Furniture for people that is designed to be cat scratched

by Michael
(London, UK)

I am thinking right out of the box here so I would welcome comments, even those that shoot me down. I don’t mind.

Why isn’t there furniture on the market that is designed to be both acceptable to people and designed and built to be scratched by a domestic cat? People share their home with the domestic cat. They share their furniture with the domestic cat. Why can’t it be made to be shared? Cats are members of the family. Indeed on a different subject homes can and should be built with greater adaptability in mind to accommodate companion animals.

Sofa designed for cat scratching - Front

Sofa designed for cat scratching – Front

Cat scratch sofa - back

Cat scratch sofa – back

There are thousands of different types of cat furniture that is made specifically for a cat to climb and scratch. This, sometimes large, cat furniture is very useful and it often sits in the living room. People who care for cats accept it as a functional piece of furniture. If they can accept that they can accept what I am proposing.

I would have thought that with modern technology in respect of materials and with the imagination of the best furniture designers, someone, somewhere could come up with a sofa that looked OK when it was scratched – Cat Scratch Sofa.

Of course it has to be made of a material that a cat enjoys scratching but we know that cats scratch furniture in the same, specific places. I have marked them on the photograph above.

Is it not possible to make these areas in a material that maintains a reasonable appearance having been scratched? The remainder of the sofa could be in the usual materials.

I for one, would very much welcome a piece of furniture that I know is designed for all members of my family and that didn’t exclude my cats.

There would be something very relaxing knowing that the sofa would be fine.

There are about 80 million domestic cats in the USA and about 10 million in the UK.

As I recall (and I am writing this from memory) there are about 20 million declawed cats in the USA – one quarter of all cats. I think, actually, the percentage is higher.

There are people who keep cats who will always declaw. It’s just a routine. The “cat scratch sofa” would not please them.

But there must be a large number of cat caretakers who fall in what I would call the middle ground. Those that don’t like declawing cats but who also don’t like damaged sofas. They are in the grey zone. They can be converted.

One way to stop declawing cats is to ban it – hurrah! Another way is to find alternatives to the guesstimated 20 million cat caretakers who are in the middle ground and who would consider purchasing a cat scratch sofa. This is a large consumer market. Come on furniture manufacturers, think out of the box!

Michael Avatar

Furniture for people that is designed to be cat scratched to Declawing Cats

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Furniture for people that is designed to be cat scratched

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Aug 29, 2011 I had a similar idea
by: Nyki P.

It’s funny, because I came across this site looking for others who had the same beliefs as I did. I actually foster kittens from the local animal shelter and have two cats of my own and I’m very much against declawing for the sake of “preserving” furniture. Cats are like children, and are just as likely to mess up a leather sofa as their human counterparts. My husband wants to remove their claws because they decided our couch was a great scratching post– but instead, I repaired our couch by installing a decorative swatch of hemp rope/twine along the corners. It’s functional and decorative!At least this way, the couch doesn’t get any further damage– and my husband can’t complain! LOL

If you want pictures, feel free to e-mail me at

Feb 16, 2011 Great idea!
by: Leah (England)

If it was made and marketed properly I think it has a lot of potential especially if the scratched bits are easily replaceable.

Feb 13, 2011 Thanks to The CatAWhack Crew
by: Michael

Thanks for that nice comment. Realistically it will take a miracle for someone to make one but done properly I feel confident that it could be a very saleable product.

Michael Avatar

Feb 13, 2011 Well Said Barbara
by: Michael

Thanks Barbara. That is the point I was trying to get across. It’s about furniture that is for the whole family and the domestic cat is very much part of the family.

I sense that at the moment, we make homes and furniture exclusively for us and cats sort of fit into it.

A better integrated system would be better. There are a lot of families with cats especially in the USA (80m cats and 300m people).

Michael Avatar

Feb 12, 2011 Turning Furniture into Cat Claw Art
by: The CatAWhack Crew

Hey Michael

I really think that your idea is a very innovative concept that could do a lot for cat-human co-habitation if it were introduced and marketed in a pawticular way. It made me think of this article that I saw on Animal Planet,

If the areas that you identified as prime scratching areas on the couch were made of an all natural fiber like wool, canvas, cotton, soft wood, hemp, jute, sisal, re-purposed fabric scraps, or even pet-safe window screen, this would offer a lot of pawsibilities that could be worked into different design tastes and purreferences whether modern, contemporary, shabby chic, vintage, etc. The shredding could be seen as a desired design element that compliments the decor, adds artistic flair, and makes a unique statement. These areas could also be easily replaceable with different elements and textures if necessary since individuals tastes change regarding acceptable aesthetics in communal home areas. All it would take is the right person or people in the public eye making it fashionable and you would set a new trend that would benefit both humans and felines.

Feb 12, 2011 Response to OJ – last comment
by: Michael

Thanks for the comment. The idea is that the furniture would not be custom made so would be the same price as a standard couch.

