How do you repair cat scratches on leather with olive oil? With their sharp claws and natural scratching instincts, cats can sometimes leave unsightly blemishes on your leather furniture, shoes, or other leather items. 

While prevention through scratching posts and regular nail trimming is essential, accidents can happen. Luckily, you can often repair cat scratches on leather with a readily available and natural solution – olive oil. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to effectively repair cat scratches on leather using olive oil, helping you restore your leather items to their former glory.

Before You Begin

Before you start the repair process, gathering the necessary materials and understanding the scratches’ severity is essential. Keep in mind that olive oil is suitable for minor to moderate scratches. Severe or extensive damage may require professional leather repair. Here’s what you’ll need:


  1. Olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
  2. Soft, clean cloths or microfiber towels
  3. Mild leather cleaner (optional)
  4. Leather conditioner (optional)
  5. Leather scratch repair kit (optional for severe damage)

Assess the Damage

Begin by examining the scratches to determine their severity. Cat scratches on the leather can vary in depth and length. Superficial scratches may be easier to repair, while deeper ones may require more effort and potentially professional assistance. Here’s how to assess the damage:

  • Check the depth: Run your fingernail gently over the scratch. If your nail doesn’t catch in the scratch, it’s likely superficial. If your pin catches, it may be a deeper scratch.
  • Inspect the length: Note the size and area affected by the scratches. Multiple shorter scratches may be easier to address than a single long scratch.

Steps to Repair Cat Scratches on Leather with Olive Oil:

Once you’ve assessed the scratches and determined that they are suitable for olive oil repair, follow these steps:

1. Clean the Leather (Optional)

Before applying olive oil, cleaning the leather surface to remove any dirt is a good idea.

  • Apply a small amount of the cleaner to a clean, soft cloth or sponge.
  • Wipe away excess cleaner with a separate clean cloth.

2. Apply Olive Oil

Olive oil can help moisturize the leather and minimize the appearance of superficial scratches. It won’t eliminate deep scratches but can make them less noticeable. Here’s how to apply olive oil:

  • Add it onto a soft, clean cloth or microfiber towel.
  • Gently rub the olive oil into the scratched area using a circular motion.
  • Ensure even coverage over the ground portion.

3. Buff the Leather

After applying the olive oil, gently buff the leather with a clean cloth or microfiber towel. 

  • Buff in an around motion to blend the oil into the leather.
  • Continue buffing until the leather feels smooth and there is no visible excess oil.

4. Allow Time for Absorption

Give the olive oil time to absorb into the leather. Leave the treated area untouched for at least 30 minutes, allowing the oil to penetrate and moisturize the leather.

5. Assess the Results

After the absorption period, reevaluate the scratched area. Superficial scratches should appear less visible, and the leather should be rejuvenated. Deeper scratches may still be noticeable but may appear improved.

6. Repeat If Necessary

For stubborn or deeper scratches, you can repeat the olive oil treatment. Apply olive oil, buff, and allow absorption as before. You may need to repeat this process several times to achieve the desired results.

7. Use a Leather Conditioner (Optional)

To maintain the leather’s overall health and appearance, consider applying a leather conditioner after completing the olive oil treatment. A good quality leather conditioner can help restore moisture, suppleness, and color to the leather.

  • Apply the leather conditioner according to the product’s instructions, usually by rubbing it into the leather and allowing it to be absorbed.

Additional Tips

  • Avoid using heavily scented or flavored oils.
  • Test the olive oil on a small, inconspicuous area of the leather before applying it to the scratched area to ensure it doesn’t cause any adverse reactions.
  • Be patient when applying olive oil and buffing the leather. 
  • While olive oil can improve the appearance of minor scratches, it may not eliminate deep or extensive damage. Consider consulting a professional leather repair specialist or using a leather scratch repair kit.

Conclusion: How to repair cat scratches on leather with olive oil

Repairing cat scratches on leather with olive oil is a practical and natural solution for minor to moderate damage. By assessing the severity of the scratches, cleaning the leather, applying olive oil, and buffing the surface, you can often restore your leather items to a more appealing condition.

Remember that prevention is critical to minimizing future scratches, so provide your cat with appropriate scratching posts and keep their nails well-trimmed to protect your leather belongings.