The Full List of Materials Cats Don’t Like to Scratch

Your cat might love to claw at everything in sight, but they won’t want to scratch at these materials as much as others:

  1. Leather
  2. Ultrasuede
  3. Microfiber
  4. Denim
  5. Velvet
  6. Polyester
  7. Aluminum Foil
  8. Plastic

Cats are well-known for using anything and everything as a scratching post. From the furniture to the floor, if they can sink their nails into it, they will.

Thankfully, there are materials that your cat won’t like scratching as much that can help reduce the impact your feline is having on your belongings.


1 – Leather is known for being a material that your cat doesn’t enjoy sinking their claws into.

If you’re having an issue with your cat scratching up your furniture, pet owners recommend leather as their top choice for materials that cats don’t like to scratch.

Leather is a highly durable and beautiful material that you can get in everything from couches to bedroom sets. The sleek and sturdy finish makes it ideal if your house has a cat prowling around, as they’re less likely to try and claw at it.

The material’s solid exterior is uninviting to your cat because they enjoy loose threads that they can bat around and claw at. Since it’s all one smooth surface, it’s unlikely for your cat to even be attracted to it in the first place; therefore leather is one of the best cat-friendly materials.

Real leather is very tough and thick, which means even if your cat does try to claw at it, the likelihood of them being able to puncture through the material is slim compared to other materials.

On the other hand, faux leather can vary in its quality and may not have a good outcome if your cat decides to try and scratch it after all. While real leather is thick, faux leather has the potential to be much thinner, which means your cat will be able to penetrate it more easily.

Choosing a high-quality leather works better for letting your cats on the furniture.

In addition to being a durable material option that your cat is less likely to scratch at, it also has other benefits, such as: 

  • The smooth surface of leather makes it easy-to-clean up kitty messes, dust, dander, and cat fur as well as any other spills.
  • Leather is available in a variety of styles and presents a sleek and beautiful look in your home.
  • You can find leather furniture to fit into just about any price range, which makes it an affordable option.

The main drawback when mixing leather surfaces with your cats is that if they do get through the hard material’s exterior, claw marks might show up prominently.

There are certain types of leather that are designed to help blend these blemishes in more easily, so it’s all about picking the right kind for you and your cat.


2 – Ultrasuede is a synthetic material that your cat won’t feel like tearing apart.

If your cat is destroying your furniture, Ultrasuede is a fantastic option that deters your cat from victimizing your poor couch.

Like regular suede and faux suede, Ultrasuede is an extra pet-friendly material made from finely spun polyester fibers.

According to the Ultrasuede official website, “The advanced non-woven construction of Ultrasuede makes it inherently pet-friendly.”

The company lists the material as:

  • Scratch-resistant
  • Without loose fibers to pull out
  • Resistant to absorbing cat hair, odors, and stains

As with any material, if your cat is determined enough, they may be able to penetrate even the toughest of fabrics. With Ultrasuede, there’s less chance that your cat will even feel the desire to scratch it in the first place, since the material is so smooth.

Ultrasuede is available in a variety of ways, including:

  • Clothing apparel
  • Clothing accessories
  • Shoes
  • Interior design
  • Furniture and upholstery
  • Car accessories
  • Sports gear
  • Phone cases

In addition to being a material that your cat won’t like to scratch, Ultrasuede also has other benefits as it is:

  • Comfortable and soft.
  • A low-maintenance and easy-to-clean material.
  • Flexible and comes in different levels of thickness to meet your needs.
  • A dependable and long-lasting material that can be used in a lot of different areas including your home, vehicle, and even on the back of your mobile device.


3 – Microfiber is a highly durable fabric that your cat won’t be compelled to rip to shreds.

If you’re looking for a versatile and affordable material that your feline is less likely to scratch, microfiber is a great option.

The standard textile is made from a combination of nylon and polyester, which is spun into incredibly small fibers. Whereas your cat is interested in loose threads, microfiber is smooth and perfect for keeping your feline’s claws away from your furniture.

Microfiber is used for a lot of different purposes beyond your typical household décor, including:

  • Cleaning rags and cloths
  • Mops
  • Bedsheets and pillowcases
  • Curtains
  • Clothing
  • Towels
  • Blankets

It’s an easily accessible material that can be used for a lot of different things, which means you can spruce your house up in microfiber and worry less about your cat’s destructive tendencies.

Microfiber is also widely available in different colors and has an easy-to-clean surface if you have a messy cat on your hands. Ultimately, it’s the less expensive version of purchasing leather and suede materials while still being durable and less likely to get caught in your cat’s nails.


4 – Denim is a dense textile that you might like to wear, but your cat won’t like to scratch it.

There are a lot of materials that your cat likes to scratch, but denim is one that they’re less likely to tear apart.

Denim is made from a blend of cotton weaved together to create the seamless textile used primarily in clothing such as jeans, jackets, and overalls.

While denim is more commonly found in clothing than in furniture, it can be a simple addition to any room where you want to add something different that your cat won’t immediately dig their claws into. 

If your cat is extra mischievous and starts kneading at your denim furniture or clothing, their claws might catch on threads in the material and pull them loose.

