How can I put this? If I ever had a kid, I would totally send it to boarding school if it pooped in my shoe. But you can’t do that with a cat. You can’t really say, “Go to the time-out corner,” or “It’s going to be a three-month sleepaway camp for you, Jeffrey'' if you need a break from watching your vases get knocked over or your furniture getting vomited upon.
To all this, you might say, "Dude, control your cat." I hear you. But even the most-well trained of felines will test the limits of our sanity. I don’t blame him (he’s still alive, BTW; just living in the south of France), I blame the temptation of the house plant. I blame the allure of the scratchable couch.
“Do they like, make furniture for cats?” I asked my friend recently while she was, in turn, watching her roommate’s tuxedo cat eyeball her sparkly vinyl dining chairs. “I mean, who is making the furniture that cats can’t scratch?” We love tuxedoed Papito. But we also deserve sexy dining chairs, and concluded it was time to do some online sleuthing. Luckily, we not only live in a time where cats get their own stylish, mini mid-century modern furniture, but where the couches, chairs, and loveseats designed for us humans are made out of highly durable, scratch-proof fabrics.
Here’s the thing: You can either find furniture that will be able to take a bit of scratching and hair (avoid tender leather), or you can cut the bullshit and go straight for companies that are literally designing couches to survive rabid (OK, not rabid) pets. Both are valid paths, and both will make life a hell of a lot easier for you and Fluffy. Here are the absolute best sofas, loveseats, and sectionals for those of us with a cat (aka a live-in gremlin that shreds upholstery like it's Wolverine).
Furniture should be customizable, and modular. Stylish. Functional. That is the hill that Burrow dies on, and it works out really well. “Our first task was to reverse-engineer a luxury sofa to separate into modules,” the brand’s website explains about the über durable, mid-century-inspired pieces, “and that ended up unlocking a whole menu of additional benefits.” Burrow's fabrics are made from a durable, stain-resistant material that you can spritz with bleach, and are so tightly woven that they won’t snag. (Which, honestly, sounds great—cat or no cat.) Also, this 1970s-style, avocado green pseudo-conversation pit is the blueprint around which I would build my adult life:
Not that it would fit in my apartment. (One day!) But until then, Burrow’s individual chairs and loveseats are just as stylish for smaller spaces, and the cushions are made of the same medium-density foam so you get that sink-in feeling when you flop down. “[They’re] all CertiPUR-US certified to be free of ozone depleters,” adds Burrow, “formaldehyde, heavy metals, flame retardants, and other nasty, dangerous things found in non-certified cushions.” Yum.
OK, so the thing to understand about Levity is it’s about the chairs; the best accent chairs, the best dining chairs, and the best chairs for you to curl up inside like a tender human egg with your feline. Release any and all combos of claw marks, hair balls, and spaghetti tears upon these thrones, because they’re all made out of durable, machine-washable covers that were designed to take a beating—including this very Japandi-style lounge chair:
I love buying vintage furniture, but it’s always a risk to throw down for a mid-century modern piece with a tender, aging wool weave on its seat cushion. So it’s damn nice that Levity not only focused on reimagining some of the most classic MCM designs, and in classic MCM color schemes, but that they made sure everything from the living room to dining room chairs has swappable, washable fabrics:
Interior Define makes some real double-take furniture, no question about that. The price range is a little higher, but the beauty’s in the details of its piping-lined sofas, nostalgic color range, and 13 pet- and kid-friendly fabrics (including a special leather and velvet). The James sofa is a plushy, rear-end luxuriating investment piece that’s made from sustainably harvested wood and the brand’s special “Performance Velvet” that refuses to quit.
Again, if you’re looking for something for a smaller space, Interior Define’s Marlow Loveseat also comes in a rich sage Performance Velvet:
You’re going to have to do a bit more sifting at Wayfair, which is packed to the gills with all the kitsch Design Toscano sculptures we absolutely don’t need (but would die without). But the benefit of trawling an e-tailer like this one is that there’s going to be a better price range for furniture than most dedicated pet-proof furniture makers. Go for a couch that’s made out of a highly durable indoor-outdoor fabric by brands like Sunbrella, for example:
While we’re talkin’ Wayfair, check out one of the company’s branch-out brands, All Modern, for scratch-proof home furniture. Like Daddy Wayfair, it’s brimming with pieces that can take a pounding, such as this velvet armchair that is so tough, it’s been given a commercial-grade fabric rating. Meaning: If it can handle the whoop ass of Mall Teenagers, it can handle your cat.
Here’s to sitting pretty and unbothered.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.