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How To Repair Cat Scratches On Leather



How To Repair Cat Scratches On Leather

There are two different types of cat damage that you can get on your leather furniture. The first is where the cat scratches the sides of the sofa, by plucking out the fibres/hairs from the leather. The second is where the cat will scratch the seating cushion causing a more straight line scratch.

From the photos below, select what type of cat damage you have, and then follow the correct guide on how to repair the scratches.

NOTE: These guides show the best way to repair leather, to get a close to perfect repair. However, if you just want a quick fix solution to repairing cat scratches, then you should use the leather re-colouring balm. The balm will put the colour back into the scratches blending them in with the rest of the sofa, but it won't repair the roughness, it will just disguise them.

The advantages of using only the balm are; it is very easy to do, quick, cheap and will greatly improve the look of the sofa. The disadvantages are, the scratches must be a lighter shade than the rest of the sofa for it to work.

Cat Scratches on leather cushion type 1

Damage Types

This photo shows cat scratches on the seating cushion. You can see that the scratches are only very light and have not damaged the leather itself, only lightly scratching the coating away. For damage like this, the  Leather Recolouring Balm should be sufficient to restore the colour that has been scratched away and blend the scratches in with the surrounding leather.

If the damage looks like the photo to the left; read the instructions below on how to fix it.

Products Required:

If the area of damage is larger than an area the size of a tennis ball:

Or if the area of damage is smaller than a tennis ball:

This type of cat damage is caused by the cat sticking it's claws into the leather, when the cat pulls it's claws out, it draws out the fibres of the leather. This causes significant damage and the leather becomes rough and unsightly.


Step by Step Guide: Repairing cat scratches on a leather sofa

How to repair cat scratches on leather 1 - Cat Scratch Damage

Prepare area

As can be seen in the image to the left, this leather armchair has suffered significant damage from cat scratches to the left arm. Before attempting to repair cat scratches on leather, it is important to thoroughly clean the leather with Leather Ultra Clean to remove any dirt and grime. As this area of damage is larger than the area covered by a tennis ball, we will be using the Leather Colourant Kit rather than the Leather Repair Touch Up Kit, but the same process can be used for both. If you are using the Leather Repair Touch Up Kit, simply use a sponge in place of the Airbrush used in the later stages of the guide.


How to fix cat scratches on leather 1 - Trimming Loose Fibres

Step 1: Trim any loose fibres

After cleaning the area, take a pair of sharp scissors and trim any loose fibres,   often found with damage from cat scratches. Please note that only the longer fibres need to be removed at this stage. Any shorter fibres that remain will not affect the quality of the repair or the look and feel of the end result. Take care at this stage not to puncture, cut or cause further damage to the leather.


how to repair cat scratches on leather 2 - Applying Leather Binder

Step 2: Apply Leather Binder

When you have trimmed the longer loose fibres, the next step is to apply the Leather Binder. To apply the Leather Binder, simply apply a small amount to a sponge and use this to rub directly into the area of damage. Coat the the entire area and allow to dry. In order to ensure a strong, durable repair, apply 8-10 coats of leather Binder, allowing sufficient time for the previous coat to dry before applying the next.


how to fix cat scratches on leather 2 - Sanding Binder

Step 3: Sand the area down

Once the binder has been applied, the area should be sanded down in order to create a smooth, even surface on which to perform the remaining steps of the repair. To do this, simply take a piece of fine sandpaper (1200 grit is sufficient for this job) and lightly sand the entire area that the Leather Binder was applied to.


how to repair cat scratches on leather 3 - Filling Damage

Step 4: Apply the Heavy Filler

Before approaching this step, ensure that the area is free from any residue from sanding. Then, using the heavy filler and palette knife, spread a thin layer of filler over the scratches. Leave for 20-25 minutes to dry and apply additional layers if required, you should aim to have the holes, scratches and gouges filled so that they are level with the surface of the leather.


how to fix cat scratches on leather 3 - Sanding Smooth

Step 5: Sand area down

After applying the filler, it should be sanded down, again, 1200 grit sandpaper is sufficient for this job. After sanding, wipe the leather down with the alcohol cleaner to remove and dirt and residue from the leathers surface.This ensures proper adhesion of colour when we come to apply it in later stages.


How to repair cat scratches on leather 4 - 1st layer of colourant

Step 6: Apply 1st coat of colourant

Once the alcohol cleaner has had time to dry, it is time for the colourant to be applied. Start off by applying the first coat of colour by sponge. Simply pour a small amount onto a sponge and use this to apply a thin coat to the leather. Sometimes after applying the colourant, it emphasises some of the scratches you though were 'healed'. Simply apply more filler, sand down and re-apply the colourant as before.