Depending on the quality and thickness of the denim, keeping your cat from shredding through your denim shouldn’t be too much of a problem. The thicker the material, the less chance of your cat’s nails poking through it.

Denim is also very easy to keep clean as it’s a washable surface with very little absorbency, so cat fur and dust will have less of a chance to stick to it. If all else fails, denim can easily be wiped down or vacuumed to keep it looking fresh.


5 – Velvet is not only beautiful, but it also won’t attract your kitty’s claws as easily as other materials.

If you’re looking for new upholstery for your living room, velvet is a fantastically cat-friendly option.

Velvet is made from soft and smooth fabric that is cut and woven together on a loom. It creates a thick, luxurious material that is less likely to get clawed up by your cat since it lacks the loose fibers that kitties naturally enjoy scratching.

Depending on the quality of the velvet, the textile can be made from a lot of different materials including:

  • Cotton
  • Polyester
  • Silk
  • Wool
  • Yarn

Velvet has a lot of roots in history and was previously associated with wealth and luxury due to its high cost and demand for having it. In modern days, velvet can be found just about anywhere and it varies in price, so you don’t have to break the bank to add it to your home.

In addition to that, velvet is much more low maintenance than many people anticipate.

It can easily be vacuumed for regular upkeep and, if your kitty spills something on it, most velvet requires nothing more than a damp cloth to restore it However, always check with the manufacturer of a product if you’re not sure how to clean it.   

From sofas to headboards, velvet is an optimal choice for cat owners who want their home to look their best.


6 – Polyester is a synthetic material that can hold up to a lot of wear and tear, especially from your cat.

If you’re redesigning your home or picking out a new wardrobe and have cats in the home, polyester is an inexpensive and smart material that won’t automatically become your cat’s scratching post.

Polyester is a lightweight, man-made textile that is blended into a lot of different materials (such as some of the other cat-friendly options on this list) to achieve durability and resiliency.

If your cat is known to claw up every surface in the house, polyester is an easy and affordable choice. Since it’s synthetic, it’s especially sturdy and can hold up to your pets more than natural materials.

Not only is polyester a strong textile, but it’s also very versatile and can be used in more than just your furniture and clothing. Other ways to use polyester include:

  • Towels
  • Sheets and pillowcases
  • Blankets
  • Curtains
  • Carpet
  • Rugs
  • Laundry bags
  • Rope
  • Tents
  • Seatbelts

Using polyester you can safeguard just about anything in your home from your cat’s scratchy nature..


7 – Aluminum foil is an unexpectedly good deterrent for your scratching kitty.

If you’ve already picked out all your home furniture or don’t have the money to replace items you don’t want your cat to scratch, aluminum foil is a great way to deter your furry friend from marking your stuff in the first place.

At the beginning of 2020, a video of a cat jumping on a kitchen countertop and then jumping away from a sheet of aluminum foil as if it had been shocked went viral. This prompted many people to try a challenge with their cats to see how they reacted to the material – but aluminum foil as a cat deterrent has been around for many years.

Your cat is not a fan of stepping on aluminum foil because of how the crinkly material sounds, as well as how it feels on their paws.

This inexpensive material can be used to cover surfaces such as couches, bedroom sets, and other furniture to repel your cat from clawing it up.

Since you probably don’t want to coat your home in foil forever, it’s important to try and use the aluminum as a way to help your cat feel more interested in other ways to get their scratching needs out, such as with a cat scratcher or cat tree.

Aluminum foil is simply a quick fix to help your cat find a new outlet, and since it’s primarily used for cooking, you probably have some waiting to try out in your kitchen.


8 – Not only is plastic inexpensive and able to be used for many things, but it’s also extremely cat-friendly.

If you can’t keep your cat from tearing up the sofa, it might be time to invest in plastic safeguards to protect your furniture from your kitty’s sharp claws.

Plastic is one of the best materials available to help combat a cat who’s scratching up a storm. It’s made from polymer and can come in a variety of densities. No matter what kind of plastic you use, the material is anti-scratch since your kitty won’t find it easy to sink their claws into the slippery surface.

There are many brands that offer durable and flexible plastic shields that can be secured to your existing furniture to repel your cat from scratching it up.

The great part about using plastic to help keep your kitty from destroying all your belongings is that it’s a clear, moldable material that can work for just about any type of furniture. Whether you want to protect a sofa or a bedroom set, plastic protectors give you a lot of great options. 

Since scratching is a normal and fundamental part of your cat’s life, it’s important also to offer them plenty of other things to dig their nails into instead of your belongings, such as:

  • Cat scratchers
  • Cat trees
  • Toys
  • Old furniture
  • Old blankets
  • Cardboard boxes

When you designate outlets for your cat to claw at things, they’ll be less likely to mess with your furniture and clothes, and you can help them to discontinue bad scratching behaviors.

By taking steps to add cat-friendly materials to your home in addition to giving your cat its own things to scratch, you’ll notice that your belongings won’t suffer, and you can happily co-exist with your kitty.


Writer: Audrey

Read about Audrey