Cats have claws, just like humans have nails.
And yes, the sharp little things can be responsible for more than one disaster at home (the sofa, the living room rug, and that old leather-covered chair attest to this).
Many people have chosen to solve the problem of their cat tearing their furniture to shreds by surgically removing their cats' claws in a surgery known as declawing. In America alone, one study from 2001 found that approximately 24% of all household cats had undergone this operation.
Yet what is commonplace in North America is very rare and considered cruel in other parts of the world. Why? Because declawing a cat has very serious and painful consequences.