What Kind of Material Do Cats Like to Scratch?

Do you have a cat with a tendency to add a touch to your home decor? Some furniture that lost its battle and couldn’t keep up with the cat’s seven lives? Well, we’re here to help you redirect your little one’s passion and salvage the rest of your furniture. 

We’ll tell you what kind of material cats like to scratch, why they do it, and how to get matters under control.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

It’s about time that we stop chasing our tails and get to the bottom of this. The fact is, cats like to mark their territory. Their style is quite sassy as it can be both smelled and seen.

While scratching, cats’ scent glands leave a smell that other cats can trace back to them. It either warns them to keep away or attracts them over for mating.

I am sad to tell you that the purpose of this smell isn’t always about other cats. Scratching the life out of your couch could simply be the cat’s way to mask a visitor’s smell or even your own.

Aside from this, scratching plays other smaller roles in a cat’s life. It allows cats to stretch their muscles, trim their claws, and keep themselves entertained. 

Do Cats Have Preferences?

Although cats scratch at most furniture, they’re still pretty picky. Here are a few of the materials they fancy:

  • Sisal
  • Cardboard 
  • Carpet
  • Softwood/logs
  • Linen
  • Silk
  • Chenille
  • Tweeds
  • Faux leather of low quality 
  • Shaggy 
  • Jute

You might be wondering, what’s the best material for a cat scratcher? You’ll be surprised that the answer varies depending on your kitty.


Cats love ropes and threads; any object formed from woven material will have them at it. Sisal, in particular, is a favorite for most, if not all, cats. Its durable and rough texture reminds cats of tree bark, and its woven nature gives them a sense of satisfaction after tearing it thread by thread.

It’s worth mentioning that the sisal’s tightly woven nature makes for a safe cat scratching post as their claws won’t get stuck in the weave.


If you ever leave a cardboard box lying around, cats will squeeze themselves into it and call it home. It’s probably a matter of coziness and comfort that draws them to it.

But still, why do cats scratch it? As mentioned, cats like to scratch things that they want to claim into their possessions. And their cozy home sure falls into that category. 

They also find pleasure in sinking their claws into it. Since the material is thin enough, their claws find an out easily, and the layers give them the desired resistance.

Logs and Softwoods

For a cat living in the wild or just outdoors, there’s a lot of competition and dominance assertion. So, leaving one’s mark and smell turns into a survival instinct. 

The superior durability of trees’ logs ensures the clinging of cats’ smell. Besides, cats like how rough wood feels.

The length aspect is also essential. Cats enjoy vertical objects with considerable heights that allow them to stretch and loosen their muscles while scratching. 

Indoor cats will still search for similar materials, out of instinct. This is why you’ll find them preying on your softwood furniture.


As a cat owner, you most probably gave up a carpet, if not more, to satisfy your cat’s indulgences. Carpets are a common attraction for cats who like to scratch horizontally. Their own fur and smell linger deep in the carpet padding, which entices them more towards it. 

What Kind of Material Do Cats Hate to Scratch?

Trying to cat-proof your house? Here are some of the materials that don’t attract cats:

  • Metal 
  • Leather upholstery
  • Polyester
  • Denim
  • Ultrasuede
  • Glass
  • Velvet
  • Sunbrella

Metal, Plastic, and Glass

Metal, plastic, and glass lie at the very bottom of a cat’s list of things to scratch. Their squeaky noise and impenetrable nature make them impossible for scratching.

Velvet and Sunbrella

Velvet and Sunbrella are soft, thick, and with no way to claw into. This makes them the perfect choice for any pet owner. 

All these materials simply don’t offer fun resistance. So, cats don’t bother with them for long. If you’re decorating, try to choose from this list of materials for your furniture. Their durability will hold out against any cat’s devilish attempts.

Tips and Tricks for Cat-proofing 

What to do to keep your house safe from your mischievous little pet? 

Stay a Step Ahead

Trim your cat’s claws before she digs them into your couch. The trimming should be done once a week in a careful manner that doesn’t harm the cat.

With fidgety cats, this task won’t be easy, especially with the sensitive nature of claws. So don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Soft Paws, No More Brawls

Applying nail caps on your cat will have her looking stylish and your furniture staying intact. They need to be put on every four to six weeks using a non-toxic adhesive.

Your cat might not appreciate its mani-pedi at first, but she will get used to it after a couple of times.

Cats Gotta Do What They Gotta Do

Scratch posts are our attempt to find a middle ground. They’re alternatives to all your pet’s favorite scratch pieces, and smaller than a luxury cat tree that cats love to climb.

They ought to be made of similar material to guarantee that the cat won’t ignore them.

Choose a hollow scratching post to give your cat the desirable sound she seeks. Moreover, get different shaped ones and place some vertically and others horizontally: Cats like to scratch from different angles.

Why Declawing Shouldn’t Be a Solution?

Although declawing is illegal in many countries, it’s still practiced in many others. It’s a way to prevent cat scratching by removing the claws through a surgical procedure. To ensure the claws never grow back, the last bone of the digit is removed as well. That’s beyond inhumane and can be easily avoided.

Furniture Still in Utter Ruin?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. If your cat persists on scratching your door or the armrest, try to make them unattractive. You can cover your furniture in any material that your cat won’t like. That could be aluminum foil or double-sided sticky tape.

Some people even opt for cat repellent smells like lavender, rue, and strong citrus. Once sprayed, the cat will stick to the five-feet-apart rule. 

This method will work best if you also purchase a scratching post. 

How to Introduce a Scratching Post?

You’ll want to get more than one scratching post and scatter them around the place. Place them near the cat’s bed because cats like to scratch and stretch when they wake up. You can also put some posts where you sit the most since cats like to leave their scent around you.

Here’s how to find space for a cat tree, which is a lot bigger than a cat post.

Also, position the scratching posts to block the way to the cat’s usual scratching victims. When the cat sees the scratching post first, her attention will steer towards it.

Whenever the cat sneaks towards a valuable object, and you can see the mischievous sparkle in her eyes, quickly carry her toward a scratching post. And try to play with your cat using the scratching post, which will make it more appealing. 

Quick Overview

Cats scratch instinctively. It isn’t a thing that can be prevented or treated as misbehavior. Nonetheless, there are several ways to avoid damage. These can be buying furniture that cats won’t look twice at, doing some extra claw-care, or finding alternatives that will satisfy your cat. 

Just remember, it’s crucial to keep anything with threads or anything made of softwood out of the cats’ reach. Otherwise, you’ll say your farewell to your furniture once and for all.