The cost of any couch is cheaper than declawing but the decision is not made solely on cost but on what is best overall for those people who consider declawing.

If a person declaws to protect the sofa and they can buy a sofa that doesn’t need protection that eliminates the need to declaw.

People who don’t consider declawing cruel will never be swayed to change their ways other than by intensive education or a ban.

Michael Avatar

Feb 12, 2011 Cats deserve a break
by: Barbara

Any furniture that allows a cat to do what cats do without being punished or crippled for it is a wonderful idea in my book, Michael I love the thought of sitting on a settee specially made for cats to enjoy while all around me there are bits of claws flying in all directions, and I also think the Catawhack furniture is great and probably more realistic too. I just wish everyone was as tolerant of our whiskered friends and didn’t set so high a store on furniture at the cost of their cat.

Barbara avatar

Feb 12, 2011 Furniture
by: OJ

With all due respect I do not think many people in the US would buy a couch to share with their cat.

Those who declaw value their furniture more than their pet.

Those who are undecided might possibly be swayed but let us face it having the cat declawed would be a lot cheaper than custom made furniture.

I am very interested in the special furniture of the Catawhack people after looking up the website.

Feb 12, 2011 Both
by: Michael

There is a place for (a) furniture for cats (b) furniture for humans and cats and (c) furniture for humans. My proposal is (b).

Michael Avatar

Feb 12, 2011 Hi Michael
by: Ruth

Good point and I do hope you are right.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 12, 2011 Claws are nasty things to some
by: Kathryn

I agree with Ruth in that people who think claws are nasty things to be removed as soon as possible won’t be interested in people/cat combined furniture.

They aren’t the sort to put the cats welfare before their own selfishness and laziness.

I love the look of the Catawhack stuff and I’m glad someone is making a real effort at long last to promote with incentives such a good idea.

Good luck to Bret and his team.

Feb 12, 2011 Hi Ruth
by: Michael

I agree that there is a hardcore of many millions of Americans who will never change.

But as I say in the article, there are the waverers, the people who are perhaps a little undecided.

I think this middle ground is growing and if a cat scratch sofa/couch offers a “solution” to them, then it might save millions of toes.

Michael Avatar

Feb 12, 2011 Photos
by: Michael

Susie, feel free to email me photos…Michael

Feb 12, 2011 photos
by: Susie Bearder

Tried to load a couple of photos on Facebook but it takes too long and I cancelled but I will put them up here or send them to you Michael?

I think the clue is in that the cats’ claws go deep into the stuffing passing safely through the fabric. This seems to satisfy their need – and mine.

Feb 12, 2011 More thoughts
by: Ruth

I’ve been having another think about this designed to scratch furniture and in my opinion while it’s a good idea for those of us who truly love our cats, I can’t see the pro declawing people agreeing.

For example a man I was caught up with in an ‘argument’ on a google alert question was adamant that it was HIS home, HIS furniture and his cat was lucky he allowed ‘it’ to live with him and should be happy that ‘it’ only had to pay with the loss of ‘its’ claws.

To pro declaws cats are just another possession without rights.

I can’t imagine those people would want to buy special furniture to share with a clawed cat.

But I do think the CatAWhack furniture might sway those people, especially if their ‘hallowed and trusty’ vet recommends it, which they just might as there’s the incentive of 10 dollars for a referral and those vets obviously love money.

I think he and his CatAWhack team have the right idea, not only educating people about the cruelty of declawing but providing alternatives too.

The scratching for change is good too, not many businesses want to help Rescues !

Maybe one day the people of the USA and Canada will have cat furniture in every room, as we do here in the UK, because our cats are as much a member of the family with rights as we are.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 11, 2011 Repairing a Chair for my cats
by: Riverside Robyn

My “catroom” is a converted back bedroom that I use as an office and TV room. Well, my little boys scratched a 10 inch swath on one corner of the easy chair, and I just bought denim and stiff padding to repair the area (the chair is denim blue, anyway). Your article, Michael, got me thinking–maybe I could put a patch of sisal, maybe cut up from a mat from the thrift store, and attach it with heavy-duty velcro.

I’ll let you all know how this experiment works out. Unfortunately, my boss dropped a load of work on me, but I should have it done by next Friday.

Thanks for a stimulating article.

Feb 11, 2011 Manufacturing Sources
by: Lynn

I’d suggest that you just Google “furniture manufacturers” to see what comes up. There are sites like where you can go & post something you’re looking for. I did this when I first started my retail site to find products for it. But what I found there was that nobody bothered to read my posting saying that I needed suppliers who could drop-ship individual orders for me, and every manufacturer in China was contacting me wanting me to buy containerloads of stuff that didn’t even have anything to do with cats.

