Home > Cat Care Advice >

How to Make Your Cat Scratch the Scratching Post

How to make your cat scratch the scratching post
It is a feline fact of life that cats have an instinctive need to scratch; they do not do that to make us angry. In their opinion, that is very funny and healthy, because it acts as a massage for their paws. But, you must not punish your pet for clawing the furniture; instead, provide her with an alternative like a post for scratching and stretching arms. Choose the right post, put it in the right location, teach your furry friend to use it and you will have scratch-free furniture. In any case scratching is easier to deal with, if you understand why cats scratch in the first place.

Why do cats scratch?

Here are the three most common reasons why cats are scratching objects:

1. To mark territory. Cats have little oil glands under their nails and when they scratch these glands release a certain smell that marks the territory as theirs. There are two scratching patterns. The first one is in a zone they consider as their territory, the place where they nap or eat. The second one is in the areas where they usually walk around and mark different objects like doors, sofas or windows.

2. To exercise their body and tune the muscles. Cats just need to relieve the stress and exert the energy they have after about 16 hours of sleeping. They enjoy the sense of elongating their body while stretching and flexing which also keeps their muscles and bones in good shape.

3. To sharpen claws. Scratching is beneficial to cats’ claws because it helps to remove the old claw dead cells from them.

No one likes when the cat scratches on his favorite furniture or carpet, but training your pet to stop it certainly will not work. Instead of that provides it with a scratching furniture to exert its energy on and leave home furnishing scratch-free.

What post to choose for my cat?

A cat scratching post is a must to have available in your house when you own a cat or multiple cats. But the perfect one will vary from cat to cat because of the different preferences they have. There are plenty of choices on the pet products market today, but if you want your cat to use it, you should follow some basic rules:

Cat scratching post wrapped with large base, carpet and sisal - It must be high enough. The perfect post must be some inches taller than the cat when it is fully stretched out.

- It must have a large, sturdy base. Actually, base is even more important than the post itself. It should be as sturdy and wide as possible to prevent the post from toppling over the first time when cat leans against it. She will not use it if she feels unsteady.

- It should have the right covering. Cats have specific preferences when it comes to the type of post covering. Some would scratch on carpet, others on sisal and some kitties would prefer plain natural wood posts. Even though the sisal rope is stronger, more durable and more attractive to cats, some of them just do not like it. They may prefer to scratch on carpet posts instead. So, be sure to choose material that appeals to your kitty.

How to get your cat scratch the post?

Instead of disciplining your feline for only following its instinct, teach it to scratch a post which will keep it away from your belongings. But, if your furry friend does not use the scratcher you provided, then it may need some help to choose the post instead of the home furniture or carpet. Here are some good ideas to establish good scratching habits in your kitties or new members of the family:

- Observe your cats  to know if they like to scratch after having a nap, when the doorbell rings, before dinner, after using the litter box or just after eating. That would help you place the scratch post, pad or furniture in the right location and would help the kitty to reach there in no time and with less effort.

- Never force the cat to scratch the post by holding paws over it. She may dislike and never use it or even come near it. Instead, show her how to use it in the same way as if you were a cat. Every time you see the cat scratching something other than its post, scold her, tell her “NO” and carry her to the post. Then show her how to scratch and play with it. And when she understands the scratching post is good for her then reward her.

- Put the post next to the damaged area in your home. Cover the post with some material that your cat prefers, like loose-weaved fabric or knobby textures, and the damaged area with something she does not like.

- Rub dried catnip on the post and strong-smelling furniture polish on your furniture. It will help the cat choose the post over the home furnishing.

- Play with your kitty by the post. Put the post next to her feeding bowl or where she sleeps.

- When you see your cat scratch forbidden places quickly sprinkle her with water to show her that her behavior is unacceptable.  [Learn more ..]

Learn How to Prevent your Cat from Scratching Furniture and How to Select the Right Cat Furniture for Your Cat

Browse Cat Furniture Depending on Cat's Size