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How to make your cat scratch the scratching post

Cats scratch to smooth out the rings of their claws, which have gradually frayed. Scratching is also an instinctive method of marking a territory. Each scratch leaves secretion from theglands of the cat's feet - a scent that gets other cats attention. See Why cats scratch

Cats naturally claw trees and prominent objects in their territory. If they are not provided with an adequate surface in the house, they will choose their own. Therefore it is important to provide your cat with a cat scratching post, which she can use for playing and scratching.

What cat scratching post to choose for your cat?

The ideal scratching surface can vary between cats - from a simply carpet covered to the more exotic sisal rope or artificial surface coverings. The scratching post may be tall, short, round, with horizontal or vertical surfaces. But if you want to your cat to scratch it you should consider the next rules:

- For best results, scratching post should be tall enough for your cat to stretch to her full height when scratching. It should be as high as your cat is when she is fully stretched out, plus a few inches more.

- The good post must have a sturdy base, which will ensure stability. Sturdiness is an important quality since the cat often presses its bodyweight onto the post to get a good scratch. If the cat feels insecure or unsteady on the cat scratching post, she simply won't use it.

- Take scratching pole that provides combination of different covered surfaces. Carpeting is not always a feline's favorite scratching material, and it may not be such a great idea to train your cat to scratch on the carpet, since she may have trouble telling acceptable carpet from the carpet covering your floors. On the other side is the sisal rope, which is durable, inexpensive, attractive to cats, and lasts longer than carpet.

- The post should also be wide enough for your cat to sit on top and look at her surroundings.

- Natural bark and stripped tree trunks are also good choices. Just be sure the bark is bug-free and the trunks are not chemically treated.

How to make your cat to scratch her scratching post?

If your cat is unaccustomed to use the scratcher you may need to help train your cat to choose the post rather than your furniture. There are four key aspects that will help achieve a positive result with scratching posts:

- Whether a new kitten or an older cat that is new to your home starting a scratch-post training before a problem arises makes sense. It is easier to establish good habits rather than try to correct the problems later.

- Help show your cat how to scratch. Actually go through the scratching motion yourself while your cat is watching. Don't try to physically force your cat to scratch by holding her paws. She will resist and even dislike the post. The most effective method of teaching your cat to use her post is through lures and rewards. Once your cat understands that scratching and climbing her post is fun, reward her and gain your enthusiastic approval.

- Make the post a fun place to be by placing toys on or around it, or rubbing it with catnip. If your cat likes catnip, rub some into the rope so that the cat can smell that wonderful smell. Once your cat has smelled the catnip scratch your nails, gently, along the surface of the rope. This will help teach your cat where to scratch.

- Most cats scratch immediately after waking while stretching themselves. Keep the scratching post nearby to where your cat likes to sleep, and as soon as your cat wakes up from a nap, call her to her post.

- Put it where it will be used.Place the cat scratching post near a sunny window or a draft-free corner where your cat likes to spend time, or in front of a frequently scratched piece of furniture.

- Spray your cat with water every time your cat scratches the wrong place. See How to Prevent your Cat from Scratching Furniture

- Don't replace the surface just because it's badly shredded that's the effect the cat is trying to achieve and after all it is her scratching post.

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How to Prevent your Cat from Scratching Furniture

Heartworm Disease in Cats

Cares for newly born kittens

Cat's Nutrition

Why cats scratch

Cat Neutering

What you should know about Cat's Shedding

Cat Diseases

Putting Your Cat out to Pasture

Care of Older cats

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