A lot of the old furniture makers in North Carolina have shut down, so there may even be opportunities to partner with someone to start one back up to manufacture something; seems like a lot of Americans who used to work in that industry might like to have a job again. If you’re in the UK, I know you probably have the same situation with manufacturing there. But that’d be a huge undertaking. Most manufacturing these days is done in the Orient, at least if you want to sell things at a price people are willing to pay.

Feb 11, 2011 The new “sectional”!
by: Chris Harris

I agree, Polly.

Feb 11, 2011 Brilliant
by: Kathleen

This is a fantastic idea, Michael. Go for it!

Feb 11, 2011 Cat Scratch Alternative
by: The CatAWhack Crew

We will offer an all natural scratch alternative for purrchase on-line at the beginning of March. This alternative is 7 products in one (cat bed, tree, perch, scratching surface, enclosure, play station, and exercise unit) with built in pawsitive reinforcers that encourage feline family members to establish healthy cat scratch practice on the area on and around the unit.

We believe that cats scratch indiscriminately as a means to establish territory and communicate boundaries. The CatAWhack Unit creates a personalized designated space within the home that belongs to your feline family member…an area where they can express themselves, engage in natural behavior that promotes health and well-being, and establish a sense of safety, security, and comfort.

You can check out more details and photos at

We believe every member of the family needs their own purrsonal space. We are a young start-up business with the intent to create and provide unique products that will allow cats to be all that they were meant to be, claws and all. We know that it appeals to felines pawticular purreferences after CatAWhack Crew feline inspectors gave it a paws up. They love it, especially in front of a window with a great view.

We will also initiate the following to support felines:

1. Every time someone makes a purrchase, any amount that occurs after the decimal point will be contributed to rescues and organizations that are pro-claw. We call it “Scratchin’ for Change.”

2. Every U.S. or Candadian veterinarian office that refrains from declawing and instead refers individuals to us for cat scratch reconditioning assistance that results in the purrchase of a CatAWhack Unit will be given $10.00 for every referral.

3. Claw Retention Initiative. This is a program that is being developed that uses pawsitive multi-media means to educate the public on: the importance of claw retention and how it attributes to cat health & well-being as well as what declawing really is. We believe in human beings and their ability to learn, understand, and evolve beyond declawing.

Let’s start a celebration of paws and claws everywhere! We would love to have your support. If you have any suggestions regarding these initiatives or how we can make a difference, we can’t wait to hear from you!


Bret Glass

Cattress Mattress

Feb 11, 2011 Good idea
by: Ruth

What a good idea Michael.

Until you or someone else can invent this furniture there is the CatAWhack special cat furniture I think would look great in any room of the house.

I wish they would come over to the UK with it.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Feb 11, 2011 i want one
by: stacy s


i would so buy this!!

Feb 11, 2011 Hi Polly
by: Michael

Thanks for the good ideas. It is really appreciated.

You may not realise that I am English, living in England (London)!

I am, though, coming over to the USA in July to do the demonstration against declawing in St. Louis.

I’ll see how things develop.

Michael Avatar

Feb 11, 2011 Prototypes
by: Polly

Hey, Michael… If I were you, I would make a prototype or two, and try them out (my five cats would be all too happy to be unpaid researchers.) You could likely make a mock-up by using measured pieces of board wrapped with whatever scratching material you choose and adding wood screws. Also, if I were you, I would try to patent this idea. I’m not sure how to do this… think the U.S. Patent Office (or Britain’s facsimile) would be a good place to start. 🙂 Polly (aka Paula)

Feb 11, 2011 Great Idea
by: Michael

That is a neat idea, Polly. Thank you. Maybe we’ll get something going here!

Michael Avatar

Feb 11, 2011 Great Idea!
by: Polly

The sofas could be designed with removable/replaceable sections in those areas you’ve identified as frequently scratched, and this could include along the back. Consumers could buy only those sections personalized for their cats, and could actually replace them (screw on and off, I’m thinking) inexpensively as they got really shabby. Actually, someone could market this just as the replaceable pieces/sections right now… to sell alongside already marketed sofas!


Furniture for people that is designed to be cat scratched — 4 Comments

  1. Hi Michael,
    interesting idea. Of our seven cats, only one is declawed. He is our youngest and we had it done because he was destroying the trim on the doorways, not just clawing the ends of the sofa. We have always had a thrift store chair or “dumpster” chair that we find free or for less than $20 that we designate as belonging to the cats. We used to spray them with water if they scratched other furniture, but none of them have done that in years (Our oldest is now 19), so it wasn’t a problem until we found the youngest one living with 12 other homeless cats at an auto repair shop. We got them all spayed and neutered and put them all back except him because he had health issues. Anyway, we’ve been searching for furniture that is easy to clean and doesn’t get all furry. We think that plexiglass chairs would be great, but can’t find any we like.

    • Yes, some sort of furniture that is for cats and people would be nice. Almost everything in the house is for people yet we share the house with a cat or cats.

  2. Pingback: Cat Claws are a Veterinarian’s Financial Asset. Preserve Them! | Pictures of Cats

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