It is natural for cats to scratch. They have scent glands located in between their toes that allow them to mark their territory when they do so. If your formerly well behaved feline is clawing up your furniture, you need to figure out why.
What are the causes of cat scratching? One reason that cats scratch where they should not or did not previously is because something in the house has changed, and it is making them feel stressed, bored or insecure. If you have recently adopted a new cat, the established cat may feel the need to mark his territory to let the new cat know that he is the dominant feline.
Anew baby in the house or visiting relatives could also stress the cat and he may vent his frustration on your sofa.
Some cats scratch a piece of furniture that has been brought into the home because it smells different. Scratching to leave his scent behind is the cat's way of making the new chair blend in with the other scents in the house. If you buy furniture at a yard sale or antique store, your cat may smell the previous owner's pet on the furniture and might scratch it to rid his house of the other scent.
To cure his inappropriate scratching behavior, you need to direct his attention to the one object he should be scratching that is his scratching post.
If your cat is acting up and you cannot understand why, take him to the vet for a complete physical. In some cases, behavior problems such as house soiling and scratching are caused by a medical problem.
If the vet cannot find a physical reason for the behavior, then it is likely caused by an emotional upset, and you may want to contact a professional animal behaviorist for advice.
Do not just give up on your cat. Do everything you can to help him through this difficult time.