At regular intervals, we get customers at the upholsterer who hope to have cat-resistant fabric to their chair. I have also had a couple of cats as a customer too!
This may come as a surprise to everyone, but there is no cat-resistant fabric. There just is not. However, there are some points that can be taken into account when upholstering furniture for a cat (because everyone knows that every single chair is the cat’s own, whether the owner likes it or not).
First, I would consider whether the fabric is densely woven or not. Loosely woven fabrics with longer thread runs are outright screaming to claw them. If, on the other hand, the fabric is very dense, it cannot be gripped so comfortably with claws.
Another point to keep in mind is that cats shed hair. We have had two cats for over ten years, so one might think that this too would have been a clear thing for this upholsterer as well. But what happened? Last winter, an on-the-job learner at the upholsterer was honoured to re-upholster our own K-chair. The fabric was truly loved and carefully chosen, but two cats and two small children had done their job over the years. I had been dreaming of a felt-like woollen fabric for a long time, but I could not decide on the colour. Of the two options, I chose dark lilac, a truly beautiful shade, on the recommendation of many different people. It has turned out to be a mistake! Because that of our cats who sleeps in the chair is grey! And a fabric like that will catch every little hair. Basically, I am not that bothered about cat hair, because they just have to be accepted. If there are cats, there is hair. But at times it stings a little, as the second colour option was a wonderfully beautiful calm grey. So it is worth thinking about the materials of the fabric and the surface structure, as well as to consider how well they capture dust and cat hair. Anyway, it would be good to vacuum the furniture with a textile nozzle at regular intervals too.
My third piece of advice is not really about choosing the fabric, but I think it is perhaps the most important. Namely, the placement of chairs. Having known quite a few cats, I can say that the chairs in the living room, or some other central location, are most at risk of being clawed. So for those pieces of furniture, it is really worth considering the choice of fabric perhaps a little more precisely.
Of course, you should also make sure that the cats have enough other places to climb on and sharpen their claws. It might even work! In addition to all these tips (dense fabric, one that does not easily catch visible hair), you can only cross your fingers and hope that the cat does not get excited over the recently upholstered furniture.
PS. I am truly a cat person, the same tips certainly also apply to dogs.
Alina makes Kissapuu's sleeping pads, both of fabric and goat fur, and all fabric parts for hammock & crip platforms.