As any cat lover will tell you, one minute you can be cuddling with your fluffy companion, and the next, they're digging their claws into your sofa. To keep your furniture in good condition, the best couch covers for cat scratching are made with durable materials that shield your sofa from claws, and they come in a wide variety of styles — including full slipcovers and plastic shields — so you can choose the type of protection that works best for you and your furry household.
You have a choice between traditional covers that protect the majority of your sofa and shields that protect key areas — your pick will come down to a combination of function and aesthetics. As far as fabric protection goes, you’ll generally want to stay away from stretchy slipcovers, as the material won’t be durable enough to resist claws. For that reason, fabric products on this list are made from heavy-duty materials like faux suede and velvet. These covers fit over the backs, cushions, and arms of the sofas, but don’t protect the fronts of the arms, which may be an issue for some cat owners. If you’re looking to protect every single inch of your couch, you can choose a vinyl slipcover, but keep in mind that it will be much less soft than fabric, so it may be best suited for use when you’re away from home and can’t keep an eye on your furniture.
As an alternative, you can opt for shields that protect key areas — like the fronts and sides of armrests. Generally, these understated covers are less likely to change the aesthetic of your couch since you can place them only where you need them, and they’re available in two styles: clear plastic guards with a smooth surface that deters your cat from clawing, and armrest covers with built-in scratch pads that allow you to indulge your kitty’s instincts, without risk of damage to your sofa. So if you’re wondering how to protect furniture from cats, check out the best couch covers for cat scratching below.
1. The Best Slipcover
Boasting a 4.4-star overall rating on Amazon after more than 34,000 reviews, this dual-sided microfiber slipcover is available in three sizes and an impressive 30 color options to suit a variety of couches and preferences. It covers most of the sofa, but keep in mind that the front of the armrests won’t be protected, which may or may not be an issue, depending on your cat’s habits.
The multi-section cover has two large areas for the seat and back of your couch, and two sections that cover the arms, all of which attach to the couch’s frame with elastic straps. Firm, foam inserts wedge between the couch’s sides and cushions to provide a secure fit so the cover won’t slip out of place, and the quilted material has a faux suede feel and is machine-washable for easy care. The water-resistant design also guards against spills, pet accidents, and staining from regular wear and tear, and since the dual-colored cover is reversible, you can always flip it over for a quick aesthetic update.
Helpful review: “Got this to keep the cat from shedding on the couch as well to keep her claws from destroying the fabric. Works well on both accounts. I like fact that is reversible and easily cleaned. Perfect size for my couch...”
- Available sizes: 3
- Available colors: 30
2. The Best Scratch Shields
Your cat’s claws will slide right off these mountable plastic shields when they scratch at the sofa, and the subtle transparent design won’t mask your couch. Each 17-by-12-inch shield can be trimmed to size and used to cover various sections of your couch, like the sides, armrest, and base, and the flexible material can be bent around corners. These cat furniture protectors are sold in a set of six and affix to your sofa using an adhesive backing and simple twist pins that allow for repositioning and removal without damaging your furniture.
Helpful review: “These shields were very easy & sturdy to adhere to our leather couch. I tested to see if I could remove a shield without harming the leather and the answer is YES! These Amazing shields sure beat cellophane wrapped around my couch. They are minimally seen and blend in well. So far the cats are frustrated from clawing my couch and now using their scratching post.”
- Available sizes: 1 (can be trimmed to size)
- Available colors: 1 (clear)
3. The Best For Sectionals
These plush velvet pet furniture covers for sectionals are sold individually and in sets of two, allowing you to customize protection for uniquely shaped sofas and chaises. Rather than straps, each cat-proof couch cover has an anti-slip silicone rubber backing that keeps it in place on upholstered or leather sofas, and can be tucked under and behind cushions for a secure fit. For full coverage, multiple sizes can be mixed and matched and even overlapped, but keep in mind that the fronts of armrests will not be protected. The covers are made from high-density, tightly stitched fabric to prevent snags and rips from cat claws, and they’re machine-washable but won’t protect your sofa from accidents and spills.
Helpful review: “Protects furniture really well. Our cats love to test their claws on upholstery. No problem with these covers. They are soft to sit on & wash well. Even bought covers for our outdoor furniture. Keeps cushions looking like new.”
- Available sizes: 10
- Available colors: 3
4. The Best For Full Protection
For a fully cat-proof couch, this waterproof vinyl slipcover provides all-over scratch protection, and it’s perfect if you don’t want any part of your furniture exposed. The one-piece design has durable seamed edges, and the thick construction of the transparent cover guards against any breakthrough clawing, while the wipe-clean design makes it easy to clean up dirt, spills, and pet accidents. The vinyl cover does not have the soft touch or breathability of fabric — so it may be best for use when you’re away from home — but it is a great choice if you want to protect your entire couch.
Helpful review: “Bought these because someone told me that it would keep my cat from scratching the furniture. . . it works! The chairs are side chairs in my formal living room so I can just remove when we have company.”
- Available sizes: 4
- Available colors: 1 (clear)
5. The Best Arm Cover & Scratch Pad
If your cat gravitates toward your couch’s arm when scratching, this arm cover and scratch pad may be a good option for you. The wraparound cover is available for both the right and left sides of your couch and anchors securely onto the legs using two Velcro straps at the base. Soft linen fabric adorns the upper section that covers the armrest, while the front and side of the cover are made of durable, natural sisal, giving your furry friend a generous amount of space to claw and scratch, without damaging your furniture. The charcoal gray color is neutral and won’t dominate your living space, and the cover removes and attaches easily if you want to take it on or off for any reason.
Helpful review: “So far, Henry *my cat*, has been going after this instead of my couch. I'm so happy. My $900 couch has been saved!”
- Available sizes: 1
- Available colors: 1
Also Great: A Scratch Deterrent Tape
This double-sided scratch deterrent tape affixes to surfaces like your couch and has a tacky surface that cats dislike. The extra-wide 4-inch roll contains 30 yards of tape, so you can apply and reapply the tape over large surfaces like couches, or use it in targeted areas throughout your home. The transparent design allows you to see your couch and won’t leave a sticky residue on your furnishings after removal. It installs like standard double-sided tape, and it’s a great low-cost option for keeping your couch in pristine shape.
Helpful review: “Oh boy does this stick. Cats hated it. Stopped the couch-as-scratching-post immediately.”