When it comes to leather scratch repair, let your fingers be the judge. If you can feel the damage caused by your dog or cat, they’re best repaired. Start minimally, and know that you can always rework a repair.
Leather Cat Scratch Repair
Cat scratches and nicks on real leather are easily repaired with little more than super glue and sandpaper as demonstrated in this video:
- 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
Unfortunately this is not the case for vinyl, bonded or faux leathers. Synthetics should be repaired with a flexible filler using these instructions.
More severe ‘scratching post’ damage is also best repaired in this fashion.
Use scissors or an electric razor to trim away any remaining shredded or flappy fibers so the surface is as level as possible before applying leather filler.
Please do not declaw your feline!
This procedure is amputation of the bone to the last knuckle, not mere removal of the nail. Onychectomy is banned in many countries and opposed by the Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Declawing can decrease use of a litter box and increase biting. Cats are smart creatures and can be easily trained with a spray bottle of water (set on shoot-to-soak) and pheromone sprays. Give them a scratching post where they can engage in their natural behavior. You can also trim their claws with pet nail clippers. Others report success using Soft Paws or other claw caps.
Repairing Dog Scratches
Dog scratches are often superficial. If the damage cannot be felt with a fingertip, then it is easily concealed with a new finish. However, if the leather is scaly, chafed or shaggy suede is exposed, it should be resurfaced with leather filler putty as demonstrated at minute 8:00 here.