How to get cat to use a scratching post - Cat Crack Catnip

How to get cat to use a scratching post

Frustrated by your cat’s lack of interest in their scratching post? This guide will walk you through some realistic methods to get a kitty cat to use a scratching post, keeping your furniture safe and your cats purring with happiness. 


What you should know about training your cat to use a scratching post:

  • Cats are essentially furry DJs mixing their latest hits on scratching posts, which also serve as their personal stretch zone, manicure station, and social media check-in spot.
  • Choosing the right scratching post is like picking a winning lottery ticket—get the height, stability, and texture that make your cat feel like a jackpot winner, and place it where they like to hang their hat, or in this case, their paws.
  • Turn your cat into a scratch post influencer by luring them with catnip, treats, and their favorite toy—or redirect their inner shredder from your sofa to the scratching post with loads of praise and the occasional treat rain.


Understanding Feline Scratching Behavior

Cats scratch for a multitude of reasons—it’s their version of a mani-pedi, a way to get a good back stretch, and a method of declaring “I was here” all rolled into one. Claws getting a bit nasty? Consider it gone with a good scratch. And those invisible scent marks left behind? That’s your kitty’s way of updating their Facebook status via the glands in their cat’s paws. It’s essential to understand how to deal with cat scratches and maintain a healthy environment for both you and your feline friend, while providing them with proper cat scratching options!

Also worth noting is the yoga-esque full-body stretch that accompanies a satisfying scratching session, enabling them to stand on their hind feet and extend their front paws as if reaching for the stars. Meowmaste!


Choosing the Perfect Scratching Post

When selecting a scratching post, consider the following:

  • Location: Cats prefer a scratching post that is easily accessible and in a location where they spend a lot of time.
  • Stability: Choose a post that is sturdy and won’t topple over when your cat is using it.
  • Materials: Cats have different preferences for scratching surfaces, so offer a variety of textures such as sisal rope, carpet, or cardboard to see which one your cat prefers.

By considering these factors, you can find the perfect cat scratching post for your feline friend to use a scratching post.

Don’t forget to consider height; the taller, the better. To stretch after a long nap, cats need a tall post that lets them reach upwards.


Types of Scratching Posts

That’s right, the world of sturdy scratching posts is as varied as our feline friends themselves. From the towering majesty of standalone vertical posts like the SmartCat Ultimate Scratching Post to the humble horizontal pad that sits unassumingly on your living room floor, there’s a type for every cat.

Some cats love to reach high, while others prefer kicking back and scratching at ground level. And for those living in cozy quarters? Angled scratchers like the Way Basics Premium Cat Scratcher can save precious space while still satisfying those scratchy urges.


Location Matters

It’s not just what you offer but where you place it that counts. Imagine a scratching post in the corner of the basement—it’s like having a gym membership you never use because it’s too far away. Place those scratching posts like beacons throughout your home—in social spaces, near their favorite nap zones, and at entrances to entice a good scratch session.

Cats have their routines, like stretching after a catnap or scratching to celebrate entering a room. So, put those posts where the action happens, and watch your cat leave their scratch marks where it’s actually okay.


Encouraging Your Cat to Use the Scratching Post

Even if you’ve set up the ultimate scratching post, your cat might show more interest in the box it came in. Fear not! Luring them to the post is an art form, starting with the casual “check this out” with a toy or a scratch noise they can’t ignore. Should that fail to tickle their whiskers, you might consider moving the post to a window with a bird-viewing feature to draw their interest.

As soon as they give in and scratch, reward them with a treat or a chin scratch. This is what we call positive reinforcement—catch them in the act of being good and shower them with love.

Enticing with Cat Crack Catnip

Ah, Cat Crack —the feline equivalent of a double espresso. If your cat goes wild for the stuff, sprinkling it on their new scratching post could turn it into their favorite hot spot. Think of it as seasoning your cat’s food; just a sprinkle here and there, and maybe a catnip toy dangling enticingly, can make all the difference.

Since most cats react to catnip you’ll find they’re more likely to engage with their post and less likely to give the side-eye to your new curtains.

Interactive Play

Who said playtime can’t be productive? Engaging your cat with a wand toy near the scratching post encourages them to paw and climb, which is a sneaky way to teach them how to use it. Try placing their favorite toy on top of the post—it’s like a treasure hunt that ends with a good scratch.

