To understand why our darling cats scratch we first need to think about what their sharp claws are for. They do not intentionally scratch furniture to annoy us or to inflict damage. Actually cats have retractable claws in order for them to balance, turn, run, climb, jump and defend themselves with pin-point precision.
An alternative to declawing or re-homing your furry friend is simply teaching them the house rules. There are a few simple techniques that are tried and tested to work in regards to this ongoing dilemma.
First, get multiple cat scratching posts or cat houses covered in either ropes or carpet. Once you have installed the posts or houses place a bit of catnip on them to lure your kitty to them so they will know it is alright to use them. You may even need to take their paw and do a scratching motion or scratch on it yourself to teach them how it works. When they go back to the furniture, which at first they will, pick them up and take them back to the post.
Secondly, try double sided tape. It may sound wierd, but it does seem to work. Cats do not like anything tacky on the pads of their feet. When they go to claw the furniture and feel the tape they will instinctively stop. However, you will need to replace the tape as it is pulled down from time to time.
Thirdly, if both of the above fail is to try a small squirty gun filled with water. When your kitty goes for the furniture, simply say 'No' in an authoritative voice and squirt them once on the butt with the water gun. Do not spray them in the face as it is very easy for a kitty to lose their breath for a second if this is done.
If done with consistency and authority your new scratching friend will soon be a non-scratcher in no time. The key is not giving up! It will not happen overnight, but it can be taught. Good Luck!