Durable, Practical, Pet-Friendly Sofas and Chairs

These sofas, loveseats and chairs are extremely long-lasting and suitable for any heavy use, but are especially practical for households with active pets. Some people might even call them pet-proof, dog proof or cat proof, although those are stronger terms than we can commit to. But you probably won't find any sofas and chairs that are any more pet-friendly and pet-practical than ours. Cat owners are glad to have oak wood with a hard, tough finish on sofa sides and arms, at locations where (on normal furniture) cats would be likely to reach up and claw the fabric. They often order the California model sofa (shown below) or the Florida or New Jersey model, all of which can have well-finished exposed-oak armtops. But they also often feel comfortable buying the optional padded arm wraps (especially since the arm wraps can be lifted off), or even ordering the Virginia model, since the arm covers on that model are relatively easy to replace.

pet-resistant sofa

Dog owners like having the polyurethane-finished oak at places where dogs are likely to rub against furniture, leaving stains. A Napa, California customer was nice enough to send us the picture, above, of our 76" California model sofa in use in his home. One and a half years after receiving his sofa, he wrote, ".... the sofa works great and is really the perfect sofa. Dogs don't like to chew it. Cats have no sides or front to scratch on and it is easy to clean.... It is holding up well and is very easy to keep clean. Now we are talking four cats, two dogs including one very large male German shepherd, two rabbits, cockatiel and a husband who is 6'3" and over 200 pounds. All animals are permitted on the sofa. The sofa is tough, well built and meant to last. One would not expect it to also look good and be comfortable but it sure does and is. Feel free to quote me...."

Both cat and dog owners often like the fact that we offer impermeable, easy-to-clean polyurethane-finished wood surfaces at locations where their pets are likely to "mark" their territories. And they like our large selection of cleanable, heavy-duty fabrics, available in almost any color for best blending with the colors of pet hairs.

We have sold probably more than a third of our furniture over the years to people who say that they are buying it mainly because of the expected practicality of our furniture with their pets. Our customers from earlier decades get back to us regularly when it's time to re-cover their furniture, so we often get feedback as to how their furniture has worked out, and we have never heard anyone saying it didn't work out fine for pet practicality (or in other respects either, with a very occasional repairable exception). Comments received in August, 2014 from a Florida customer:

"It has been almost a year since we bought a couch, love seat and chair. Time for a report. We bought the furniture based on your internet site describing it was cat resistant. We have 6 cats who clawed our previous furniture to a point of destruction. I had reservations whether it would really work. After a year I must report the cats have NOT once clawed any your furniture....either the wood or cushions. They often sleep on the furniture. The cats now claw the carpet which is fine because they can't damage it.
"We also extensively used the couch and it looks as good today as when we bought it. We are very happy."

(We then asked whether they had chosen our optional padded arm wraps, and if so, did they have to remove them to protect them from the cats when they were away.)

"Got the padded arms. They have been on the furniture since assembled. The cats have not clawed or otherwise bothered the arm wraps. The cats behavior has not improved. They still claw the carpet and one Lazy Boy chair we still have. They spend a lot of time on your furniture (supervised and unsupervised) but don't claw it."

However, customers should beware that safety of our padded arm wraps with respect to cats should not be taken for granted, even though this customer's six destructive cats didn't harm them. Another customer's cats did do something to their padded arm wraps, so that customer ordered an extra set to put on their furniture when company comes. (It takes about 20 seconds to slip off one pair from a sofa or chair and apply another pair.) Also, these arm wraps are easy to re-cover, with covers that we can make and sell in almost any fabric. It takes about 3 minutes to replace the cover on one of them, by means of an envelope-type insertion and 8 hook-and-loop tabs.

Customers should not assume that their original cover fabric will still be available at a later time -- upholstery fabrics, too, are subject to fashion trends, and they are closed out frequently. So we advise customers with unpredictable pets to order extra fabric with their original order if they consider the possibility of damage to be significant. One yard would be sufficient for a pair of padded arm wraps, a pair of arm pillows, or one cushion cover for all sizes except the sizes with the largest cushions (loveseats 64" or longer, sofas 94" or longer, or chairs 34" or wider), if there is no pattern that requires centering, matching or turning.

