A few months ago I wrote a post about dog-friendly decor and since then I’ve had requests from cat lovers to do the same for them. Cat-friendly decor turned out to be a lot more… challenging. This is for a few reasons, not least of which is I don’t own a cat, but also because cat habits proved to be overall more varied and often destructive.

After hours spent deep in the world of feline forums and posing many questions to my cat-owning friends, here is cat-friendly decor that your pets won’t destroy.

Scratching surfaces

Cats are notorious for scratching furniture to shreds. Keeping scratching pads in all the areas of the house where your cat(s) spends time can greatly decrease the risk of ruined furniture. The cardboard options below are super effective and had the most aesthetically pleasing options I found. If you’re crafty, you can DIY your own designs to suit your taste by hanging sisal rug vertically or wrapping surfaces with rope.

Avoid upholstered furniture

When possible, opt for furniture in durable materials like wood and metal and avoid tweeds, wicker, or textured upholstery that easily captures fur and catches on claws. For furniture where upholstery is unavoidable, choose sofas or chairs that have recessed wood or metal legs. Cat owner Melanie Burstin has a custom sofa with wooden siding similar to the one below, and she says it’s “perfect for us cat keepers. The little friskies can’t attack the sides and we can flip the cushions over and over and over.”

Fleece blankets

Place throw blankets anywhere in your home where your cat likes to lounge. This will protect your furniture from kneading, fur, and help minimize odors. Molly of almost makes perfect also uses them to train her cats, “when we get a new piece of furniture they’re interested in, we first cover it for a week with a familiar smelling blanket. Once it smells like they’re used to, we take it off and spray it with Feliaway. It’s a product that makes it smell like they’ve marked it already.”

Patterned rugs

Patterned rugs can disguise all manner of stains. And there will be stains, so don’t sink a fortune into a rug that will likely be destroyed. You can find machine washable rugs as well as very attractive rugs like the one below for less than a hundred dollars.

Litter box

This is so dependent on your cat’s preference, but the most attractive litter boxes I found were DIYs in which owners had cut a hole or taken one side off of a piece of real furniture. Turning the litter box towards the wall and leaving only enough room for your cat to get in and out is another clever and effective way to hide the litter box. There were also a few modern designs like the box below, but most of the options I found were on the pricier end.

Protect your shelves

Many cats will knock everything off of your carefully curated bookshelves, but luckily there are loads of tricks for dealing with this. Museum wax, silly putty, and even hot glue are all solutions that can stick your belongings in place without damaging either your furniture or your decor. If you prefer a guaranteed safe space, a glass front bookshelf will keep your valuables in tact. Do you have a cat-friendly design trick that I missed? Let us know in the comments!

Do you have a cat-friendly design trick that I missed? Let us know in the comments!

Sources: inspiration photo Mike Mu Sung’s home designed by Nicholas Gurney, cardboard cat scratcher Amazon, Bertoia diamond chair Chairish, rug Rugs.com, igloo litter box Amazon, sofa Crate and Barrel, fleece blanket Urban Outfitters,  glass front bookcase Pottery Barn

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