The Skinny on Scratching
It's just a fact of life that cats scratch - in fact, it's a very healthy behavior. It helps to keep the nails clean and helps your cat shed the nail sheath periodically. The tricky part is training her to use something other than furniture or door frames. The best choice is to offer a sturdy scratching post or other scratcher product from the time your cat is a kitten. Play with her on and near the post, offer treats, toys and praise when she uses it.
Some cats prefer cardboard boxes or scratch pads, while others will only use tall, sturdier posts that do not tip over. Older cats that have developed a furniture damaging habit will be harder to train to a post, but can still learn. Frequent nail trims can decrease the damage caused by scratching. Covering a favorite scratching area with something slick or tacky like plastic sheeting, or double stick tape may discourage the behavior as well.
Smart Tip on Scratching
Rubbing a scratching post or pad with catnip, or spraying with catnip spray is a great way to tempt your cat to scratch there.