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Fabrics for pet owners

While the division lines are clearly drawn between dog lovers and cat enthusiasts there can be no doubt that Britain is an island of pet lovers. Our homes just wouldn’t be the same without our furry friends- rabbits, rodents, guinea pigs, even squirrel monkeys are getting a look in these days! And while they are all cute as can be, and lots of fun to care, for they do all unfortunately bring with them a distinct trail of devastation!

There really are few areas in your home that are safe from the teething of a new puppy or the scratching of an excitable litter of kittens. Fabric surfaces are obviously open to the most amounts of damage- bedding, sofas, carpets, rugs and curtains are all fair game in the minds of Rover and Tabby! A novel way of ensuring your home stands up to the demands of pet care is to coat all of your belongings in Teflon and watch with satisfied glee as your chinchilla slides right off your non-stick voiles.

Another might be to have the local bishop come around to bless everything in sight then simply hope the big man upstairs isn’t too busy with, I don’t know, less parochial events like war and famine to keep an eye on your newly sacred stuff. You could try these, or you could try a few of the following tips that I like to call- the stuff that actually works!

To reduce the appearance of animal hair between cleanings, choose upholstery colours that are similar to your pet’s hair colour. Leather is one of the top picks because it is hard-wearing and simple to maintain. As a natural product, any surface wear only adds to the leather’s character.

If you’re one of those people who don’t like using skin to decorate their homes or you are simply aware of the weird irony and hypocrisy of caring for one animal whilst sitting on another’s outerwear, Pleather and Naugahyde are synthetic options to real leather hides. Personally I rather like to keep as much irony as I can around the house as it makes me feel superior when any American friends come round for dinner - “Hey what’s that?!” they drawl, “You wouldn’t get it” I reply.

Microfiber fabrics such as Ultrasuede are also ideal for pet owners. These suede-like fabrics are resistant to stains, liquids, and wear. Microfibers can be spot cleaned, machine-washed, or dry cleaned. If leather or faux suede isn’t your thing, then look to fabrics that are treated to resist stains. In addition, chenille is a soft fabric that wears well and releases pet hair easily.

If your pet keeps your feet warm while you slumber, then low maintenance, cheap bedding will be indispensable. Any washable fabrics will work as long as they feature a tight weave. Use a water-resistant pad or cover to protect the mattress while adding comfort. Also, covering a comforter or quilted bedspread with a duvet is practical and protects delicate fabrics.

Failing any of these things, why not try shaving your pet completely bald then just tell your friends it simply evolved?


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