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What to Do When Your Cat Scratches Your Chair

If you’ve ever shared your home with a cat, you know that it’s natural for them to scratch things. They do this to shed the outer layer of their claws or to scent-mark their turf. Sometimes they scratch things that we don’t want them to, which is why it is highly advisable to provide multiple scratching posts or surfaces around your home.  However, providing kitty with acceptable scratchables, doesn’t mean they won’t take a liking to digging their claws into an area rug or the arm of your sofa!

Cat scratched chair

If your furniture is showing signs of a little too much kitty love, I feel your pain! About two years ago I ordered a custom upholstered armchair for my living room. It’s this bright, citrusy-lime green color with purple piping. My husband is not wild about it (he hates the color), but I think it’s fun! The color really pops because the other furniture in that room is all neutral.

Unfortunately for me, my cat Turtle also thinks it’s fun — fun to scratch on that is! In spite of my protests, she’s turned it into her very own purr-sonal scratching post. Sometimes when I’m upstairs I can hear her using that chair like it’s a cardboard scratching post.  Of course I stop her when I’m in the room, but, naturally my persistent, sneaky little girl scratches on it when I’m not home or when I’m in a part of the house where I can’t see or hear her.

Cat scratched chair-before

Early on I kept thinking I’d figure out how to keep her away from it before she did any visible damage. I even put a scratching post right next to the chair thinking maybe she’d get the hint. She didn’t.

Well, I put off trying anything else for too long, and now the arms of my chair are looking pretty sad. I didn’t want to replace the chair, since I’d spent too much money on it, but I wasn’t sure if it would be salvageable.

I called my friend and interior designer, Suzanne Christie with (Decorating Den). I figured if anyone had a solution to my problem it would be her. It turns out I was right!

Suzanne showed me how, with a pair of small, sharp scissors and a razor, I can almost make the chair look like new again!

How I Salvaged My Cat Scratched Chair

Tools to Fix Cat Scratched Chair

Suzanne told me that I needed scissors that were small and very sharp. None of the scissors I already had were quite right, so I went to the fabric store and bought a nice pair intended for fabric cutting for about $14.

Just about any razor will work as long as it’s new and sharp, but ideally it shouldn’t have the moisture strip that many disposable razors come with. Otherwise you could end up with residue from the moisture strip on the upholstery fabric. I couldn’t find a razor without the strip, so I just put a small piece of tape over it.

Next, I carefully snipped the loops and threads sticking out, cutting as close to the flat surface as possible. If you try this on your own furniture, be careful not to cut the intact fabric! After snipping, there were tiny little nubs that I simply shaved off with the razor. I had to go across the thread nub a few times, in various directions, to get it smooth.

Once I had finished snipping and shaving all those little threads and nubs, I used a new lint roller (very sticky) to go over the entire area. This picked up all the little fuzzies that were still left stuck to the upholstery.

Paw-tastic Results

Cat scratched chair-after

I am happy to say that my chair is now almost as good as new! It’s not quite purr-fect, but it has definitely saved me from having to replace it.

This trick will work on drapes, sofas, area rugs — any upholstered surface that your cat scratches. Check out my video on Facebook for a step-by step demonstration!

Of course, the next step is figuring out how to discourage future scratching before my Turdie Bird strikes again! I definitely don’t plan on procrastinating this time. I’ve already got a trick up my sleeve. It’s called Claw Guard Protection Tape, and it’s a tape that you can put over stuff that your pet scratches. I’ll be filling you in on the details in a future post!

In the meantime, my favorite fun chair is all spruced up and ready for my next dinner party! I’m pretty sure my guests won’t have any clue that my kitty used to use it as a scratching post!

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Kristen Levine is a nationally acclaimed pet expert, influencer, and Fear Free Certified® Professional with over 30 years of experience in the industry. She's helped millions of pet parents provide the best care at every stage of their pet’s life.

Her blog, Pet Living with Kristen Levine has been featured in Pop Sugar, Good Housekeeping, New York Times, USA Today, and more.

She's also the founder of FWV Fetching, the first marketing agency exclusively serving pet and animal health companies.

Her early work with the SPCA led her to a lifelong career in the pet industry, advocating for pet adoption and rescue as well as for pets and their parents here on her blog and in the media.

She’s frequently booked on satellite media tours and national shows, like FOX & Friends, Good Morning America, and Daytime, to talk about pet trends and new products.

Insanely passionate about pets since she was a little girl, Kristen has had more than 30 pets in her lifetime — including dogs, cats, goats, donkeys, a horse, a gerbil, mice, and chickens!

In 2022, she launched to help pet parents keep pet homes clean -- to love more, stress less.

Kristen is married and lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her dog Tulip.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Kristen, if you want to prevent your cat from scratching furniture rather than having it actually happen and then needing to repair the furniture…check out this furniture saving device for cats. It works great!

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