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Pet owners face a losing battle when it comes to keeping their sofas clean. One tiny cat nap and that pristine sofa is covered with fur. Who can say no to Mittens? Then when Mittens feels frisky, she’s apt to claw the sofa fabric, leaving it in tatters. Luckily, you don’t have to sacrifice style to find a sofa that cleans easily and resists scratching. Follow these tips when shopping for your next sofa.

Consider Your Pet’s Impact

Estimate your pet’s likely damage so you can accurately screen potential matches. Cats are apt to scratch the sofa fabric and shed. Dogs probably won’t scratch the fabric, but they may drool and shed. Pets that aren’t fully house-trained may eliminate on the sofa and sick pets may throw up.

Be realistic when assessing your pet’s potential damage to the sofa, as this will help you make the best selection. Take into account other lifestyle demands that would put wear and tear on your sofa. For example, babies can be just as taxing as pets.

Know Your Pet-friendly Fabrics

While it may seem like your choices are limited at first, many fabrics work for pet-friendly sofas. It’s incredibly easy to remove pet fur from leather. Although pet nails can scratch leather, this may add a patina that lends character to your sofa. Microfiber fabrics have a very tight weave that makes it difficult for cats to hook their claws into the material, Apartment Therapy notes. If your main concern is staining, HGTV recommends considering a sofa made from Crypton, a stain-resistant fabric. (Ultrasuede, a suede-like fabric that is completely machine washable, makes another solid option for pet owners. Velvet adds a luxurious touch to your living room and can stand up to a moderate amount of scratching.

Avoid chenille, which does not hold up to pet wear and tear. Sofas made from textured or nubby material like wool can tempt cats to pull, so steer clear of these. Consider choosing a color that will camouflage your pet’s fur, especially if you think you will become lax about cleaning your new sofa.

View examples of these sofa materials and begin comparison shopping to find a sofa in your budget. The Macy’s Sofa Finder allows you to browse sofas by fabric, type and color and can be a valuable shopping aid.

Tips For Maintaining Your Sofa

Some pet owners find machine-washable slipcovers a helpful tool for managing pet hair. When the slipcover becomes too dirty, just remove, wash and place back on the sofa. Even a simple blanket adds a layer of protection between the sofa and your pet, and can be washed when it becomes too hairy.

On a regular basis, remove pet hair from your furniture with a hand vacuum, pet brush or other tool. Regularly inspect your sofa for signs of pet damage and clean up immediately after you notice any problems.

While it does take active management and careful planning, you can create a stylish, sophisticated living room that takes your pet’s needs into account.

Larissa Jester

Larissa is a vet tech who has three dogs of her own. She loves to write about animal care and environmental issues.

Image by Emery_Way via Flickr.

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