How To Keep Cats From Scratching Leather Furniture

Taking care of cats is a pleasing part of life, especially when you get to bring furry friends into your home. But if there is one not-so cuddly thing about cats, it’s that they love to scratch up your expensive furniture. You’ve tried tactic after tactic in an effort to learn how to get your cat off the leather couch but to no avail. There’s a new tear in the fabric every day!

Before you get too frustrated at your innocent furry friend, take a few minutes to learn why cats have such an innate instinct to scratch. You can come up with some other alternatives that will help them scratch their itch to...well, scratch, and you can save your furniture in the process.

We can’t expect our kitties to stop digging their claws into things. It would be unfair and unnatural! Instead, we can train our pets to only scratch up certain parts of the house. Let’s look at why cats love to scratch fabric and how to keep cats from scratching leather furniture in your home from now on.

Why Do Cats Like To Scratch Furniture In The First Place?

There are so many reasons why cats love to scratch leather furniture. This goes back to the primal instincts that all felines share all over the world. There are several things that might compel a cat to scratch. Here are some of the biggest ones:

Marking Territory

Cats are territorial creatures, and some even feel uncomfortable when other cats or creatures enter their space. One way they mark their territory is by scratching it with their claws.

Cats have a special scent that comes out of the bottom of their paws, and it gets onto whatever they are scratching. That way they have both a visual mark and a scent to let others know they own this part of the home!


Your cat has a lot of energy, and she likes to strut her stuff by running and stretching. One way she gets exercise is by scratching vertical-facing objects (which, unfortunately, means your furniture) which flexes their muscles and tendons. It can also help stretch them out after a big nap.

Nail Removal

Just like people, cats have to keep their nails trimmed and clipped. The outer covers of their nails will die and fall off as new cartilage grows. Scratching is a natural urge that cats get to remove dead nail coverings and stimulate new growth.

Once your kitty cat gets this urge to scratch, he will start putting his claws in anything that feels nice against his paws. This includes your expensive furniture, wood tables, and even fence posts if they get desperate enough.

But do not remove your cat’s claws! There are so many ways you can train your cats to leave your furniture alone in favor of their very own cat scratching posts. Be a good cat owner and invest in some cat scratch playtime to keep your cats happy and healthy!

Avoid Cat Scratches With This Simple Home Remedy!

The key to effectively learning how to keep cats off of leather furniture is not to punish them, but to reinforce them with toys and treats when they scratch in the right places. Too many owners turn to penalize their kitties when they scratch up the couch. You don’t have to do that!

Approach the situation with love and everything will be so much better. While you check out our top tips in the next section below, try this home remedy for a quick start to your cat’s training sessions:

Sticky tape!

That’s right: cover your leather furniture with sticky tape. Make sure the sticky side is facing up. When your cat goes to scratch the furniture, she will instead pull back a paw with a piece of tape stuck to it. This won’t harm her, but it will definitely confuse her and make her think twice about scratching the couch.

There are other, more effective solutions, however. Keep reading to see what method works best for your furry loved one!

How to Keep Cats from Scratching Leather Couches in Your Home

It’s not the leather in particular that your cats love, but the fact that there is a surface they can scratch. If you are waiting for your furry loved one to start being respectful of your expensive upholstery, you may be sitting there a long time. Why not act now and start training your kitty cat to scratch in the right places?

Here are the best ways to stop cats from scratching leather furniture!

1. Try positive reinforcement with toys and treats.

One of the biggest reasons why your cat might be terrorizing the couch is that he has so much pent-up energy. He needs more playtime! Make sure you carve out a space in your schedule to reinforce your cat’s energy with toys and treats.

You can also use toys and treats later on when you are trying to get your cat to scratch their post instead of your couch. This is a very effective training solution with cats! Toys with dangling parts and treats that smell like fish are two of the best tempting tools you can use for your whiskered ones.

2. Add natural deterrents to your couch.

Remember the home remedy mentioned in the previous section? You can use this as an effective strategy to get your cats to scratch somewhere else. There are a lot of smells that your cat will find unappealing, such as citrus and rosemary. You can add lemon or orange oil to a spray bottle and lightly spray the areas around your furniture with it.

3. Give your furry friends their own places to scratch up.

The absolute best method for knowing how to keep cats from scratching leather furniture is quite simple:

Give them a home of their own!

Cat scratching posts come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and price ranges, and you can easily find one that will fit your home and your furry pet. Don’t force your cat to resist the urge to scratch; instead, invest in one of the best cat scratching posts of the year and give your kitty something that they can enjoy for years to come!

4. Trim your kitty cat’s nails!

Cats need to be groomed just like people do. Nails can grow too long and can start to become a health hazard. Your cat may risk getting overgrown nails that can end up doing more harm than good. Your cat might be scratching excessively in order to relieve the pain or discomfort caused by overgrown nails. You should give your cat a regular pedicure - and this is doubly important if yours is an outdoor cat!

5. Invest in furniture protectors.

If you would rather take extra precautions and keep your leather furniture away from sharp claws, you can get furniture protecting armor. While your cat learns to go to her scratching post to scratch instead of the arm of your sofa, you can add transparent layers of anti-scratch film on your furniture to protect it from your kitty cats.

Why You Shouldn’t Declaw Your Cat

Declawing cats is an inhumane practice that should be avoided at all costs. It was once a regular part of your cat’s routine veterinary care. Removing your cat’s front claws can significantly reduce his health, and can cause many other health hazards down the line.

Your cat needs its claws to defend itself, to hunt for food, and to exercise. The health risks associated with declawing your cat are too great to put your cat through. The removal procedure may be improperly done, causing your cat to get infections or tissue necrosis. Claw removal may also cause back and limb pain and your cat may never walk the same again. It is a dangerous practice that should be outright banned. Don’t put your furry friend through that!

I really encourage you to follow the above tips instead of considering removing your cat’s claws!

Help! My Cat Already Scratched My Leather Couch! How Do I Save It?

Depending on the size and depth of the scratch, you may be able to remove it from your leather couch. Some smaller scratches can be removed with a specific leather conditioner and oil; talk with a leather furniture expert about the product that will work best.

Deeper scratches may require a more intensive cleaning process, but it’s nothing a leather couch expert can’t fix. Overall, the health of your kitty cat is way more important than the health of your furniture!

Here are some home remedies that may work:

  • Vaseline and oil on leather surfaces for light scratches
  • Distilled white vinegar and shoe polish for deeper scratches
  • Skin moisturizer to reduce the visibility of some scratches

You can also train your cat to scratch her post before the leather couch gets ruined. Start out with a scratching post in your home and reward her with lots of toys and treats when she uses her claws the right way!

Conclusion: Keep Your Cat Happy and Save Your Leather Couch From Scratches!

Cats love to scratch. There’s no denying that! Your cat has a natural urge to scratch due to exercise, territory marking, and grooming. Not to mention, it just feels good. You should encourage your cat to exhibit this natural behavior - just not on your expensive leather couch!

You can keep your cat off of leather furniture by investing in cat scratch posts and rewarding your furry loved ones each time they go there to scratch. Negative reinforcement and punishment are not encouraged, as love and toys are much more effective training tools.

In time, your cat will forget all about the furniture in favor of their own scratched-up spots in the home. Let your loved one have all the scratching agency of a free cat!

Hello! I'm Jeanie and as the name implies I’m absolutely crazy about cats. I have two boys of my own, Roger and Doogle who are both extremely affectionate, love their tummy scratches and have too much energy most days in my opinion. I love all things cat related and really enjoy investigating and trying out all the different types of cat toys, trees and gadgets on my two mischief makers.