Your house is not a home without comfortable and perhaps trendy furniture. However, for many, a house is not a home without pets — likely dogs, cats, or both. Pets and beautiful home decor do not need to be mutually exclusive. Pets, after all, make a home livable.
The key is simply embracing durable interior design and finding the best furniture fabric for dogs and cats because realistically, the sofa needs to be for everyone. Dog-friendly furniture fabric includes leather, canvas, and denim. For cats, the best fabric is anything that doesn't invite scratching. Fortunately, microfiber is a durable furniture fabric for both dogs and cats.
Video of the Day
Best furniture fabric for dogs
Pets can be hard on furniture, particularly upholstery. What furniture material is best for dogs? Many people opt for leather couches rather than synthetic fabrics because leather is extremely durable and easy to clean. It also repels fur and is stain-resistant. Lack of absorption is an appeal of leather sofas for dog people.
However, leather is also expensive, and made from an animal product, which many people may not want in their home. It is also not scratch- nor chew-resistant. Once a dog chews or scratches leather, it's challenging to repair, and the sofa is extremely difficult to reupholster. Some people, though, argue that scratches on leather add character.
Durable, dog-friendly furniture fabric, like thick canvas or denim, might be a preferable choice. And yes, denim comes in colors other than blue jean! Heavyweight, tight-woven fabrics are one option, but microfiber has become a popular choice for furniture during the last decade and for good reason: It's easy to clean, liquid pools on its surface, and fur vacuums up quickly with minimal effort.
Best furniture fabric for cats
Some fabrics that are good for dogs might not pass the feline test for obvious reasons: cats scratch. Cat scratching is the number one way cats ruin furniture. Even quality grain leathers will be no match for cat claws, so opt instead for nonwoven fabrics and coverings. Some fabrics, like canvas, might actually attract cat claws thanks to the weave.
Microfiber is the best furniture fabric choice for dogs and cats, especially cats thanks to a low pile that's almost impossible to scratch. Fur is easy to vacuum from the surface, and the low-pile surface doesn't trap odors. Similarly, velvet and velour, its cheaper and easier-to-clean cousin, are claw-resistant. Velour, which is made from woven cotton and polyester, is the most practical choice. Plus, it looks sexy and comes in a variety of rich colors.
Covers and patterned fabric
Speaking of color, the type of fabric isn't the only consideration. Color and pattern are other considerations for pet people. For instance, patterned fabrics and bold prints generally disguise stains and scratches. Medium shades that are neither too light nor very dark best camouflage stains and fur. Conversely, nubby or textured patterns aren't dog or cat friendly.
However, if your furniture is valuable or you didn't get to select a dog-friendly furniture fabric before you brought your pup home, a slipcover is the best solution. Select a woven or canvas slipcover to protect your furniture from puppy accidents, shedding, and scratching cats. Machine washable is clearly desirable.
Outdoor furniture fabric for pets
Using outdoor furniture inside may seem counterintuitive but it has advantages. Outdoor upholstery has come a long way and just might be the most dog-friendly furniture fabric around. Outdoor fabric is extremely durable and designed to withstand rain, making it a liquid (and dog urine) repellent. Many plastic outdoor furniture sets are designed to look like wood so they can fit with many decor schemes.
Patio furniture fabrics are easy to clean and are sometimes fade-resistant, so they withstand some harsher cleaning chemicals if necessary. Plus, outdoor patio furniture is surprisingly design forward and is almost indistinguishable from indoor sofas and chairs.