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How to repair dog and cat scratches on leather upholstery?

If you can feel the scratches or nicks, the leather would benefit from repair. Otherwise, a new finish will correct it.

Finished leather creates a fine dust when sanded. Mix this dust into wet super glue, and you have an instant filler. This repair method is exceptional for cat scratches as well as small nicks or cracks on steering wheels, gear shifts, seats, and leather auto interiors. This video demonstrates on a leather ottoman.

Video contents:

  • 0:33 – Using super glue and a toothpick to tack down little flaps
  • 1:55 – Sanding with 320 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper
  • 2:04 – More super glue on flaps and gouges
  • 2:17 – More sanding
  • 2:35 – Color, dry, and reassess
  • 3:12 – More glue to fill gouges, feathering and texturizing with a paper towel
  • 3:52 – Sanding with a finer 500 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper
  • 4:40 – Color and dry
  • 5:04 – Stippling the color to get a better finish and hide streaks
  • 5:24 – Before and after comparison

Print or download our free leather repair instructions. Click here for troubleshooting.

NOTE: This method is only suited to genuine leather. More severe damage (think scratching post), areas requiring flexibility, and synthetics should be repaired with Soft Filler. Please read this article specific to repairing cat scratches on synthetics like vinyl, bonded or faux leather.

CAUTION: Studies of workers in shoe factories and tanneries show sufficient evidence that leather dust causes sinonasal cancers. CC has been using this method since 1987, Lesandre since 2000, and still clean bills of health.


This procedure is amputation of the bone up to the last knuckle, not mere removal of the nail. It’s banned in many countries and opposed by the Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Declawing can make a cat less likely to use the litter box or more likely to bite. We’ve had success training Coco, Gatino, Zuzu, Murgitroid, Ming Ming, and Fozzie with a spray bottle of water (set on shoot-to-soak), pheromone sprays, and a scratching post where the activity is permitted. You can also safely trim their claws with pet nail clippers.

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The Knowledge Hub is a library of articles and videos complied to help our customers complete their DIY leather and vinyl restoration projects.