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How to Keep Cats From Scratching Leather Furniture

Leather furniture is amazing, but seeing them getting shrouded by your kitty’s claws can make even the most patient fur parent cry. Before you discipline your cat for what they did, let’s understand why they do it and how to keep your cats from scratching leather furniture.

Why Do Cats Keep Scratching Your Leather Furniture?

It isn’t to annoy you (although sometimes, it feels that way!). There are plenty of reasons why your cat unleashes their inner Wolverine on your precious leather couch:

Territorial Marking

Cats are territorial, and scratching is their way to mark their territory. When they dig their claws into your sofa, they leave their scent behind, telling others, “This is mine, so you better keep out!” If you have multiple cats or a furry friend that’s a bit territorial, your leather couch might become their chosen spot.


Cats are naturally curious, and your luxuriously smooth, inviting furniture might just be their next big adventure.  The texture, the sound, and the whole scratching shenanigans are thrilling mysteries for your curious kitty to explore (with their claws, unfortunately).

Claw Maintenance

Just like we need to trim our nails, cats need to keep their claws sharp for climbing, hunting (even if it’s just a teaser), and defending themselves. Scratching is their built-in pedicure to keep those little daggers ready for action.

Coping Mechanism

Sometimes, cats resort to scratching when they feel stressed or vulnerable. Maybe there’s a new pet in the house, a loud noise outside, or a feeling of unease. It’s their way to release the tension away and feel more in control.

How to Keep Cats From Scratching Your Leather Furniture

So, how do you stop cats from scratching leather furniture? Here are some tips to keep your scratching warrior’s little weapons off your leather couch without resorting to harsh punishments:

Give Them Scratching Options

One of the effective ways to redirect your cat’s scratching behavior away from your leather couch is by providing alternative scratching options. Buy sturdy scratching posts and strategically place them around your home. Choose tall posts for them to sprawl their legs fully and sturdy enough to withstand intense scratching. 

Also, consider posts with various textures, like carpet, sisal rope, or cardboard. Giving your cat various scratching surfaces can encourage them to use these scratchers rather than your precious furniture.

Make the scratching posts enticing when introducing them to your beloved furball. Sprinkle their favorite treats or some catnip to make the scratcher more inviting. You can also place them in areas where your cat frequently scratches to increase the chance of using them. 

Positive reinforcement is key, so praise and reward them with treats whenever they use the posts. Consistency is also crucial. When your cat starts scratching your leather couch again, redirect their attention to the scratching posts and continue to reinforce this behavior.

Use Furniture Protectors

But wait, how do you stop a cat from scratching leather furniture when they seem pretty determined to use it as their scratching zone? Furniture protectors are the answer! These handy tools create a physical barrier between your cat’s claws and your leather furnishings, preventing damage and discouraging further scratching. Furniture protectors come in different types, including sticky mats, plastic covers, and clear adhesive films.

Sticky mats work because of their uncomfortable texture. Simply place them on areas of the furniture you want to protect. The sticky surface will discourage your kitty from scratching there. Plastic covers and clear adhesive films provide a more comprehensive solution, covering larger areas of your furniture. They’re transparent so that they won’t disrupt the aesthetics of leather furnishings.

Use Scent as a Deterrent

But what about protecting your leather upholstery from cats in a more natural way? How to stop the cat from scratching your leather couch? Use the power of scent! Cats have a keen sense of smell, and certain aromas can protect your leather couch from a cat. Use citrus or menthol to discourage them from scratching. Mix citrus essential oils with water and spray the solution on areas of the sofa your cat often targets.

Alternatively, use commercially available sprays formulated to keep cats from scratching. These sprays usually have natural ingredients, like citrus extracts or bitter agents. These are safe for cats but unpleasant to their sensitive noses. Simply apply the solution to the affected areas, following the product instructions for reapplication.

It’s essential to test any deterrent spray on small, hidden areas of the furniture first to prevent damage or discoloration. Also, be mindful of allergies and sensitivities your cat might have. With consistent use, scent deterrents can protect your leather couch from cats and redirect their behavior to more appropriate surfaces.

Clean Your Couch Regularly

Regularly cleaning your leather furniture is essential to discourage your feline buddy from scratching it. Cats are less likely to scratch clean surfaces and are free of their scent markings. Use a gentle leather cleaner to get rid of oils, dirt, and scent markings from your couch. Pay close attention to areas where your cat has scratched before to keep them from returning to those spots.

Besides cleaning, use a leather condition. Not only does it keep the leather supple, but it also makes the furniture less appealing for scratching. It masks any remaining scent that may attract your cat. Follow the product instructions when conditioning the leather furniture to prevent material damage.

Use the Vinegar Power

But what if they still insist on scratching your precious leather sofas and couches despite your best efforts? How do you keep your cats from scratching leather furniture? Vinegar can be a helpful solution to the problem. This condiment can be a potent scratching deterrent because of its pungent smell and taste. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water, and spray it on areas where your cats usually scratch. Be sure to test the solution on small regions first to prevent damage and discoloration.


So, these are how to keep cats from scratching leather furniture. With these strategies and tips, you can protect your leather couch from your cat while meeting their physical and emotional needs. So, don’t despair—follow the above tips and enjoy your luxurious leather furniture without worrying about scratches!


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