How to teach your cat to use a scratching post
Cats scratch things for two reasons: to free their claws and to mark their territory. To save your furniture from damage, you should provide your cat with a scratching post or two and teach him how to use them. Look for a scratching post for cats.
The requirements for a good scratching post are:
Vertical poles need to be sturdy and tall enough for the cat to stretch its body. Horizontal marking poles are preferred by some cats. Try both types to find out what your cat prefers or offer one of each.
The posts should be in important areas of the house, not in the basement. Cats often scratch themselves when they wake up from a nap, so place one near the cat’s sleeping area .
You can buy ready-made scratching posts at the pet store or you can make your own. A simple registry is preferred by some cats. For others, a piece of corrugated cardboard mounted on a piece of wood works perfectly. Although most pre-made posts are carpeted, this may not be the best material to use.
Cats can get their claws stuck in the loops of the fabric and consequently stop using anything else. Try sticking the carpet upside down or use other materials such as upholstery fabric that are more “frail”.
Lure your cat to the pole using catnip. Sprinkle the catnip on the base and into the fabric or hang the catnip bags from above. Spend time near the place encouraging your cat to interact with it. Play with the cat near the pole and incorporate it into your game.
The most important step is to reward the cat every time she uses it. Bring some food treats nearby and give one to the cat whenever you see him scratching the pole.
Once your cat is using the scratching post you provided, you can teach him that other things are prohibited. If you catch your cat scratching the sofa or chair, make a loud noise to scare the cat or squirt it with a plant sprayer or spray gun. It is important for the cat to think that the noise or water came out of nowhere. That way he’ll associate the bad thing with scratching on the chair, not you. It is important to lure your cat to the scratching post and praise him for using it.
It’s not easy
Finding out that your brand new sofa has been scratched to shreds courtesy of your new kitty can be an incredibly frustrating and daunting experience.
File the claws
Often, our natural reaction is to turn them away for their bad behavior. However, it is common for kittens to use their claws to mark what they feel their territory is and as a way to file the claws. So, the best way to save your furniture from ruin is to train your cat on how to use a scratching post.
Post training tips
The younger you start training your kitten, the faster and more likely they will use it. Cats often start scratching after they are weaned, so it’s a good time to introduce a scratching post. Make sure the scratching post is placed where you are likely to use it, often near where it is most effective.
Cats are easily frightened of new objects in their environment, so let your kitty get used to it. Once he gets comfortable, try luring him to the place with some treats and then start lifting the treats over the scratching post so they have to stretch and stretch to catch him and repeat this every day.
Toys hanging on the pole can help your kitty feel more relaxed while climbing. It will also provide a scent they are familiar with.
If they need a little more persuasion, you can try rubbing catnip or another type of cat-friendly plant extract on the pole. This could be anything from valerian, honeysuckle, or thyme. The comforting smell will help the kitten adapt.
If you notice that your cat starts scratching the sofa or any other furniture item, try to distract him and direct his attention to the scratching post. Remember to keep rewarding your cat, both by using treats and praising them every time they use the mail while you are training them.
As with any workout, persistence is the key. Eventually your cat will get used to using the scratching post and it will become their first stop when they want to mark their territory, or just file their claws.