Home Care

Pet-Friendly Upholstery Fabrics You Can Use

Protect your furniture from stains and scratches with these pet-proof options

Photography: Unsplash

If we enjoy lounging around our sofas and beds, it comes as no surprise that our pets do, too. Unfortunately, there are furniture pieces that are not made to withstand having furry friends at home. Despite all the Internet tips and tricks available, our sneaky four-legged buddies will surely still find their way on our beloved couches when we’re not looking.

Whether your household has managed to limit the access of your pets to furniture or you simply accepted defeat, a piece of furniture is bound to receive some “furry love” despite our best efforts.

READ: Keep Your Home Clean and Smelling Fresh Even If You Have Pets

What you can do is choose a pet-friendly upholstery fabric so as to limit the signs of wear-and-tear on your furniture.

6 pet-friendly upholstery fabrics you can use

Leather/ Pleather

This doesn’t seem like an obvious choice, but leather is actually a great option to deal with some of the major struggles of having pets—fur, dander, drool, and other unwanted stains. Thanks to its smooth surface, pet hair doesn’t stick and stains are easy to vacuum or wipe off with a damp towel.


Though leather can pick up a few scratches, regular trimming of your pet’s nails/claws can help in preventing them. Also, thick leather is quite durable and great for homes with larger pets. In time, this option develops a worn patina that will eventually let scratches and scuffs blend in. For cat owners, cats tend to stay away from surfaces that don’t snag on their claws. So sturdy, smooth leather should be safe from puncture holes.

Canvas and Denim

Most upholstery options are made with loose-woven fabrics like twill and pile. These are irresistible to scratching pets, and are bound to get torn and chewed up in no time. The solution is to replace your upholstery with tightly woven and durable fabrics such as thick canvas and denim. Since these fabrics are so tightly woven, claws will have difficulty sinking in granted they are nicely trimmed and filed.

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The weave on these fabrics also prevents dirt and hairs to settle so a quick vacuum and scrub would easily deal with any fur build up and stains. If you don’t want to pay for the complete cost of reupholstering your furniture, get a customized slip-on instead. This way, you can just slip them off and launder when you need it cleaned.



This is an unusual choice for upholstery but much like canvas and denim, it is a tightly woven fabric so it’s safe from clawing paws. The best part about microfiber? Its resistance to stains. A little soap and water solution goes a long way in removing unwanted spots. Removing fur and dander can be easily done with a vacuum or a quick run from a lint brush.

READ: 6 Common Household Hazards for Pets

Outdoor Fabrics

Outdoor fabrics are treated to repel water, stains, and bacteria so it’s an obvious choice for pet owners. You’ll be able to find a variety of swatches in the market offering different styles, colors, and designs so that outdoor fabric can look similar to the ones used indoors. A word of caution, though: these fabrics can be pricey so it’s better to save money by having a custom slip cover made instead of going for a full reupholster.


Wild Card: Velveteen

Velveteen is another tightly woven fabric that gives the same benefits of similar fabrics but you get a more luxe look. Aside from helping you avoid tears and snags, it can also be easily cleaned. The reason why this is a wildcard choice is because finding the right velveteen can be a challenge. Cheaper velveteen might be made with loose weaves and high pile so be on the lookout for those. It’s also rumored that cat’s don’t like the feel of velvet so if you’re a cat parent, it’s best to skip this option.

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