Snags from pets on our new couch.
August 13, 2013 1:47 PM   Subscribe

We just bought a house and got a new couch about 4 months ago. The couch is a huge sectional, cloth, and cream colored. I tried to warn my husband that cream color was a bad idea (even though I love the way it looks) because we have pets, but it was such a great deal that we just decided to get it. He also kept telling me "we can always get it recovered if we need to". Well, I don't think he realized that it would most likely cost thousands to have it recovered since it is so big. And we didn't know how big of a mistake the fabric was.

The color doesn't seem to be much of a problem because it cleans easily and it really hasn't gotten dirty, but the fabric is awful! It's already starting to get snags from our 2 cats and 1 dog. We could probably train the dog to stay off the couch, but I don't even know if it's worth it since I think the cats are the main problem.

The only options I see are to keep it covered in blankets or to just live life and let it get slowly ruined. We usually cover it in blankets when its raining out (in case of muddy paws) but other than that we try not to because it just looks so messy to us.

The couch was a really good deal, so it's not like it will hurt us financially to have to get another in a few years, but I just hate the thought of it going in a landfill. (I'm imagining in my head that by that point it's going to look so bad that no one will even want it in their house for free, lol).

Any tips on keeping it clean/snag-free? Or should we just try to do the best we can but just live life and not to really worry about it?
posted by kerri13 to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
No sofa goes to landfill.

We bought a sofa from a consignment store for our basement 7 years ago. Our cats immediately broke it in with snags and scratches on the arms.

I listed it for sale on Craigslist and a nice family, also with pets, bought it and took it away.

I sold its predecessor to a frat house.

So let the sofa go to the dogs (so to speak) and enjoy it for what it is.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:50 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

What about a custom, washable slipcover? Less expensive than getting it reupholstered, you could get it in the same color and you could pick a fabric that won't get snagged.
posted by Frowner at 1:52 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, yes, and if you go the slipcover route, make sure you get two so you can wash one and have the other on the couch.
posted by fiercecupcake at 2:01 PM on August 13, 2013 [3 favorites]

Or, these for the cats:

Our cat didn't seem to care that they were on, and they prevent scratches and snags.
posted by Ausamor at 2:02 PM on August 13, 2013 [2 favorites]

Are you regularly trimming the nails/claws on your pets? Especially the back ones, as that's what they tend to launch with. That'll reduce hooking on the fabric by a lot.
posted by batmonkey at 2:03 PM on August 13, 2013

I have been using Soft Paws on my cats and these corner cover guard things on my couch, with reasonable success.
posted by little cow make small moo at 2:04 PM on August 13, 2013

Cats can be trained to keep from clawing up furniture. I have successfully trained different cats at different times using the big double-sided sticky strips (available at pet stores or on Amazon here). It does take consistent use and they are not cheap... but far cheaper than a new sofa.
This won't help with accidental snags, but it will keep them from using it as a scratching post.

As far as protecting from the dog, well, there's not much you can do other than actual protection. Slipcovers can get snagged, too, and they're not cheap for the custom-made kind.
I would suggest you find some large blankets that can be tucked around the pillows/cushions to keep it from looking too messy. My mother used to cover our furniture in clean sheets to protect it from damage by kids, and sheets are big enough to tuck well (unlike a regular throw blanket). Then you strip them off when they need a wash, and that's way easier than wrestling with a slipcover.

There are products that exist for this issue, but they're not cheap.
- Orvis sells several items, from couch covers to coverlets, that are meant to protect from the damage done by dogs on furniture. The quality of these is great, and they have good dog beds, too.
- Duluth Trading Company sells a couch cover that is not pretty, but I can speak to the quality of it. I have one of their car seat liners, and it has lasted for many years now with little sign of wear.

I'm much happier since I stopped allowing my dog on furniture (with the exception of one couch that is primarily hers), but I know that's not an option for many people.
posted by aabbbiee at 2:11 PM on August 13, 2013

We invested in a cat tree and they stopped messing with all the furniture in strong preference for the tree. Have never had any scratching post that was as big a hit - this has carpeting, sisal and cardboard replaceable pads. Also got washable slipcovers for our couch - the combo has worked very well.
posted by leslies at 3:15 PM on August 13, 2013

I am going to suggest a different route. Sell it now on craigslist while it's still worth something (before it gets too trashed) and buy something more appropriate. That is a lot of work with the nail maintenance and/or keeping it covered all the time. I know I'd have a hard time keeping that up for long.
posted by 58 at 4:29 PM on August 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

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