Choose the right fabric for your sofa to prevent scratches and stains.
Are leather or fabric upholstered sofas better for homes with pets? It depends on whether you have dogs or cats and their breed. Most pet owners will make the wrong choice with at least one sofa or armchair and learn what not to buy the next time. The key is not to just choose wisely, but also practise some furniture-saving habits. (Also Read: 5 Ways Cats Can Improve Your Health)
Leather, particularly distressed leather, may be hardy, but scratches can show up on it easily. However, pet hair does not get trapped as there is no fibre to catch onto and it will require only a weekly vacuum.
If you prefer fabric, choose outdoor fabric as it repels water (or drool), is stain- and fade-resistant as well as easy to clean. (Also Read: Life Hacks: How to Get Rid Of Odours & Stains With Baking Soda)
Other dog-friendly choices include microfibre, a thin and durable material with a very tight weave, and ultrasuede. These feel soft and luxurious. Both tend to be directional, which means you will leave a mark on the surface when it is touched.
Cat owners should consider their pets’ thin sharp claws that snag fabric. Forget any loose weave fabric and choose velvet, leather or ultrasuede. Compared with fabric, velvet has a cut-pile, instead of a looped pile, which gives cat claws nothing much to catch onto. Cats will also find it hard to scratch leather and ultrasuede. (Also Read: 7 Toxic Chemicals to Avoid in Your Cleaning Products)
Keep your pet groomed (to minimise shedding dander on the sofa and cushions) and occupied (to prevent animals such as cats from clawing at the furniture). Giving your dog a bath and brushing its fur help to keep it off your sofa.
Pet hair on fabric or leather is not only unsightly, but it can also stain your sofa as it contains an oil which can attract dirt. Place a machine-washable blanket or throw over the spot your pet likes to rest on to extend the life of your sofa.
This article was first published in Home & Decor magazine (June’17 issue).