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As a cat owner, I understand the struggle of wanting to maintain a nice-looking living space while co-habitating with an animal whose natural behaviors (shedding, scratching, the occasional hairball incident) are often at odds with that goal. We all know people who have trained their pets to stay off the couch, but isn’t snuggling up with your furry friend one of the best parts of pet ownership? The downside is that pets can leave your furniture looking a little worse for wear. We’ve covered some solutions, like the best vacuums for getting rid of pet hair and the best pet-safe cleaning products for taking care of dog- and cat-related messes, and now we’re tackling pet-friendly throw blankets.
A durable throw blanket can protect your furniture from fur and stains, but it’s also important to find one that actually looks good and blends in with your décor. To find the best options, we asked 13 experts, including animal behaviorists, dog trainers, and interior designers (who are also pet owners), about what blankets they use and recommend.
What we’re looking for
“A little trick in the interior-design industry is to avoid natural materials when designing pet- and kid-friendly homes,” says Devin Shaffer, lead interior designer at Decorilla, an online interior design service. Instead, he recommends synthetics, which are easier to clean. This is why pet-specific blankets (and ones meant for kids) are often made of acrylic or polyester. Lots of these are cozy fleece or sherpa styles, but if you prefer the breathable feeling of cotton or the warmth of wool, there are some machine-washable options available that are more pet-friendly. Faux-fur is also popular among pet owners because it easily hides actual fur; just be sure to choose one that’s easy to clean if you expect any messes.
There’s no objective scale for throw blanket durability, so we’ve relied on the testimony of our experts here. Does the blanket snag or rip easily from pets’ claws or teeth, and can it stand up to the feistiest cats and dogs? After multiple washings, does it look worn out or good as new?
No matter how durable your throw blanket is, there will come a time when you need to clean it. We’ve specified cleaning instructions for each of the blankets below. Machine-washer- and dryer-friendly blankets will be the best choice, but if you have a relatively neat pet, you might be fine going with a dry-clean-only blanket. If you anticipate accidents, consider a waterproof blanket that will protect the surface underneath.
Best overall pet-friendly throw blanket
Material: Acrylic, polyester, velvet | Durability: Hides fur and claw marks | Washability: Machine-wash cold, tumble-dry low
When we spoke to interior designers about their favorite throw blankets for non-pet homes, we heard a lot of raves about faux-fur blankets like this one. As it turns out, three experts we spoke to for this story agree they’re the best for pets, too: Megan Wright, an interior design manager at Blueground; Sara Malek Barney, the founder and principal designer at Bandd Design; and interior designer Noz Nozawa all say they prefer faux-fur throws. Wright says this CB2 blanket is “sure to hide your dog’s fur and add a luxurious touch of texture to your sofa,” while Barney says “pet hair just slides right off, and claws won’t make it through its thickness.” Plus it can be machine-washed and dried, which makes cleaning a breeze if your pet is accident prone.
Best (less expensive) overall pet-friendly throw blanket
Material: Polyester | Durability: Hides fur and claw marks, water-resistant bottom | Washability: Machine-wash and dry
Although its texture looks and feels similar to that of our best overall pick above, this blanket, at $20, is less than a quarter of the price. Kerrie McKeon, a cat expert at the animal-welfare and -adoption organization Bideawee, says both cats and dogs flock to this plush throw (from the maker of a Strategist-favorite dog bed). “I’ve seen as many as three or four kittens squeezing onto one, even with other cozy beds and blankets available,” she says. “It stays nice and soft even after multiple washings.” (It’s safe to go in the machine.) Available in three sizes and seven colors, including gray, taupe, and dark brown, it’ll also hide fur and scratch marks like the other faux-fur options on this list. As a bonus, the bottom is water- and dirt-resistant, so it can be used as a floor or kennel mat for pets to lay on.
Best sherpa pet-friendly throw blanket
Material: Polyester microfiber | Durability: Texture hides fur and claw marks | Washability: Machine-wash, tumble-dry, waterproof
Lined with soft, snuggly sherpa, this flannel-like blanket comes in a variety of solid colors and plaid prints and is designed to withstand messes. Mikel Delgado, a certified applied animal behaviorist and the resident cat-behavior expert at cat-food company Smalls, likes how well it protects her furniture. “I can’t say it doesn’t attract a bit of pet hair, but I always think the point of couch throws is to keep the pet hair off the couch and on the throw,” she says. It’s machine washable, so you can easily clean the hair off, and waterproof, meaning any wetness on top of the blanket won’t seep through to your sofa. In the red-and-black buffalo-plaid print, it looks a little Pendleton-esque.
Best waterproof faux-fur pet-friendly throw blanket
Material: Faux fur and microsuede | Durability: Hides fur and claw marks | Washability: Machine-wash, air-dry, waterproof
This machine-washable faux-fur blanket is less expensive than the one above, and it’s also waterproof and will protect your furniture from any leaks. Shelby Semel, the founder of Shelby Semel Dog Training, has used these with her own dogs, and Amy Kohlbecker, director of Cat World, a home for rescued cats at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, says they’re the “cat-approved favorite blankets” among the sanctuary’s hundreds of felines.
