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The Best (and Worst!) Fabrics for Repelling Cat Hair


If there’s one thing that’s true about having cats, it’s that cat hair gets on everything. But if you’re about to go to that super important job interview or on a posh date with that special someone, you don’t want to be covered in fur. So, what can you do? Choose your fabrics wisely, for one. And here are some fabrics that do the best job at keeping cat hair from sticking to your furniture and clothing.

The best furniture fabrics for repelling cat hair

Leather and vegan leather are great at repelling cat hair. Photography ©Nektarstock | Getty Images.

When thinking about furniture, consider these:

  1. Leather and its vegan alternatives. Sure, you’re not going to wear a leather bomber jacket to a job interview, but for furniture, leather’s smooth finish and easy cleanup — you can simply wipe it with a damp cloth to get rid of fur and any other feline leftovers — is a good option. Any stains can be cleaned easily if you get to them quickly, too. Word of warning: Put a scratching post near leather furniture so your cat has a proper place to maintain her claws.
  2. Microfiber. Synthetic fabrics like microfiber or microsuede have an extremely tight weave, which results in stain resistance — and fur resistance. Microfiber furniture can be cleaned with a dry cloth or a small vacuum cleaner, and it holds up well to wear and tear. If the upholstery code is “W” (you’ll see it on the tag), you can use soap and a damp cloth to clean any stains that do find their way onto the furniture.
  3. Outdoor fabrics like canvas. You may think of canvas as a rough-textured fabric that wouldn’t be comfortable to sit on, but that’s not necessarily the case. Canvas comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns, and it’s not as likely to draw fur as much as many other fabrics because of its thick weave and the fact that it doesn’t seem to attract static as much as others can.

Clothing fabrics for repelling cat hair

Cat hides in a denim jeans pants leg.

It’s easy to get cat hair off of denim. Photography ©Photoshopped | Getty Images.

When it comes to clothing, choose these fur-repelling alternatives:

  1. Silk, satin or taffeta. Silk, like microfiber, has a very tight weave that lets fur slide right off. Unlike a lot of synthetic fabrics, silk does not gather static, which also goes a long way to prevent becoming covered in cat hair.
  2. Rayon and viscose. These synthetic fabrics can look classy and repel cat fur. Although they have a slight tendency to develop static cling, they’re definitely good choices for the office or a casual date.
  3. Denim. Denim is one of the few natural fabrics that does a good job at keeping cat fur at bay. While denim does attract cat hair, its tight weave makes it easy to get that cat hair off. Besides, a classic dark-wash jean looks great on a casual date or even at the office.

Make some wise choices with your furniture and clothing, and you can save yourself lots of time and stress when it comes to keeping cat hair off everything — except their own beds. 

Avoid these fabrics if you want to repel cat hair

If tight weaves repel cat fur, looser weaves and highly textured fabrics make it stick like crazy. Avoid these fabrics to ensure that you don’t have to live a life covered in cat hair.

  1. Wool. While some weaves of wool attract less fur than others, wool is and always will be a fur magnet.
  2. Corduroy. This ribbed fabric not only attracts cat fur, it’s almost impossible to remove thanks to the fabric’s texture.
  3. Tweed. I love a good tweed, but when it comes to stickiness, it’s even worse than corduroy. Its texture catches and holds fur, and it’s almost impossible to get it off.
  4. Polyester. This fabric has a serious static-cling tendency, which makes it a no-go if you don’t want to look like a cat bed.
  5. Velvet and velour. There’s a reason those old black handle/red velvet brushes work so well to clean fur off other fabrics. Between the texture and the tendency to produce static cling, velvet and velour, although lovely, should be avoided by the fur averse.

Tell us: How do you keep cat hair at bay?

Thumbnail: Photography ©TommasoT | Getty Images.

JaneA Kelley is the author of the award-winning cat advice blog Paws and Effect and a contributing writer at Catster.com. She is the board secretary for Diabetic Cats in Need, a nonprofit that helped save her diabetic cat’s life.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Catster magazine delivered straight to you

April is Spring Cleaning month here at Catster! Stay tuned for a few articles every week on all things spring cleaning and cats — whether that’s cat-safe ways to clean your home, spring-cleaning your cat’s grooming routine with advice on brushing and bathing — and much more.

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