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What sofa fabric can withstand my cats' claws?

Stock photo | Thinkstock/Stock photo | Thinkstock

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

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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

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