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Heather, you're thinking like a human! Think like a cat.
Use aluminum foil for a "slipcover" for a short while. Cats hate getting their claws stuck in that stuff. Depending how much you let them scratch in general, it could take a few days to a week to teach them to leave that furniture alone.
When you think they're staying away enough, remove the foil and test the cats. You might have to put it back on a couple-three times, or maybe once will do the trick.
Best part of this is, if you can endure foil for the short term, you'll prevent having to replace slipcovers every few months for as long as the furniture and cats are both alive.
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