Your cat is going to scratch something, there's no way to avoid that, but there are some foolproof ways to keep your furniture safe from your pets.
The most important thing you'll need for this process is a good attitude. It won't be easy to change your cat's behavior, in fact it will probably take a lot of hard work, but you'll be glad you taught your cat good habits years from now when your sofa is still in good shape.
So grab a scratching post and let's get to work, we've got a lot of chairs to save.
1. Know what your cat wants
One of the first mistakes people make is buying a scratching post their cat won't like. Every pet is different, so you may need to try a few before you find something appealing, but most of the time the key is finding a tall, stable post. Part of why cats scratch is to stretch out their legs, so you need to buy a scratcher that lets them do that.
2. It's not "one size fits all"
So you just took a brand new scratching post out of the box and your cat is already ripping up the curtains. What gives? Some cats just love certain fabrics, so you need to try a few until you find what they like. You can wrap things like cardboard, old curtains or rope around your post to see what your cat likes.
3. Let them see their handiwork
Another simple mistake is tossing out your cat's old scratchers. Cats scratch things to mark their territory, so if you take away their marker they might decide to scratch up everything else in the room to send a message. Just wrap a few sections with new material and let them keep it.
4. Learn how to encourage your cat
How do you get your cat to use their scratching post? Location, location, location. Scratching is a public thing for your cat, so leave it in a room you both visit, maybe next to their favorite place to lie down in the living room. When you see them using it, reward them with treats. If you want, you can also spray them or use a noisemaker when you catch them ripping up your couch.
5. Cat-proof your valuables
An easy way to shield surfaces from your pet is to make them really annoying to scratch. Cats hate to run their claws through aluminum foil or double sided tape. It will look a little silly if you invite people over, but it works like a charm.
Those tips were pretty obvious, but we have some more creative solutions as well...