How To Repair Cat Scratches On Leather With Olive Oil?

How To Repair Cat Scratches On Leather With Olive Oil?

Just like other animals, cats have unique temperaments and personalities. However, they also have instinctive behavior that is observable among all of them. This includes bringing “gifts” to their owners, kneading and scratching. All of these are ingrained in their system and while this is normal for cats, it may become annoying and destructive especially when your cat scratches your newly-bought and pricey leather sofa or pair of genuine leather shoes. 

How to repair cat scratches on leather with olive oil?

One popular and budget-friendly do-it-yourself way to mend cat scratches on leather is by using olive oil.  This natural oil is extracted from olives and made up of at least 14% saturated fat and 11% polyunsaturated fat like Omega six and three fatty acids. It is also made up of 73% monounsaturated fat also known as oleic acid which makes olive oil one of the healthiest natural oils around.

Here are the steps on how to repair cat scratches on leather with olive oil:

1. Make sure to identify what type of leather will be repaired.

You must be able to identify what type of leather your scratched sofa is. Common types of leather include pigmented or finished leather, aniline leather and bi-cast leather. Check for safety manuals or care instructions on the leather type or contact the furniture store where you bought the sofa that you intend to repair.

Since you will be doing a DIY fix, make sure the item to be repaired is not made of artificial leather or vinyl. Just as you would test new products on your skin with a patch test,  similarly, make a small patch test on the underside of the leather sofa to check if the application of olive oil won’t be detrimental for the material. 

2. Ascertain the type of scratch on your sofa. 

It is considered a minor scratch if only the leather coating has been damaged. This should be easily resolved with your DIY treatment using olive oil. However, if you can already see the underside and the leather is partially or cut through, you need to seek the help of furniture professionals. 

3. Repair the cat scratches promptly. 

To use olive oil on cat scratches, simply pour a small amount of it directly over the scratch.  It is preferable to use a cotton swab or Q-tip in applying the oil. Rub it on the surrounding leather in a circular manner. Next, let it rest for about an hour. 

After a while, wipe the oil with a clean cloth and try to see if there are changes or improvements. If you see no essential changes, repeat the process, utilizing more oil this time. Allow the treated part to air dry for 12 to 24 hours and afterward wipe the area with a cloth. If after a few applications you still do not see any changes, it is best to contact a professional. 

However, this DIY fix of repairing cat scratches on leather with olive oil is only beneficial for superficial scratches. Deep scratches and cuts on the leather need the expertise of furniture professionals. 

Is olive oil effective in repairing cat scratches on leather?

Yes, it is effective but it is mainly applicable to minimal scratches only. While olive oil helps repair scratches, it may bring more harm than good in the long run. The oil will seep to the leather when oil is poured into it since leather is permeable and soaks up any oils. 

Using olive oil again and again on scratches allows it to spread throughout the leather and the oil will resurface. During the process, leather becomes worn out and starts to develop ghastly oily spots due to its saturating properties. As a result, it may only accelerate the deterioration of your leather sofa and this is where you may have a bigger dilemma. 

Since oil stays deep inside the leather, it is not easily removed with just any cleaning solution. A professional deep cleaning may not entirely solve the consequence and the salad-like scent of oil-saturated leather also adds to the problem.

Why do cats scratch furniture and other things?

Cats have an instinctive desire to scratch because of the following reasons:

  • to stretch their body – scratching helps cats to stretch their muscles and tendons of their body from the neck and shoulders to their toes 
  • to mark their territory – a cat’s paws have scent glands that are released through scratching
  • to keep their claws healthy – scratching allows the shedding of outer nail husks to keep claws renewed and healthy 
  • to feel good – it allows cats to relieve stress and to feel good about themselves 

Ways to prevent cats to stop scratching your leather furniture

Here are some easy tricks to prevent cats from scratching leather furniture:

  • encourage your cat to use a scratching post sprinkled with catnip 
  • place double-sided sticky tape, plastic or upside-down vinyl carpet runner on furniture or the floor where your cat usually positions to scratch furniture;  put scratching posts side by side with your furniture as alternatives 
  • consider trimming your cat’s nails 
  • use a cat deterrent spray on leather sofas and other furniture

Final thoughts 

Scratching is an instinctive behavior for cats. However, it can be annoying when your cat starts scratching on forbidden areas like your leather sofa. A popular and cost-effective DIY way to repair cat scratches on leather is with the use of olive oil. Be sure to ascertain the type of leather and the type of scratch and carefully remove the scratch by applying olive oil on the affected area and air drying it for up to 24 hours. 

Image: / Andrei Kravtsov