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I Have A New Leather Couch And Cats. Is There A Problem?

Cats Love Couches But Do Couches Love Cats?

Recently we bought two leather couches We discovered that a leather couch and cats are not such a great mixture.

The previous couches were upholstered in a durable fabric and they had worn extremely well and survived general family abuse, such as, food, drink, pets, teenagers, and the occasional small person. 

Because we have a cat who did spend a fair amount of time reclining on the couch or on the back of the couch, I regularly used a rubber brush, which worked really well for picking up and removing cat hair. The fabric on the couches did sadly look, pulled or pilled in various places where kitty had used his claws to scratch.

Hide The Damage

As the fabric was tough, the pilling could be somewhat hidden by throw rugs and strategically placed cushions.

He had a scratching post but it seemed that the couches were a scratching magnet.

keep cat off leather couch
keep cat off leather couch
You might look innocent!

New Addition To The Couch Family

Finally, at our peril as it turned out, we replaced the fabric covered couches with two leather couches.

We weren’t prepared for what happened next!

The cat made a dash for the new couch and dug those claws in, resulting in holes in the leather.

Our response was immediate but over the next few weeks it became a major problem.

The thing is, the cat had had free reign with jumping onto the fabric couches so it was actually our problem not his. We hadn’t anticipated this issue (or pushed it to the back of our minds) and couldn’t sit and watch the assault and damage.

The leather couch and cats combination was not looking like a good idea at this point.

Even if we could keep him off the couches during the day he could do whatever he wanted to in the middle of the night.

Another annoyance which sounds minor but also became an issue was the throw rugs that had been used on the old couches now just kept slipping off the new leather, somewhat slippery, couches.

Sure they could be thrown onto the couch, in that casual Home Beautiful way. As far as covering the couch, they just didn’t work anymore.

We Made A Plan – Sort Of…

So we had to make a plan and it was rather haphazard at first with just trying to cover the couches with the throw rugs. That became tedious night after night plus the whole couch had to be covered so it was really quite a rigmarole.

My enterprising OH designed and made some throw over couch covers made from, wait for it, heavy duty black plastic.

Not a great design feature but we were desperate and for some reason we had a lot of heavy duty black plastic – don’t ask! The shed is a place I rarely venture.

The new heavy duty black plastic covers were fully fitted to the couch and worked really well. (PS I can see a spinoff profession here). There must be a market for black heavy duty black plastic couch covers.

Related: Why do cats like to roll in the dirt? They roll from one side to the other and stretch out.

Leather Couch And Cats! What Were We Thinking!

The plastic covers had to be put on the couch each night so still a hassle. Also they did tend to slip a bit so the next step was to attach some lead sinkers (the fishing type) to strategic points so that the cover could stay in place weighted down by the sinkers.

Now, it’s starting to get really silly. We were in way over our heads and there was no turning back.

And, those black plastic covers as clever as they were, were really hard to fold up and put away. Then where to put them became another problem. They needed to be nearby, but black plastic is a bit of an eyesore, to put it mildly.

Plus wrestling with heavy black plastic when you are ready for some shuteye is no fun at all and just adds to overall crankiness. 

The Solution – I Found Some Covers

Finally, after searching online and not knowing exactly what I was looking for I found some semi fitted fabric covers which were a similar color to the couches and could hip, hip hooray, stay on the couches.

Life was restored to pre leather couch days. I still took them off when guests were expected but everyone else just got used to the covers. I often forgot all about them being there at all. I should mention that they are easy to wash. Because they are largish, I put one at a time into the washing machine and they washed beautifully and dried quickly.

This option was a lifesaver. It’s the little things that can become such a chore and putting those covers on each night and taking them off in the morning, was driving us crazy.

leather couches and cats

I should add that the cat has multiple comfy places to hang out, in almost every room of the house, on the windowsill to gaze out at the world, on the bed with a comfy blanket to soak up the warm afternoon rays of the sun, on a sheepskin and so on.

Related: Does your cat knock things over? Read about it here. Some cats do and some don’t. It’s a cat thing!

I’m Just Not That Into You Any More

Strangely, after all of this has happened he has decided, for the moment anyway, that he isn’t that into leather couches and when he does jump up, it is softly and to sit on us, not the couch. Maybe this is because he is getting older and in this past twelve months he has aged a lot.

It leaves me thinking – Did we solve this problem or did he? Nup, not even going there. 

Couch protectors are highly recommended. They were a lifesaver and have since been out on loan to someone with exactly the same problem.

These protectors would also be great for families with toddlers and also for grandparents looking after grandchildren.

Furniture is expensive and having the covers just means it doesn’t matter if the cat is sitting there or if something is spilled on the couch.

Life is too short to be worried abut such things and there was a solution to the leather couch and cats problem.  We just took the very long way to find the solution.

stop cats scratching the couch
If I’m honest, leather couches do have scratching appeal! Keep that to yourself!