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Fabric and Leather Sofas for Pet Lovers

Sofas and pets can be a tricky combination. There’s absolutely nothing cosier than curling up on the sofa with your favourite pet and, with pets increasingly a part of the family and people more commonly living smaller homes with fewer outdoor spaces, most people are very happy to have their pets on the furniture. However, claws and animal hair aren’t particularly friendly to delicate fabrics, so pet-lovers should be careful to choose a sofa with that in mind.

Leather sofas and pets

A lot of pet-owners assume that leather is a non-starter, and too easily damaged. However, don’t rule it out. In many ways, leather can be a better choice than fabric, being strong and resistant to damage, and having naturally ‘wipe-clean’ properties. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that animal hair won’t easily stick to leather, meaning that it can be easily cleaned by dusting or vacuuming.

St James Leather Sofa St James Leather Sofa

One question worth asking is whether you are more concerned about dirt and stains, or scratches, and that might depend on the type of pet you have and how active and outdoorsy they are.

Soft untreated aniline leathers have the advantage of a naturally distressed look, which means that small scratches from the occasional claw can be well hidden. On the other hand, the fact they have no surface protection means they remain very absorbent and so can stain quickly when exposed to muddy paws or wet dog.

Dog on Sloane Sofa Sloane Sofa in Semi Aniline Old English Hazel Leather

Treated leathers are much more resistant to stains and can easily be wiped-clean. They may also be a bit tougher and less easy to cut and scratch. On the other hand, if they do get scratched, their naturally smoother and more consistent surface can show up the damage more.

 

Pet-friendly fabric sofas

Depending on the animal, fabric can be a great choice for homes with pets. It can be very hard-wearing if you choose a fabric with a tight weave, and is often easier to clean than leather. Sofas with removable covers are an especially good option for a home with very outdoorsy dogs where there’s a good chance of getting mud on the sofas. Being able to take the covers off and clean them, or even eventually replace them, is a great way to take the stress out of watching a muddy dog jump onto your sofa.

Ashdown corner sofa in crushed velvet - stain resistant velvets available Ashdown corner sofa in crushed velvet - stain resistant velvets available

The best fabrics are hard-wearing, smooth and tightly-woven, which prevents dirt and hair from getting trapped in it, and makes it harder for animal claws to cut the individual fibres. Canvas is a great option, as are synthetic microfibers which can easily have dust and hairs brushed off and are robust enough to be cleaned without causing further damage.

Alice modular sofa in hard wearing family friendly fabrics Alice modular sofa in hard wearing family friendly fabrics

If you do go for a fabric sofa, it’s best to avoid very fragile and delicate fabrics like silk or velvet, as well as those with rough or textured surface, such as tweed or chenille, that can catch pet hair and make them hard to vacuum up, and can snag pet claws causing damage.

 

Leather and fabric sofas for pet owners

Mixed leather and fabric sofas can also be a great choice. Typically the back and arms are leather while the cushions are covered in fabric. This is often ideal for pet-owners as it combines the hard-wearing qualities of leather on the arms and sides where pets may jump up, with the ability to easily clean the cushions where pets may sit and leave hair or mud.

Richmond sofa with Modena Khaki Stain resistant cushions and leather arms Richmond sofa with Modena Khaki Stain resistant cushions and leather arms