Originally Posted by Degu_2009
Also, aren't scratching posts telling the cats that scratching is okay to do? Wouldn't it give them the idea that you don't mind them scratching and they can scratch up your couch?
If this makes any sense, I'm just trying to figure out how a scratching post makes cats not want to scratch anything else anymore.
Scratching is a natural instinct for cats; it is how they sharpen their claws. Even declawed cats will make 'scratching' motions. You can't break a cat of scratching entirely; you can teach them that there are acceptable and unacceptable places to scratch.
That being said, because the drive to scratch is so strong, even the best trained cats will sometimes scratch inappropriate places; your friend will have to understand and accept that. If she can't perhaps a cat is not the pet for her.
If she insists on a cat, she might look for adopting an adult who already has been declawed; but even then, as declawing is only on the front paws, she may get some marks--if the cat jumps onto or off of the leather furniture, s/he may well mar it with the back claws.