What kind of materials are best if I have a cat that likes to claw, and/or a dog that drools and sheds?
We love our animal family members just as much as their human counterparts. The thought of sacrificing their cuteness and unconditional love for a pristinely decorated home is just not an option! Fortunately, you can have both if you pick resilient and easy to clean materials! Short of sending Snowball off for expensive obedience school, the first step in designing your space is choosing the right material for your specific needs.
Shedding and stains is probably the most common annoyance pet owners deal with. Leather offers a smooth surface that hair doesn’t easily cling to. It is also easily wiped down, and is also more resistant to trapping odors than most fabrics. Certain leathers are available with contractual strength stain protection, which makes for easy slobber clean up. Also, choosing a distressed leather that will age with time and wear might be the way to go for a low maintenance way of dealing with scuffs or stains.
If you’re not into leather, don’t fret. There are many nearly indestructible fabrics to choose from as well. Manmade fibers, such as Ultrasuede or microfiber, offer a number of benefits to households with pets. As the materials are synthetic, they make cleanup easier, and enable the easy removal of stains and dirt with just a sponge, soap, and water. The tighter weave that is inherent to these fabrics also prevent pet fur from becoming woven in. As it is especially durable, another great option is Crypton. It is not only stain and odor resistant, but it also repels both moisture and bacteria. Designed to withstand rough use in hospital and industrial settings, Crypton is ideal for homes with pets. As with other synthetic fibers, a damp sponge easily wipes it clean. Besides these options, fabrics with a higher synthetic count such as polys and acrylics are always more durable.
If clawing is the hand you were dealt, there are still many available options. If you are interested in leather, remember to look for full-aniline dyed leather. With its color density, this type of leather is dyed all the way through, and will better absorb scratches. A painted-on finish, on the other hand, is more likely to be marred by nails, showing a different color beneath the top layer.
Synthetic fabrics, like the ones discussed above, are also more tightly woven than natural options like cotton, wool and silk. The nubbiness of the fabric plays a large factor as well. If you prefer the look of tweed or any other textured fabric, make sure its woven tightly, and is comprised of synthetic fibers. Not only will this better withstand the claws of a cat, but it will also ensure that paws don’t get stuck in the upholstery causing snags.
Another challenge pet owners have is picking a rug that will sustain pet “accidents” and be easy to clean. While we love shags, a shorter pile will make the rug far less likely to retain smells and will Make cleaning up muddy paws a lot easier. Long pile rugs will also retain a lot of fluff and other debris that your pet might bring in.
Rugs made from natural materials are not ideally suited to resisting stains and heavy pet use. It’s best to look for a rug that is made from a synthetic material such as nylon or acrylic as you will find that they are far easier to keep clean, are resistant to fading and do not hold smells.
So all it takes is some strategic selections in order for us humans to cohabitate with our furry family members in style!