 

Dog's chewing on wood is a concern? That doesn't appear to be a problem with our furniture, partly based on extensive feedback from customers over the decades (see just above, plus customer's comments farther up), and partly based on a test we have done with a 9-month-old pug that loves to chew and an 11-year-old Alaskan shepherd. We provided them with oak blocks of the same wood, finish, and thickness as used on the legs of our sofas and chairs, and they showed no interest in them, even though the oak legs of barstools present get chewed on a lot. So it's only partly the hardness of the solid oak wood, it's also a matter of the 1-1/2" thickness of the wood that apparently makes it more difficult to both get their mouths around and chew hard on it at the same time. The hard, smooth polyurethane finish may also have something to do with it.

 

pet friendly couchThe southern Maryland customer who ordered this loveseat has allergies, so he especially liked how easy it is to clean below, removing the dust and dust mites that are sources of allergens.

This 64" Florida model loveseat is made with a "Crypton" fabric. These fabrics are not only liquid repellant, extremely stain resistant, and bacteria resistant, but they also pass the minimum standard for heavy-duty abrasion resistance several times over. (However, there are many fabrics, mostly solids and tweeds, that are even more abrasion resistant, with cleanability that's good enough for most people.) The Crypton fabrics stand out in comparison with most fabrics in their permanent liquid repellancy and stain resistance while avoiding most of the disadvantages and decorating limitations that most people find in vinyl fabrics. They are also said to be "breathable" (therefore pleasanter for body contact than vinyls or leather); but see the note below about slow air passage.

This customer also chose our option of making the supporting components below the cushions to be water repellant (adding $10 per seat). This is something that you will have to remember to request if you want it, since we probably won't ask you if you want it.

If you want assurance that pet accidents will be prevented from soaking into the foam filling, but don't want a faux leather or Crypton fabric, consider the option of liquid-repellant inner linings (at $11 per cushion).
NOTE: With either liquid-repellant outer covers or inner covers, the tight seal that's required means that the passage of air in and out of the cushions will be very slow, causing the furniture to feel extremely firm when first sitting down, as well as making the cushions slow to regain their shape when a sitter rises. These effects can be reduced significantly as follows: Vinyl or Crypton covers can be unzipped several inches to allow more air passage; and air-passage holes can be cut in plastic inner covers near corners, where spills would be less likely to dribble down; we intentionally leave small gaps at all four corners of the inner covers for this purpose already, but bigger holes would obviously have more effect.

 

 

To go to the Comfy 1 home page and more information on our various designs and PRICES click here (after clicking here, click on one of the links on that page that will take you to a page describing the particular model pictured. When getting near the end of each of those linked pages, you'll see a paragraph that shows sizes and prices).

 

These sofas, in our Custom 05 model, are covered with a fabric from JF's Wizard pattern, which is extremely heavy duty and also very cleanable (which is usual with our heavy-duty fabrics), but this one is also washable, which is not typical; this fabric is available in a good selection of other colors. It's also more expensive than most of our fabrics, but it could be well worth it if your furniture will be exposed to heavy use by pets, especially because it passes a full 500,000 double rubs on the industry-standard abrasion test. This customer also has three other dogs. About a month after delivery, she wrote, "So far, at least, the dirt the dogs track onto them just brushes off once it dries." Some of the extra-heavy-duty fabrics have a feel that some people find to be rough, and/or they have a weave that attracts cats' claws; but this pattern is a smooth-feeling micro-suede, without the texture that tends to snag cat claws, which can be a source of damage even on very heavy-duty fabrics.

Another customer, one with an autistic son, raved (about a year after her purchase) about how easily spills and stains cleaned up with this same fabric, just using a damp cloth. In our testing, water, grape juice and wine spilled on it just beaded up on the surface. This customer acknowledged that this isn't the most comfortable fabric, since it is less pliable than most fabrics; it is very smooth to the touch, but thicker and on the stiffer side compared with other fabrics (which probably relates to its outstanding wear resistance). But the reduced comfort was inconsequential in comparison with the practicality, for this customer. This pattern is available only in solid colors, but we also have a good selection of "Crypton" fabrics and others treated with Teflon that have similar practicality, available in a good selection of patterns.

