How to Protect Your Furniture from Dogs and Cats - Amish Originals
How to Protect Furniture from Cats
Method 1 Positive Reinforcement
1 - Buy a scratching post made of sisal -- a rough, natural rope fiber that can take abuse
2 - Buy a cedar scratching post if your cat scratches wooden parts of your furniture
Method 2 Positive Punishment
1 - Reprimand your cat and sternly say No!
2 - Shake a can with some pennies in it to make a loud noise when your cat scratches furniture
Method 3 Deterrents
1 - Use a scent made to repel cats -- such as bitter apple or an herbal spray -- if you can't deter your cat with positive and negative reinforcement
2 - Watch where your cat scratches and place double-sided tape there
3 - Try inflating some balloons and taping them to furniture where your cat scratches
Content taken from WikiHow
So if you want a cat but you also want to protect your furniture, what are your options? explains that scratching is a natural behavior for your cat. Scratching is a territorial instinct employed by cats to place their mark in an area that they wish to establish as their turf. mark their domains not only with visible signs of claw marks, but with a scent that comes from special glands. Scratching also serves as a type of exercise, as the act stretches the cat’s body and pulls and works the muscles of a cat's front quarters. Also, according to the site, it simply “feels good to scratch.” And the adds that scratching helps cats to sharpen their claws, another natural behavior. So it’s best not to attempt to eliminate the behavior, but instead to learn how to channel it in a way that will make both you and your beloved cat happy.