How to get cat scratches off leather furniture

Written by catherine hiles
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How to get cat scratches off leather furniture
Leather damage caused by cat scratches is repairable. (brown leather furniture image by Leonid Nyshko from

Cat ownership can be rewarding and entertaining, but if your cat misbehaves by scratching your leather furniture, it can be stressful. Cat claws are thin and sharp, and can tear right through leather. Cats that use the sides of leather furniture to sharpen their claws can leave small holes and pull loose threads out of the furniture. Prevention is the easiest way to care for your leather couch; but in the event that your cat damages the leather, it is repairable.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Scissors
  • 320-grit sandpaper
  • 1200-grit sandpaper
  • Leather cleaner
  • Leather filler
  • Palette knife
  • Leather colourant
  • Lacquer

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  1. 1

    Trim any loose leather fibres from the piece of furniture using scissors. This makes the surface smoother and neater to allow the repair process to work well.

  2. 2

    Sand the scratched surface of the leather furniture using 320-grit sandpaper. This removes any loose bits of leather left on the surface.

  3. 3

    Gently sand the leather surface using 1200-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.

  4. 4

    Wipe the surface down using specialised leather cleaner. Let the leather air-dry.

  5. 5

    Apply leather filler to the furniture's surface using a palette knife to spread the filler over the scratches.

  6. 6

    Re-sand the surface using 1200-grit sandpaper to fill in the cat scratches.

  7. 7

    Apply leather colourant to the furniture using a sponge or airbrush.

  8. 8

    Fill in any remaining scratches that appear, and apply a second coat of colourant.

  9. 9

    Spray lacquer directly onto the leather to seal it and help protect it from further damage.

Tips and warnings

  • Provide your cat plenty of scratching posts and surfaces, and encourage use, to avoid your cat scratching your couch.
  • Deep scratches are extremely difficult to repair. Consult a professional for advice if your leather furniture is severely damaged.

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