Pet owners normally gravitate toward our models with exposed-wood frames, for reasons mentioned elsewhere on this page; but if you choose the right fabric (from our outstanding selection), our fully-upholstered design can also be very unusually practical.

Dog owners, especially if dogs' chewing on and tearing up cushions is a problem: Just above the bottom of our fabrics page (at www.cmft.com/fabrics.htm ) is a paragraph that tries to address your specific problems.

 

pet-friendly_sofa

 

Owners of all furry animals like the huge color range of our fabrics, which enables them to find fabrics that their pets' hairs would be less likely to cling to and to show up on, and on which soil would be less likely to be noticeable. Almost everybody likes the fact that it is relatively easy and inexpensive to renew this furniture by replacing the zippered cushion covers or cushions, and possibly with little or nothing else to be done (depending on how you order the furniture). Dog owners tend to especially like our wide selection of extra-heavy duty fabrics. Cat owners like our excellent selection of smooth fabrics, which are less inviting to cats' claws. And we have an excellent selection of fabrics that are both smooth and very heavy duty.

One couple came to our showroom with their two dogs and tried rubbing their dogs with a sample of our Sherpa/Shire fabrics, which have worked out extremely well for our dog-owner customers. They found that their dogs' hairs were easy to brush off from that fabric.

Bear in mind that the arm padding is optional and can be lifted off if it gets in harm's way.

 

 

 

 

Those dear creatures keep themselves neat, but they sure mess up your sofa, unless you have the right sofa.

Shown here: A 76" Florida model sofa with the optional padded arm wraps, in our medium fruitwood stain, and in one of our many micro-suede fabrics that seem to be ideal for cat owners.

Many thanks to our North Carolina customer for sending us this picture of her new sofa and of the problem cats that brought her to us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

cat-resistant sofa

Solid oak wood arm tops are always part of our California sofa model (at left), and also of our New Jersey and Florida models. But you can also order the padded arm wraps, to be laid into place when you want cushiness or a more formal look at that location. An all-wood back can be ordered on any of our exposed-wood models.

You'll have to look closely at the left side of the picture to see (leaving the room) the cat that may have created the need for pet-practicality in this household.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To go to the Comfy 1 home page and more information on our various designs and PRICES click here (after clicking here, click on one of the links on that page that will take you to a page describing the particular model pictured. When getting near the end of each of those linked pages, you'll see a paragraph that shows sizes and prices).

Pet Resistant Sofa Covering

The Boston customer who ordered the New Jersey model sofa on the right did so with cats in mind. Several months after receiving it she wrote, "By the way, I adopted a second shelter cat.   My first kitty had clawed through the fabric and stuffing of my previous sofa, and was down to the wood!   I knew the same would quickly recur with any standard sofa replacement I bought.   Neither cat is clawing my new sofa.  Comfy1 has been the perfect solution (I'm delighted with the sofa in general, too)." When asked specifically how the optional padded arm wraps that she ordered were faring, or whether she ever needed to remove them, she responded, "The cat that loves to claw furniture ... has mostly ignored the arm wraps.   She does occasionally give it one minor claw, but doesn't seem to like the fabric or whatever. I would guess it depends on the cat!    I ordered the finished (wood) arms in addition to the padded wraps, so I'd have an option." Having your sofa covered in a fabric that cats "don't seem to like" isn't just a matter of chance. Although little regarding cats can be said with certainty, ordering a smooth micro-suede (such as the one shown, in just one of hundreds of available beautiful colors) is a good second step, in addition to choosing a polyurethane-finished, exposed-oak frame.

The micro-suedes are free of the nubs, loops, and textures that cats' claws seem to be attracted to, are very popular in general, and are usually also heavy duty and very cleanable (information on those specifics should be available from the supplier). A Pennsylvania customer reports about one of these fabrics on her sofas, "The fabric is as durable as expected and amazingly cat-proof. The kitties never tried to scratch it, probably because it is too smooth and taut to register as something worthy of sinking their claws into. One of them fell off a couch and grabbed the cushion on the way down. No claw marks."

