Holy sages like Atri, Agastya, Vasishta, Vishwamitra and Gouthama always used to sit in deer skin seat while doing puja and meditation. Some sages would also make tiger skin as their seat. But they would never kill the animal for getting its skin. They used to take only the skin of the dead animals like tiger and deer. It is believed that performing meditation on the skin of a deer would give great spiritual pleasure, and also the sages can peacefully meditate for a long time.
The deer is considered as the pet animal for the ancient sages and their consorts. They would play with them, feed them green grass and also would give fresh vegetables and fruits as food items for them. After their death, in order to make them as a part and parcel of their life, they are removing the skin of the deer from its body, and using it as their seat, so that they can get some mental relief that even after its death, the deer is living with them in the form of skin. Deer are very soft natured and holy animals, and they also contain good intelligence and memory power. Lord Shiva in his Pasupathinath avatar holds a deer in his hands, and Lord Vayu’s vehicle is also a certain kind of deer only.
Even demons like Hiranya, Ravana and Prahlada used tiger skin while doing their meditation. When Hiranya and Ravana misused their powers, which they obtained it through their meditation, the great Prahlada used his meditative powers in a productive manner, like providing food to large number of visitors, building lot of houses for his people and building temples for his beloved god Vishnu etc.Nowadays using animal skin as a seat is strictly prohibited by the wild life department of India. And hence instead of using animal skin, we can use some good mat or wooden board while doing puja to the deities or while performing meditation.