And if your home is a multi-cat kingdom, tossing toys around the multiple scratching posts can become a group activity, reinforcing the post as the go-to scratch hub for everyone.

Positive Reinforcement

Praise and treats are the way to a cat’s heart… and their cooperation. Every time your cat’s paws grace the scratching post, let the treats rain down! This is textbook positive reinforcement, people, and it works like a charm. Start small, offering goodies for just showing interest, and work your way up to the grand prize for a full-on scratch-a-thon.

Remember, the key is immediate gratification—cats live in the now, and so should their rewards.


How to Discourage Furniture Scratching

Now, addressing the potential issue at hand—the cat on your couch. Scratching furniture isn’t acceptable, but before you even consider rehoming your furry friend (we’re only joking, we know you wouldn’t), let’s explore some deterrents. Wrap your furniture in textures that cats find as appealing as a bubble bath, like double-sided tape or aluminum foil, and watch them steer clear.

In the meantime, to stop scratching in undesired areas, obstruct their previous scratch zones by positioning the deluxe scratching post directly in front of them—it’s like a velvet rope indicating, “scratch here, not there”. Consider adding a scratching pad nearby to further encourage appropriate scratching behavior.


Unappealing Textures

Let’s be honest, cats can be quite particular about textures. They dislike certain materials, which we can use to our advantage. Aluminum foil, double-sided sticky tape, plastic wrap—you name it, they’re likely to turn up their nose at it. Wrap those materials around your furniture like it’s a Christmas present they’re not allowed to open. If tape is your weapon of choice, rest easy knowing it won’t leave a mark on your precious upholstery.


Redirecting Scratching To The Scratching Post

If your cat still hasn’t realized and targets the couch, it’s time for gentle redirection. Pick them up mid-scratch and show them to the scratching post. This is a crucial part of scratching post training. It’s like redirecting a toddler from a mud puddle to a sandbox—softer landing, same digging satisfaction. And when they do scratch the post, shower them with praise.

Cats may pretend they don’t care, but deep down, they love the attention, just like other cats.

Maintaining Your Cat's Claws

Although scratching posts are excellent for maintaining those claws, they aren’t the only solution for claw care. Regular nail trims are the manicures of the cat world, and they’re crucial for preventing overgrown talons that could turn your kitty into an accidental Edward Scissorhands.

The trick is to make it a stress-free experience, getting them used to the clippers and your touch, so they don’t panic every time they see the nail trimmers come out.

Multiple Scratching Options

Variety certainly adds interest to life, particularly for our discerning feline companions. Take my kitties snowy and rua, the dynamic duo who gave up scratching furniture for good when their human introduced them to a world of scratching posts in every room. By offering different scratching textures and options you’re not just accommodating their preferences—you’re preventing them from scoping out your brand-new designer couch as their next victim.


Now that you’re armed with knowledge and tips, you’re ready to reclaim your furniture and guide your cat to those scratching posts with the finesse of a true cat whisperer. Remember, it’s all about understanding their needs, providing the right tools, and enforcing good habits with a sprinkle of love (and catnip). Go forth, and may your couches live to see another day!

Scratching Post Frequently Asked Questions

Why isn't my cat using the scratching post?

Your cat might not be using the scratching post because it's not in a spot they fancy. Try placing it next to their favorite furniture, convince them to give it a go, and then you can relocate it to a more convenient spot when they've taken the bait.

How do you encourage cats to use scratching post?

Encourage your cat to use the scratching post by sprinkling catnip on it, playing with your cat near the post, and incorporating it into your play. Who knows, they might just end up loving it more than your furniture!

What spray attracts cats to scratching post?

Spray some FELISCRATCH by FELIWAY on the scratching post to attract your cat, and don't forget the cat crack catnip! Your furniture will thank you for it.

How often should I trim my cat's claws?

Trim your cat's claws every ten days to two weeks to prevent them from getting overgrown and to keep your cat's paws in top-notch condition. Happy trimming!

Can I use any tape to deter my cat from scratching furniture?

No, don't just grab any old tape - your cat deserves the fancy stuff! Get some double-sided sticky tape made for the job. Trust me, your furniture will thank you.

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