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Furniture Repair: Upholstery Damage From Cats

We are moving from a trailer to a house and I need help! I have a couch that my cat ripped up the sides and front. It is comfortable and sturdy. I hate slipcovers. They seem to fall off every time you sit down. Is there any other way to bring it back to life? I would really appreciate the advice. THANKS!


CJ from Liverpool, OH

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 16, 20080 found this helpful

This is what I have done, and it works pretty well, it looks a lot better than shredded upholstery: search fabric stores for fabric that matches your furniture. Measure the amount you will need to cover the damaged area and cut that amount from the fabric. Use fabric glue to fold down the edges (to give you a smooth edge, or you could sew that if you wanted) and then use the fabric glue to attach to the furniture and cover the damaged areas. Once you find the fabric that you want, it only takes a few minutes to fix.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 16, 20080 found this helpful

My kitty Sierra did this too. The 2 front sides of my loveseat/chair were becoming damaged. I used the 2 throw pillows and made 'patches' to hot glue on the front. She still clawed on the patches, but didn't get under to the actual furrniture. I also agree with the other responder - Syd. If you put the piece against the wall, use the matching back fabric. But, buy a complimentary color/weight of fabric to replace the fabric you took off.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 17, 20080 found this helpful

I seem to have the same problem. What I did is I got a very small bladed electric shaver and I shaved off the messy string. It seems to work very well.

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June 17, 20080 found this helpful

I have a tip for you too! But first, I just wanted to say HELLO to you! I know who you are and you know me too! I sent you pictures and told you about this site! LOL

Here's my tip:
I just cover my old couch with a blanket and change it out every week (once it's covered in cat/dog hairs) LOL It does cover up all of the rips and holes caused by my animals. No one knows there is an old ripped up couch under my pretty quilts I put on it! LOL


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By guest (Guest Post)
June 17, 20080 found this helpful

Learn to clip kitty toenails.

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By guest (Guest Post)
June 19, 20080 found this helpful

This is what I'd do if it were mine, even in slightly imperfectly repaired:

For cloth furniture:

Take an upholstery arched needle from a misc. needle package, thread with exactly matching (in thickness, type, and color) thread, and spend about a half-day gently sewing the cloth back together by using the thread to replace the missing or broken threads, even if you have to move at a microscopic pace. Start in a less noticeable place and learn there how to do it, or - if - it can be repaired satisfactorily, not expecting too much.

For synthetic leather:

Invest in a large box of crayons. Find the color match. Use a tiny hand held/ worked open crayon sharpener, like for an eyebrow or eye liner pencil, and shave small thin amounts of crayon to match the size and color of the hole(s). Lay enough slices of crayon shavings to build up the thickness of each hole, using waxed paper and a warm iron. Between each layer of crayon, removing waxed paper between warmings, using a new piece of wax paper for each warming, and immediately applying either a piece of matching vinyl face down for a matching pattern imprint, or, if the surface of the vinyl is smooth, use another place on the waxed paper to flatten and smooth the pattern of the patched area down, being careful not to overheat the iron, practicing on an inconspicuous area first, then applying to each hole. When cool, seal each patch with clear nail polish, overlapping edges of patch a bit, and let dry.


If leather:

Follow same as with vinyl, except prepare to use a great deal more crayon shavings to build the proper thickness, then seal with clear nail polish overlapping edges a bit, and let totally dry.

(Make a scratching post for every single room in which the cat damages furniture or rugs. Buy a watergun and use it each time the cat begins to scratch. Place the cat in the kitchen or bath when you are gone, with paper, water/ food, a soft bed, and a scratching post.

When you return, praise the cat saying "good kitty for staying in room.", And let it out to rest of house.

When training, you don't have to spray but a little water on the face, or front paws for the cat to get the point. They are smarter than we think, yet most independent and stubborn.


They can be trained, however, and appreciate boundaries in a maze of furniture, cloth, attractions, curiosities, and nooks/ crannies.

It's worth the effort, because as they grow, they will not need the water gun they will quickly learn to respect and to know when you just begin to reach for it.

Do lots of "praising and petting at same time" when they do as they are told, or without having to be sprayed, repeating the same phrases such as :

"good kitty for not making messy-messy" or
"good kitty for scratching the post" or
"good girl/boy for ______________", and so on.

Give only praises and petting, not treats or food, unless you like a never-ending training season. They would learn that if they t r y to scratch, they get a treat/snack.


Best to reward with honest affection which they crave, and with a "pass the butter" voice, not loud whoops, as my neighbor does for every one of anything and everything each of her three boys does, it seems. Lol

The only irrepairable fabric, I believe, is silk and microfiber. Avoid these fabrics on furniture.

I once both repaired and sold a five piece black leather living room set which i picked up curbside being tossed because of repairable rips. I used spare fabric from the bottom and replaced the bottom gauze cloth with new, telling and showing the buyers where and how I repaired it. That was years ago, and I doubt that I could do it now.

If the holes, rips on your furniture are really bad, I'd train the pet to the linoleum or tile, or into a restricted area only once you repair the damage, rather than to take a chance on a repeat performance even after training should that pet get upset at you for any reason.

It's not cruel to train, but is cruel to allow them to ruin furniture out of our ignorance. They are cats, but must be disciplined properly. Do not pet them right after spraying, but do pet them after they have licked themselves and dried.

Comb long hair cats, love them gently, never playing rough unless you like aggression and destruction. Cats do what they want, learn or are taught, as well as whatever they are not taught that you might have forgotten or dislike. They are animals, not humans.

Good luck and God bless and help you with the right decision, repairs, and consistent training of your pet. : )

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 8, 20080 found this helpful

I would be pleased if anyone can give me any idea as to what I can put on the wall to stop my kitten stripping the wallpaper. It happens mainly on the corners.

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