Is a Velvet Couch Good for Cats?

If you’ve got a furry cat family member with claws like razor blades, you probably resigned yourself to a simple life a long time ago; I know I did.

Sure, it would be pleasant to have a few nice things in the living space, but with that fiery little house puma on the prowl, they’ll be torn to shreds in a matter of days.

As much as it hurts, luxurious fabrics such as velvet are avoided, especially when it comes to couches.

It seems like all it would take is one mad half-hour - something my cat, Neptune, has thrice a day - to completely ruin that fresh-from-the-store look, and within a week, well…we might as well have salvaged it from the dump.

However, as we never trust our cats with fabrics such as velvet, this scenario is really only hypothetical, and let’s be honest, have any of the couches upholstered with more robust fabric ever survived the wrath of the paw scythe? No, they all suffer the same shredded fate!

So, is velvet cat-friendly and claw-resistant, or are the horror stories we play out in our heads correct? Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?

Can Cats Destroy Velvet Furniture?

If a cat had a mean streak, then sure, it technically could destroy a piece of velvet furniture, but surprisingly, nay...astonishingly, velvet is one of the safest fabrics to deck your cat-addled home with.

I know, I know, it sounds like I’m pulling the worst prank ever, but it’s true. Google it if you like (as long as you come back for the rest of my article, of course!).

Now, I’m not saying that a cat 100% won’t go full-blown Freddy Krueger on your velvet couch, but choosing velvet will reduce the chances of storm Mimble, Luna, or Pusskins from hitting your new decor. 

As if that wasn’t enough to pique your interest and trigger a full interior design overhaul of your house in your brain, as a loose-pile material, velvet sheds cat fur incredibly easily too — did that just blow your mind or what!!!

So, to recap...cats are less likely to destroy velvet furniture, and even though they’ll love a long, stretchy catnap on the soft surface, it only takes a couple of passes with your hand to remove the loose fluff.

But why is velvet such a good choice? What exactly is it about this seemingly delicate fabric that makes it so brave in the face of tiny tigers?

Do Cats Scratch Velvet Sofas?

It’s not that velvet is secretly more robust than leather that makes it a shoo-in for the feline homestead, it’s the composition. Cats just don’t dig it.

They prefer to dig their claws into thick, loose, or raised weaved fabrics, such as tweed, linen, and corduroy, which is why their scratching posts are often made up of wound rope.

Velvet, on the other hand, has a smooth texture and a short, low pile, meaning, for the most part, cats just don’t feel the same destructive urges around it.

If there doesn't appear to be any threads to loosen, they’ll rarely try to unravel furniture fabric.

I suppose it’s sort of the equivalent of us seeing a chocolate fudge cake next to a granola bar. Before, you can say “calories”, our impulses have kicked in, neurons have fired, and the chocolate cake has disappeared, leaving the granola bar looking sad and lonely on the kitchen island.

Woven fabrics are like a chocolate fudge cake for cats, whereas the granola bar is the velvet.

I know what you’re thinking...can I deck all my furniture out in velvet? Well, it’s a bold design move, but it would absolutely protect your bookcases and cabinets from the relentless clawing they’re currently enduring.

It’s important to bear in mind that all cats are different, and some freaky felines may buck the trend completely and go feral on a piece of velvet furniture, so before you take my word as gospel and go velvet mad, test the waters first.

Buy your little monster a lovely scratching post, acquire some velvet samples, then wrap the velvet around the scratching post. If your cat straight-up wolverines the velvet, well, there’s your answer; however, if your cat resists the urge to destroy, a piece of velvet furniture may be just right for you.

What Is the Best Fabric for a Sofa with Cats?

While velvet is a great choice, most folks are in agreement that leather is the best sofa material for homes with cats. If they can’t sink their claws into something, they’re really not all that interested in it. 

Leather is also generally hard-wearing and super easy to clean, so if (like Neptune) your cat throws up semi-frequently, it’s a solid choice.

For the vegans fighting the good fight out there, you’d obviously rather poke yourself in the eye than bring a leather sofa into your home, which is totally understandable, so I’d recommend a microfiber sofa.

Microfiber is an insanely soft polyester variant. It’s usually stain-resistant, and as a bonus, it’s pretty cheap too — hurray!

The only downside to microfiber is that, unlike leather, it’s a very thin material, so if just one wayward pussycat decided to have a scratch, you’ll certainly notice the damage.

Suede is a complicated matter. It’s technically leather, but it’s far more fibrous, something that your cat may find enticing.

It’s also a pretty high-maintenance fabric; when it falls into disrepair, it really doesn’t look so good, so it’s best avoided.

Then there’s the star of the show, velvet, which we’ve already discussed in detail. It’s a flat pile fabric with a smooth surface, so cats tend to keep the claws sheathed, but that’s not to say they won’t be getting cozy and “making some biscuits”.

Is a Velvet Couch Good for Cats? Summing Up

Even though we cat people have made peace with the fact we’ll never enjoy the soft touch of velvet in our living rooms, it’s actually a really smart choice.

I recommend testing the waters first with a cat scratcher and some velvet samples, but if your cat can resist the urge to tear it to shreds, that’s your cue to get bougie and enjoy some of the finer things in life!