How To Get Leather In Minecraft Without Cows? [ALL Options]

Leather is one of the oldest items in Minecraft. It is here since the alpha days and it is used for a lot of crafting things that got added with every new patch.

The most common and well-known way of getting leather in Minecraft is by killing cows. But if they are not available… how can you get leather in Minecraft without cows?

There are ways of getting leather without using cows and in this guide, we will be exploring all of those methods. This way, you will never run out of this important material, no matter what type of game or challenge you’re playing.

Leather is an item that is used for various crafting recipes in Minecraft. It is marked with color and loot quality as common, but at the same time, there aren’t really that many ways of obtaining it, making us wonder if it is as common as it is marked to be.

So let’s see what options we have when it comes to getting Minecraft if there are no cows available!

How to get Leather in Minecraft without Killing Cows

In Minecraft, you can’t take leather from a cow without killing it. Shears don’t work – nor anything else. But there are all sorts of other options to replace cows as your source of leather and even though it complicates things a bit, it can work.

Loot Chests

Loot chests are probably the best way of finding Leather in the beginning and starting days of your Minecraft World.

They can be located anywhere from under the desert as treasure chests, to normal lootable chests in dungeons next to spawners. 

The biggest chance of Leather getting spawned in Loot Chests is the Villages and the Bastion Remnants. This is how much each of them will spawn:

  • Village Loot Chest – 1-3, with a chance of 18%
  • Bastion Remnant Loot Chest – 1-3, with a chance of 22% to 48%

The best and safest way of finding Leather is through a loot chest in inside the Villagers and more precisely, inside the Leatherworker Villager that has a cauldron inside his home.


Hoglins is a new mob that was introduced in the Minecraft Nether Update. These powerful hordes can only be found in red woodlands.

They can be found scattering around the Nether and make sure that you’re the one seeing them first! They are highly dangerous.

When you kill a Hoglin you will have a chance of getting 1-2 Leather drops.

It is not highly advisable to go after the Hoglins for getting some Leather though. They are very powerful and it takes a couple of hits not only to get you killed but possibly get you thrown into the lava and make you lose everything!

We advise you to fight with the Hoglin from afar and the best weapon to use is the Crossbow. Here are some of the best Crossbow Enchantments to fend off the Hoglin.


Fishing is a very stable and safe way of obtaining some easy Leather. All you’ll need to do is pack your Fishing Rod next to you, and then sit next to a lake under the clear sky to get some Leather from the water.

Make sure to check out our Fishing guide for getting the most amount of loot.

Leather is marked as a junk item when fishing, meaning that it will be common, but it is not as common as some people might think.

The chance of you getting Leather through fishing will be around 5% each time, meaning that it really is not well worth it. You can of course increase this chance by following our guide and then using an enchantment that will boost your loot rate.


Horses is an NPC that is very likely to get you the amount of leather you’ll need. They are the substitute for the Cow when it comes to Leather in Minecraft.

There are various types of Horse Farms that can be found on the internet which will provide you with enough Leather.

Horses have a big chance of dropping Leather when killed, and they usually tend to drop something from 1-2 Leather per kill.


Lammas are the substitute NPC for finding Leather just in case you’re not seeing any Horses in your world.

Llamas are good because of their good chance of dropping loot and also saddles if spawned right next to the vendor.

There are also lots of farms which you’ll find on the internet for farming them and getting Leather.

They have a moderate chance of dropping Leather, and they usually drop from 1-2 leather per kill.

Donkeys & Mules

Donkeys are the other types of horses, in a way. They will have the same amount of drop chance as the horses when it comes to leather.

Sometimes you’ll have problems and difficulties locating horses so Donkeys and Mules will be your income of Leather.

They tend to drop around 1-2 leather per kill with a moderate chance.


Foxes are the small and cute animals that you’ll occasionally see stealing your items. They are very fast to catch making them a bad income of Leather. 

Getting Leather from Fox is not very recommended but if you do kill one, you’ll get 1 Leather with a lower chance than the other animals mentioned above.

If you do not which to kill this animal, how could you, it is very cute, well then dropping an item of food to a fox and when it might pick it up, it will drop you a piece of Leather. This is very handy indeed.


You will find these small cute animals running around you at times. If you do not need some leather, well taming them and creating a farm from them will be very useful.

You want to get the Rabbit Hide out of them. When you kill one, it will drop something from 2-3 Hides at a time.

You need 4 Rabbit Hides to craft 1 Leather. The good thing about them is that they are very easy to multiply making them an easy source of Leather.

Trading with a Piglin

Players can throw as many gold ingots at a Piglin as they can, which will barter various goodies in return. They will throw all sorts of items back at you, and one of these items might be Leather.

The chance of this happening is actually very high which makes Trading with a Piglin very recommended and useful. Bartering allows players to obtain up to 19 distinct things, including leather.

Trading with a Villager

This is the best source of getting Leather without killing any of the animals. Just find a village, find a Leatherworker inside, or you can create it yourself by following various tips and tricks you can find on the Internet.

Then proceed to farm with them until you see Leather in their tradable options. You can get all the Leather in the world this way, of course, until you squeeze everything out of them and they decide that trading for Leather is enough. Find a different Leatherworker then and you’ll be good to go!

You will need a lot of Diamonds in order to get the most amount of Leather though. Be sure to check out this guide about getting the most amount of Diamonds by mining.


There are definitely good ways of getting Leather without Cows in Minecraft. Of course, it is not even remotely close to just building a Cow Farm and getting all the Leather that you might need in a full playtime of a Minecraft World, but it is good that it is still possible.

My recommendation for the best way of getting Leather without killing Cows will be through trading with a Villager or a Piglin.

Do let us know what is your favorite way of getting Leather in Minecraft down in the comments below!

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