Clawing in cats is a natural, instinctual behaviour that helps remove old claw sheaths and acts as a marking behaviour. As many frustrated cat owners will testify, these natural behaviours are all well and good until they involve systematic destruction of your furniture!
There are several options that owners can adopt. Firstly, provide a highly desirable alternative to the sofa in the form of a scratching post. Scratching posts can be anything from a wooden log to carpeted constructions. They can be made more appealing by using dangling toys and catnip and praising and stroking the cat when they use the post. Cats often scratch on waking so the scratching post should be placed close to the sleeping area.
If owners can catch their cat in the act of destroying the furniture then they should employ some deterrent. Screeching, shouting, hand claps and water spray bottles can all be effective in stopping the behaviour. Double sided sticky tape or contact (applied with the sticky side outwards) can be placed onto the furniture to decrease its appeal.
There are products available that can be glued to the cat’s claws and act as a small protective sheath over each claw. These can be quiet effective but do rely on a compliant cat, as they have to be replaced regularly.
If the above fails then consider re upholstering the sofa- but use a smooth, tightly woven fabric, as this will be less appealing to your cat!