 

 

Heavy Duty Pet Furniture

 

Shown here is a decades-old sofa made by us, in a photo sent by a Pennsylvania customer just after receiving her new cushions. The couch had been in a household of a dog breeder, and after long use and abuse by "many dogs... over the years" of a breed "that love to hang out on furniture," it had looked like it was ready to be trashed. In response to our comment that the old but renewed sofa in the picture (after merely placing the new cushions on the old frame and suspension) "looks great," our customer said, "You're absolutely right about the condition of the couch.  I didn't have to do anything to it." (This sofa had an all-wood back, as opposed to a fabric-covered back that might have required an hour or so with a staple gun to replace the fabric on that.) A typical sofa would have long since been adding to the unnecessary waste in a landfill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cat owners:
Chances are good that you know how an otherwise perfectly good sofa can look terrrible as a result of abuse by your cats' claws. You don't have to regard that as the price of having a cat, now that you know that sofas and chairs can have cat-proof polyurethane-finished oak where claws would otherwise be damaging a sofa. (Shown on right is a New York City customer's old sofa out next to the street as her new sofa from us was being brought in.)

Shown on the left is a Boston-area customer's sofa that was ordered with pets in mind, in another of the micro-suede fabrics.

 

 

 

 

 

Questions? Call us at 1-800-659-0436 (leaving a message if we aren't there at the time) or e-mail us at info@comfy1.com.

 

Success story, and thoughts on how to do a "cat test", as quoted from a customer's blog (for the complete blog as of June, 2010, click here)

"In 1994, Diane's cat Sydney destroyed her 8th couch.  Yes, over her lifetime this one cat personally shredded no fewer than eight couches -- Diane's (2), Brett's (2), roommate's (2), and landlord's (2).  It was time to get a cat-proof couch. A furniture company called Creative Comfort (now called Comfy 1) advertised just such a couch in the Boston Globe newspaper.  It has sides, front and back made of hardwood, rather than fabric, so the couch doesn't have those vertical fabric surfaces that cats love to scratch so much.  The only fabric covers the cushions themselves, and the (optional) armrest covers.  We bought one of their couches, and it worked like a charm.  It has been a great couch, and our cats have not touched it.  The reign of couch terror started by Sydney is over.

"Here is the same couch today (15 years later)...The cushions wore well but have finally succumbed to 15 years of hard use by family, friends, sleepovers, teenagers, and dogs."  (Editor’s note: Picture showing shabby-looking couch is not shown here; please just take our word for it that it looked shabby.) "The cushions have lost their shape, and the armrest covers (not shown) are badly stained.  But the wooden frame and sides are still like new.  This couch is the Comfy 1 "California" style. Comfy 1…. still had our original order and couch specifications.  We contacted them and they happily made us new cushions to replace our old ones.
Pet Resistant Furniture
"Here is the same couch frame, with the new cushions and armrest covers in place.  The result is a like-new couch for about a third the cost of an all-new couch!"  (Editor’s note: We no longer make drawers to go below the sofa, as shown, but inexpensive large plastic bins are widely available, and they can be covered at the edges with some matching fabric or concealed with a drape attached to the inside of the front rail.) "We picked a number of possible fabrics at a local fabric store, and brought samples home for the "cat test".  We rubbed each sample with catnip and then waved it in front of a cat so they would grab it.  We picked a fabric that didn't snag easily, and that didn't discolor permanently when it was cat-licked.  We arranged to send the fabric to Comfy 1; they made the cushions and shipped them to us 4-6 weeks later."

If cats are a problem for you and a purchase of furniture with solid oak at the vulnerable places doesn't fit into your picture, you may be interested in some hints in how to try to get your cat to use a scratching post, at ehow.com/how_2543_stop-cat-scratching.htm , and also a site selling protective clear vinyl panels that can be attached to furniture, at catscratchguard.com .

Owners of very big dogs may be interested in our page about the many organizations that need furniture for hard use and that have bought our furniture, which you can see at www.comfy1.com/heavy-duty_furniture.htm

 

To go to the Comfy 1 home page and more information on our various designs and PRICES click here (after clicking here, click on one of the links on that page that will take you to a page describing the particular model pictured. When getting near the end of each of those linked pages, you'll see a paragraph that shows sizes and prices).