How to fix cat scratches on leather 4 - Spraying Colourant and Finish

Step 7: Spray on colourant

After the first coat of colourant has been applied, if using the colourant kit; you should use the airbrush to begin building up the colourant in a series of thin layers, leaving time for the previous coat to dry before applying the next. If using the Touch Up Repair Kit, successive layers should be applied using the sponge. Apply as many thin layers as required to  sufficiently blend with the surrounding area and conceal the repair


How to repair cat scratches on leather 4 - Finished

Step 8: Apply Finish

Once you have a good coverage of colour, either by sponge or airbrush, the next step is to apply the lacquer onto the leather to seal the colour in. Take the glossy Super Seal and apply using a sponge or airbrush, in 3-4 layers. This forms the basis for a flexible and very robust finish. After this is done, apply the Leather Finish, using the contents provided in 4-5 layers. For both products, allow time for each coat to completely dry before applying the next.

By following these steps and using the products in this guide, you can achieve professional results when repairing cat scratches on all items of leather, with relatively little time, effort or cost.


ALL COMMENTS

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28 days ago

Adrian Garside

Hi I have a new leather suite that was scuffed on the corners on delivery. A 'upholster' came out and just put a water based dye on them and that was it, your videos suggest more should have been done, would you agree?

28 days ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Adrian A "self sealant" colourant can be applied to small areas and scuffs on leather. This is a colourant (dye) with the sealant added. For larger areas, it is more advisable to apply the colourant and sealant over the top to ensure that colour does not come off. So, in answer to your question: yes, what the technician did sounds fine. Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

0 month ago

Lucie fox

Hi, my kitten has scratched my black leather dining chairs!!!! There is tiny pin pricks and scratches/scuffs can you please advise how to repair the damage? Thank you

28 days ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Lucie If you send me some photos of the problem areas, I will advise you accordingly on what products to use and what procedures to follow to restore your leather. My Email address is duncan.ashurst@furnitureclinic.co.uk Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

2 months ago

Inner Thing

Oh, this is so helpful! Pinned!

2 months ago

Carrie

Hi I Have a beige couch and my cat scratched the heck out of it. And there is lots of scratches

2 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Carrie If you send me some photos, and I will be happy to advise you accordingly on the correct products and procedures to restore that. My email address is duncan.ashurst@furnitureclinic.co.uk Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

3 months ago

Sara

Hello, I have a dark brown sofa, with scratches across one of its arms. Which kit would you suggest for that? Also, will I be able to match the color?

3 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Sara. If you send me some photos, and I will be happy to advise you accordingly on the correct products and procedures to restore that. My email address is duncan.ashurst@furnitureclinic.co.uk Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

5 months ago

Louisa

Hi there, I have a second hand white leather couch with tiny cat scratches all over the seat surface. Will the touch up product suffice, or should I use the airbrush colourant kit? I'm concerned that with so many little scratches, the surface might look too blotchy with touch ups all over the place? Ultimately...what is the most cost-effective? Could I get away with touch ups if it will be a significantly cheaper job? Do you ship to Australia and cost :) Thanks in advance.

5 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Louisa. The Touch Up Kit will cover an area of about 6-8 inched square. The colourant kit is better for covering larger areas. However, there are restrictions on what products we can send to Australia due to the flammable nature of them. You can add the items to the online shopping basket and select the correct destination country; the options available and the costs will then be displayed. Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

5 months ago

Jade

hi I was wondering if you could advise what's best to sort out damage to a leather sofa If I was to send you a photo? I can see the email below and would be happy to send it through tonight if that is possible?

5 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Jade. Yes send me some photos, and I wil be happy to advise you accordingly. My email address is duncan.ashurst@furnitureclinic.co.uk Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

5 months ago

Tina

Hi, Would this also work for faded or cracking leather?

5 months ago

Furniture Clinic

HI Tina. The short answer to that question is yes. However, if you want to send me some photos of the problem areas, I will advise you accordingly on what products to use and what procedures to follow to restore your leather. Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

5 months ago

Kayleigh

Hi! I have some high gloss patent leather dining chairs that have cat scratches on them, do you sell a kit for fixing glossy leather or is it just matt leather?

5 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Kayleigh If you send me some photos of the problem areas, I will advise you accordingly on what products to use and what procedures to follow to restore your leather. Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

5 months ago

S Clarke

hi please could you assist me in regards to a sofa I would like to buy -- do you have an email address where I can email the photos

5 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi There. If you send me some photos of the furniture, I will advise you accordingly on what products to use and what procedures to follow to repair or restore it if necessary. My email address is duncan.ashurst@furnitureclinic.co.uk Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

5 months ago

Heidi

Hi i have a fake leather couch that my cats have scratched up on the bottom corner. does the leather repair kits work on the fake leather? if not can you recommend something?

