Cats LOVE to scratch and it is completely natural behaviour for them. Scratching does serve a number of purposes for your cat:-
Scratching allows them to stretch their bodies especially after a long sleep.
Scratching helps to remove split outer claws and expose new sharper claws.
Scratching helps to relieve stress and makes your kitty feel good.
Scratching allows your cat to leave scent markers to let anyone else know that this is my area so stay away.
As a cat owner it can become increasingly upsetting to see our brand new furniture being destroyed but there are several things that can be done to eliminate this:
Place a scratching post next to the furniture. It can be moved at a later date once your cat has stopped using your couch as a scratch post.
Put double sided sticky tape on your furniture as it could deter your cat from scratching as cats don’t like the feeling of the sticky tape on their paws.
Give your cat praise as well as treats as a reward when they are doing the right thing by using the scratch post.
If possible buy more than one scratching post so they can be placed around your home and have one placed close to the area where your cat sleeps as cats like to scratch after waking up.
Spray your furniture with a citrus scented spray because cats do not like that smell.
Encourage your cat to use the scratch post by dangling a toy on a string right next to the post so that they realise that the post feels good.
Your cat’s claws may need clipping especially if your cat stays indoors.
Hopefully understanding why cats like to scratch and having a solution to the problem will be helpful in training your kitty. Try not to become angry with your cat no matter how frustrating it is but realise that your cat can be trained to do the right thing. It would be interesting to know if anyone has tried something else which has worked.