The 5 Best Couch Covers For Cat Scratching, According To Pet Owners

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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.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

First off, why do cats scratch? According to co-author of Total Cat Mojo and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist Mikel Delgado, Ph.D., it’s “normal feline behavior that allows cats to stretch their back muscles, mark their territory and condition their claws.” Dr. Delgado recommends providing acceptable scratching alternatives: “Add a few tall, sturdy scratching posts, out of a material your cat likes to scratch (usually sisal, cardboard, or carpet) and place them in areas that your cat likes to rest, play, or greet you.”

What Criteria To Look For

When it comes to actual couch protection, 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, you’ll generally want to stay away from stretchy slipcovers, as the material won’t be durable enough to resist claws. For that reason, the fabric covers on this list are made from heavy-duty materials, and they 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, you can choose a vinyl slipcover, but keep in mind 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.

Shop The Best Couch Covers For Cat Scratching

In a hurry? These are the best couch covers for cat scratching:

  1. The Best Scratch Shields: Stelucca Amazing Shields
  2. The Best Arm Cover & Scratch Pad: Navaris Sisal Furniture Protector Scratch Pad
  3. The Best Slipcover: Easy-Going Reversible Sofa Slipcover
  4. The Best For Full Protection: LAMINET Crystal Clear Couch Cover
  5. The Best For Sectionals: TEWENE Couch Covers

So if you’re wondering how to protect furniture from cats, check out the best couch covers for cat scratching below.

1. The Best Scratch Shields

Your cat’s claws will slide right off these mountable plastic shields when they scratch 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.

Positive Amazon review: “This product is purrfect for any home that loves their cats but wants to protect their furniture from harm caused from scratching. These shields are packaged very well. The instructions are easy to read. I had no problem with peeling the backing from the shields. The shields are sturdy and folded around the corners of my sectional well. The product is truly transparent. The pins are easy to insert. I have no wrinkles in these shields. I highly recommend this product and will definitely order more shields soon. I am so impressed with the quality of the packaging and the instructions.”

Made of: Plastic | Available sizes: 1 | Available colors: 1 (clear)

Also Available on: Walmart, $38 (X-Large size)

2. 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 hook-and-loop 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 pictured above is neutral and won’t dominate your living space, but it’s also available in light gray and brown color options. The cover removes and attaches easily if you want to take it on or off for any reason.

Positive Amazon review: “My cat loved using the front/side of the couch for clawing even though he had a scratcher. Unfortunately, we did not have room for a cat tree in a small apartment, so we tried this as a solution and it worked magnificently. We were worried that the cat might not like the surface texture of this, but after just a bit of hesitation, he uses this on a regular basis, scratching the same spot he used to scratch on the couch. Definitely worth looking into if your cat is the type that prefers a vertical scratching surface to a horizontal or diagonal surface like his scratch pad was. This was also easy to install.”

Made of: Linen and sisal | Available sizes: 1 | Available colors: 3

3. The Best Slipcover

Boasting a 4.3-star overall rating on Amazon after more than 89,000 reviews, this dual-sided microfiber slipcover is available in 12 sizes and an impressive 32 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.

Positive Amazon review: “This exceeded my expectations for the price point. It is nice and soft and my cat doesn’t scratch up my leather couch. Does everything I wanted it to do!”

Made of: Microfiber | Available sizes: 12 | Available colors: 33

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.

Positive Amazon review: “I was drawn to these covers because the description stated it would deter our cats from scratching our new sofa. So far, I am pleased to report that it’s working. Gramps and Goosie don’t even bother with the sofa now. I am so happy to have finally found a remedy for this problem.”

Made of: Vinyl | Available sizes: 3 | Available colors: 1 (clear)

Also available on: Walmart, $38

5. The Best For Sectionals

These plush velvet pet furniture covers for sectionals are sold individually, 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.

Positive Amazon review: “I have been pleased with these sofa covers. I have had these for a few months and cleaned them per company instructions. They have held up well and are super soft. I have both a cat and a dog and these covers work well to protect the sofa from claws, dirt, and fur!”

Made of: Velvety fabric | Available sizes: 10 | Available colors: 4

Must-Have: A Fan-Approved Scratching Post

Dr. Delgado recommends keeping sturdy scratching posts around as “acceptable alternatives” to furniture, saying, “Cats like to feel like it’s their home too and scratching posts help them carve out their territory!” This cat scratching post measures 29 inches tall (giving your pet plenty of height to stretch), and is made from a combination of natural sisal and carpet — two materials Dr. Delgado says cats love. The 14-by-14 inch base offers lots of stability, while the toy ball strong from the top of the post entices your kitty to play. For a look that blends in with your decor, you can choose from a handful of neutral colors like beige, gray, and brown.

Positive Amazon review: “My cats loved this extra tall scratching post because they can really stretch out their bodies and give a good scratch on this post. This is the second one I’ve purchased within about three years because they have ‘loved’ the first one to pieces. I am so glad they love this scratching post versus my couch and loveseat!!! I will continue to buy this scratching post as long as my cats will use it!!!”

Available sizes: 1 (14 x 14 x 29 inches) | Available colors: 5

Also Great: A Scratch Deterrent Tape

This double-sided scratch deterrent tape affixes to surfaces like your couch and has a sticky surface that cats don’t like. The wide 3-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.

Positive Amazon review: “This is the second tape I’ve tried to keep the cats from scratching the couch and this one is SO much nicer than the previous one I tried. I like that it’s narrower and not a full sheet. Looks a lot neater and isn’t as obvious as other products.”

Available sizes: 1 (3 inches x 30 yards) | Available colors: 1


Dr. Mikel Delagado, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Cat Behavior Consultant

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