5 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Heidi. Yes the kits work on Faux leather and vinyl too. However, If you are not dealing with full leather, you will have to create more adhesion as our colourants are designed to key into the top surface of the leather. To do this you will also need to purchase our Adhesion promoter and Cross Linker X. You need to mix 10% of cross linker x into the adhesion promoter for it to work to its full capability, and apply it to the clean vinyl surface prior to applying the colourant. You can also add 10% of the Cross Linker X into the leather finish (included in the kit) to make the finish much stronger and more durable. Adhesion Promoter: http://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Adhesion_Promoter.php Cross Linker X: http://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Cross_Linker_X.php I hope this helps. Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

5 months ago

jo

Hi do you repair sofas or only sell products for DIY I was looking at cat scratches but do i need to buy the colour kit too I have two areas about the size of the one in your video. Look forward to your reply In need of Help

5 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Jo. Thanks for getting in touch. If you looking for advise on products for a DIY project, send me some photos and I will advise on the best products and methods to use. My email address is duncan.ashurst@furnitureclinic.co.uk If you would like the work done for you, click on the link below you’ll be able to submit an online quote request. One of our technicians will then contact you to make an appointment to ascertain the work involved and quote you accordingly. https://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Online_Quote_Enquiry.php Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

6 months ago

Kevin

Hi, I have a few small cat scratches on my sofa. They're smaller than a tennis ball. How can I get this fixed?

6 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi For small areas of damage like this you can use the Leather Touch Up Kit to restore the leather.

10 months ago

Karen

I have a new cream sofa with a tiny mark how can I match the colour exactly

10 months ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Karen. The Touch Up Kit works by providing you with a base colour in the general colour of your leather. Because there are so many shades of each colour you are also provided with a selection of tints which allow you to adjust the shade of the colourant until it matches the leather exactly. The kit also contains Leather Finish which is applies once the colourant is dry. This seals the colour in and also determines the correct level of shine to the leather. If you think you will have trouble matching the colour yourself we also have a successful colour matching service available. If you send us a sample of the leather we will be able to match the colour for you for an additional £5.05. This additional fee also allows you to select a custom colour from any of the online colour charts. Leather Touch Up Kit: http://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Leather_Touch_Up_Kit.htm

1 year ago

Sarah

I've new Italian leather sofas, what is recommended to stop our cats from scratching them? Any products that you recommend?

1 year ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi. Although you may not be able to stop your cat scracting the leather, a regular application of Leather Protection Cream can reduce the affect the scratched have on the leather. Leather Protection Cream ... https://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/Leather_Protection_Cream.php Kind Regards Duncan Ashurst Senior Sales Advisor

1 year ago

lynore chan

can a leather sofa with a distinct grain be repaired ?

1 year ago

Furniture Clinic

This depends on what damage you have. Most problems can be repaired. Please contact one of our branches to discuss your problem.

1 year ago

katherine harris

I have a fake leather (vinyl)sofa,and it is red.my cat has scratches and rips all over it. is there any way to diy. help!

1 year ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi Yes, this is quite a common problem and we have kits available to restore it. It's the same process on vinyl as it is on leather. Please see the following guide for further details. http://www.furnitureclinic.co.uk/How_To_Repair_Cat_Scratches_On_Leather.php

1 year ago

Becky

My kitten climbed up the back of our new leather couch-- poking small holes in it. No fibers are sticking out...you can just feel the holes like "Braille on a sheet of paper". How do I fix?

1 year ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi We have a guide on our website which shows how to restore cat scratches. As you don't have any fibres sticking out you would just start at step 2.

2 years ago

Keith Davey

My leather chair seems to be cracking, i.e. like paint cracking, in fact you can pick the paint or colouring off, I have rubbed down with wet& dry and applied the liquid colour I purchased from you, is this the correct way to fix it?

2 years ago

Furniture Clinic

No, the correct way to solve this issue is to use a Leather Colourant Kit to remove the original finish from the leather and apply a new coat of colour and then seal the colour in with the Leather Finish (this is all provided in the kit). If the leather is not prepared properly in advance then it can compromise how well the new colour sticks. In addition, the Leather Finish seals the colour in to prevent it from wearing away. The colourant can also be tacky unti the finish is applied.

2 years ago

Mrs g wallis

My daughter settee very heavily stained with having 2 toddlers what would you recommend And pouffe faded could it be coloured a darker colour ?

2 years ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi We have a range of stain removers for leather and fabric. Which one to use depends on the cause of the stain. Please view our stain removers page for advice. The pouffe can be recoloured to a darker colour using the Leather Colourant Kit (for leather) of the Fabricoat Upholstery Kit (for fabric).

2 years ago

Priya

Is this kit only for natural leather? Can it be used on PU ( Poly Urethane/ artificial leather) too?

2 years ago

Furniture Clinic

Hi This kit is designed for pigmented leather. It will work well on artificial leather too.

2 years ago

Yasmin

Do I need all three kits for to do this or is there one kit you can buy to do this?

2 years ago

Furniture Clinic

You wouldn't need the Touch Up Kit and the Clourant Kit; you'd only need one depending on how big of an area you need to recolour. Touch Up Kit for small areas (10cm x 10cm) or Colourant Kit for larger areas.

2 years ago

SP

Where do I purchase these supplies? I rescued an awesome black leather chair from neighbor. Cat scratches just like your pictures.

2 years ago

Furniture Clinic

Products can be purchased via our website, or over the phone.