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What sofa fabric can withstand my cats' claws? Add to ...

The question

We have two cats that we love. We don’t, however, love what their claws do to our furniture. We’d like to buy a new sofa, but don’t want to have it torn to shreds. What material will best hold up to two sets of trimmed but sharp claws?

The answer

The fact that your pussycats are well groomed is definitely a bonus in this situation. Being a lover of animals and fabric, I completely get it. That being said, your choices are limited.

Firstly, you can opt for microsuede, which is cheap and cheerful but strangely durable; most marks will brush out. I would suggest a medium-coloured fabric and not white. If and when your feline attempts to claw, I suggest discipline, telling your cat “no” while spraying it with water. Your puss will go sour for a while, but your sofa will be spared.

Option two: Have the sofa covered in an outdoor fabric. Canvas, for example, will last, will repel water and will not fade in the light of a sunny window. Most importantly, claws will not penetrate it and all will be happy.

As a last resort, what about a puss in boots − both fashionable and practical? If only Louboutin did shoes for sharp cats.

Follow architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace on Twitter: @ddtaylorddd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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