scratch leather or vinyl on occasion, overall, it’s durable enough to stand up to most pets. A bonus is that many pets don’t like being on leather or vinyl furniture, and even if they do, it’s easy to clean with a simple wipe because pet hair doesn’t cling or weave into it. However, if you have a cat that loves to scratch everything, leather or vinyl might not be the best option.

Synthetic fabrics

Synthetic fabrics like microfiber are a good option because they wear well and are low maintenance. Synthetic fabrics are easy to clean with a damp cloth, and removing fur usually, only requires a lint brush. Without any loops in the fabric, your cat’s claws are less likely to catch, and fur doesn’t stick easily. Fabric with a pattern may work better than a solid colour, but avoid fabric that’s heavy texture because your pet may be more tempted to claw it, and their claws can become stuck. Synthetic fabrics also resist stains, water, and bacteria, which is ideal for pet owners who also have children.

Denim and canvas

In casual areas of the home, denim upholstery or a canvas slipcover are rugged, durable choices for pet owners. Neither material attracts pet hair because it has an even, tight weave that also protects against scratches and snags. If a slipcover gets dirty, it’s easy to throw in the laundry and clean.

Upholstery materials that aren’t pet-friendly

Luxurious fabrics are stunning to admire and can dress up an interior, but they’re not the best choices when you own pets. These types of fabrics feature loops and loose weaves that make them prone to snags and challenging to repair. Unless you plan to keep your pet barred from the room, stay away from fabrics such as:

  • Silk – delicate and easy to destroy
  • Velvet – difficult to clean, easy to damage
  • Chenille – durable, soft, and hides dirt, but uneven pile snags cat claws
  • Tweed – pet hair easily embeds in it, claws snag and tear fabric easily, difficult to clean

Finding the best upholstery material for your pet-filled home may take some trial and error as each animal behaves differently, but the suggested option for pet-friendly materials are a good place to start.