Most cats should not be declawed. If pets are damaging furniture, a combination of training and management techniques is usually enough to stop the scratching and avoid the need for an expensive and potentially painful and disfiguring declaw surgery.
Firstly, provide cats with several scratching posts. Place them next to where they are currently scratching. Some cats prefer vertical posts while other like horizontal surfaces better. Scratching posts can be made from carpet, rope, cardboard, and other materials so try a number of them to find what your cat likes to scratch on best. You can attract your cat to a scratching post by applying a small amount of catnip to it.
Next, prevent your cat from scratching in inappropriate places by limiting access to certain rooms. Keep doors closed or use baby gates stacked one on top of the other across an open doorway. In parts of the home where cats roam, cover favorite scratching areas temporarily with double sided tape and/or use a no scratch spray designed to repel cats.
Finally, learn how to trim your cat’s nails and do so every two weeks to keep them short and blunt. Applying Soft Paws nail caps after trimming reduces a cat’s ability to do damage even more, and is an excellent option if a cat is scratching people or other pets in the home.