Best plush pet-friendly throw blanket
Material: Polyester | Durability: Hides claw marks, resistant to scratches | Washability: Machine-wash, heatless tumble-dry
Strategist deals editor Sam Daly is a longtime L.L.Bean devotee, so when she needed an extra layer for winter about three years ago, she purchased the brand’s Wicked Plush throw blanket. “I’m allergic to dust and dander, so I’m constantly washing throw blankets and linens,” she says. “After washing this about a dozen times, it hasn’t lost its fluff at all.” Daly says this cozy throw shows no signs of scratches or rips, though both her cats lie on it constantly while kneading their paws. Available in two sizes, the large is ideal for draping the back of a sofa, says Daly, who recommends the extra-large for covering an entire bed. For an additional $8, it can be monogrammed.
Best wool pet-friendly throw blanket
Material: Wool | Durability: Resistant to scratches and pilling | Washability: Machine wash, air dry
In our roundup of the best throw blankets, Pendleton was mentioned by several designers. As interior stylist Emily Henderson says, “Its plaid patterns are timeless and will never go out of style.” Wright adds that Pendleton is known for “durability and quality products” that can stand up to pets. The Oregon-based family-owned brand has been producing wool products in the Pacific Northwest since 1863 and offers a line of machine-washable wool blankets that could work well for pet owners. Available in plaid, stripes, or solid colors, there are options to match a variety of décor styles and tastes.
Best reversible pet-friendly throw blanket
Material: Polyester, acrylic, and cotton | Durability: Rugged twill exterior holds up to claw marks | Washability: Machine wash and dry
Grant K. Gibson, an interior designer and dog owner, understands the dilemma of not being able to find a stylish throw blanket that your pets won’t destroy. “No offense to dog blankets with cute bones or details like that on them,” he says, “but for me personally, I want something maybe a bit more tasteful and that doesn’t stand out or interfere with the interior.” He recommends this quilted L.L. Bean blanket, which he tells us “can really blend into any interior, traditional or modern.” The two-sided blanket offers both a cozy fleece surface and a rugged cotton twill one that can take some wear and tear. It’s also washer- and dryer-friendly for easy cleanup.
Best furniture-protecting pet-friendly throw blanket
Material: Microfiber | Durability: Texture hides fur | Washability: Machine wash and dry, waterproof
This microfiber blanket might not win the most points for style, but it will do an excellent job of keeping your sofa safe. Plus, it comes recommended by two of our experts. Kate Karam, editor-in-chief at Chewy, likes that, along with being machine washable, it’s waterproof to protect your furniture from spills and accidents. Nicole Ellis, a pet lifestyle expert and certified dog trainer with dog-walking site Rover, is also a fan, telling us these throws “match furniture very well” and are “soft, versatile, and look nice, too.” She also recommends Mambe’s waterproof bed blankets if you share your bed with your pet.
Best customizable pet-friendly throw blanket
Material: Faux linen and faux fur | Durability: Rugged texture hides claw marks | Washability: Machine-wash and dry
Linen is certainly a popular décor trend, but not often a material you see in pet throw blankets, and Karam says this faux version has “a semi-rustic look and feel but also reverses to soft, plush faux-fur.” You can have it personalized with a pet’s name — which fits in with the trend of customizable pet merch we’ve been seeing lately. It’s easy to machine-wash and dry, and unlike real linen, there’s no ironing required.
Best luxury pet-friendly throw blanket
Material: Acrylic and polyester | Durability: Hides fur and dirt | Washability: Dry-clean only
Nozawa, who loves this Restoration Hardware blanket, says, “The great thing about brown and gray faux furs is that they’re already the color of dirt and dust,” so you can simply shake them off to extend the time between full cleanings. That’s a plus, considering this blanket is dry-clean only. If your faux-fur blanket gets matted from your pet licking it (which Nozawa says can happen), she recommends using a dog brush to smooth out any affected areas.
More pet-friendly throw blankets
• Sara Malek Barney, founder and principal designer at Bandd Design
• Sam Daly, Strategist deals editor
• Mikel Delgado, certified applied animal behaviorist and resident cat-behavior expert at Smalls
• Nicole Ellis, pet-lifestyle expert and certified dog trainer with Rover
• Grant K. Gibson, interior designer
• Emily Henderson, interior stylist
• Kate Karam, editor-in-chief at Chewy
• Amy Kohlbecker, director of Cat World at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
• Kerrie McKeon, cat expert at Bideawee
• Noz Nozawa, interior designer
• Shelby Semel, founder of Shelby Semel Dog Training
• Devin Shaffer, lead interior designer at Decorilla
• Megan Wright, interior design manager at Blueground
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