How To Remove Cat Scratches From Aniline Leather

Full disclosure: I am not a pet person. I had three dogs and two cats growing up that I loved but now that I am an adult with actual responsibilities, ones like keeping five humans alive, my love for the responsibility of having a pet has subsided. However, that didn’t stop us from adopting Fran over a year ago (on my 25th birthday). For a pet, she’s pretty dang cool and is the perfect cat for our children. Seriously, Franny will tolerate all of their shenanigans and will even choose to snuggle up with them at the end of a busy day. She also chooses to pretend our West Elm Hamilton leather sofa is her personal scratch pad which is totally not cool. At all. Because of that, I’ve quickly had to learn how to remove cat scratches from aniline leather using distilled water.


how to remove cat scratches from aniline leatherThe first time is was an accident: pretending to catch a lizard she pounced on the sofa, leaving three little scratches on the leather. I quickly picked up the skill on trimming her nails and brought home an extra scratching pad. Eventually, despite all of my attempts to discourage her, she got into the habit of using her nails on the arm of the sofa. I’m still trying to figure out how to keep her from scratching the sofa but in the meantime I’ve been using this method to remove the scratches from aniline leather sofa.

how to remove cat scratches from aniline leather

How to Remove Cat Scratches from Aniline Leather


Distilled water (distilled is important, do not use tap water!)

Soft cloth

Hair dryer (optional)

Leather conditioner (I use one that is safe for aniline leather)


Dampen the cloth with distilled water and rub it gently across the scratch marks. The marks will darken as they soak in the water.

cat scratches leather sofa

At this point you can either wait for the water to dry or use a hair dryer to help bring out the natural oils in the aniline leather as it dries. (For these photos I did not use a hair dryer since the baby was sleeping.)

how to remove cat scratches west elm sofa

After it dries, apply leather conditioner for further protection.

how to remove cat scratches from aniline leather

So. Much. Better. Isn’t it?

how to remove cat scratches leather

how to remove scratches west elm hamilton sofa

I decided to buy a pheromone spray to discourage scratching but haven’t been as consistent as I should be in using it. Once I do, I’ll let you know my thoughts on it. In the meantime, please give me all of your advice for training cats to not scratch!

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  1. Diana says: Reply

    This is sper helpful! Thank you for sharing!


    1. I’m glad it was!

  2. Natalie says: Reply

    What is the leather conditioner you use?

    1. Hi Natalie! This product is what I use.

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