In the first few weeks of life, kittens absorb a wealth of information from their mother and their siblings. However, the importance of bringing up a kitten through human contact cannot be overstated. This combination of learning from different sources is the best way to prepare your kitten for its journey through life.
The cat mother will take care of the socialisation aspect: she will do everything she can to make ready her kittens for whatever comes their way and give them the wisdom to thrive as fully-fledged cats. The motto? Learn by doing.
Your job is a little different: the first task is to make your new friend understand that the furniture in your home is not intended as a scratch post. It is generally helpful to understand why your cat does this before trying to change behaviours. Everyone knows that dogs use urine to mark their territory, but it is a lesser known fact that scratching releases odours to that serve as territorial markers. This scent is undetected by the human nose, but does not escape cats and other animals. Scratching also keeps claws sharp and healthy, while allowing cats to stretch and shake off any lethargy.
So, scratching is totally normal behaviour for cats, and you should simply direct their attention away from your prized furniture and towards one of these cat trees
or perhaps a scratching pads or boards
. As long as you are patient and kind, you should easily be able to get this across to your cat.