How to protect leather furniture from cat claws

Updated November 21, 2016

Cat claws can seriously damage expensive leather furniture. Scratches are not only hard to fix, but they ruin the aesthetics of your decor. Most cats will scratch because their paws have scent glands that leave a scent to mark their territory. Because cats are very territorial, you may see their scratching behaviour elevate when you bring a new cat into the house or when there is a stray cat near the home. Protect your leather from cat claws to save yourself time and money on repairs.

Trim your cat's claws. Indoor cats will need to have their nails trimmed more often than outdoor cats. Specially made cat nail clippers are available at most pet stores. You may need to have someone hold your pet because cats generally do not like to have their nails trimmed even though it does not hurt them.

Give your cat a scratching post. Purchase a scratching post made from a fibrous material that will file down the cat's claws. Sprinkle cat nip on the scratching post, and set it near the leather furniture to give the cat a more preferable option.

Apply vinyl caps to your cat's nails. These caps are lightweight and fit over the nails to prevent the cat from causing serious damage to leather furniture. To apply, fill the cap with the glue that comes with the product, and slip the caps over the cat's nails. Hold your cat for a few minutes to allow the glue to dry. The cap will naturally grow off the nail, but you can apply more caps.

Spray a cat deterrent spray around the area. The spray will not harm the cat when it licks it but will leave a bitter taste in its mouth that will keep it away from certain areas.

Play with your cat. Your cat may be scratching up leather furniture as a way to get attention. Give your cat plenty of exercise, especially if it is an indoor cat. Keep toys around the house, and change the toys frequently so the cat won't get bored.


Train cats when they are young to use a scratching post, because it is very difficult to change the behaviours of an older cat.


Avoid cutting into your animal's pink tissue above its nails that contain blood vessels. When in doubt, trim the ends of the nails and ask a vet to show you how to cut your cat's nails.

Things You'll Need

  • Cat nail trimmer
  • Scratching post
  • Cat nip
  • Cat deterrent spray
  • Cat toys
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