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Cat scratching training

alenka_ru_ca
June 2nd, 2006, 09:43 AM
:pawprint:Hello everyone!:pawprint:

I have a problem with my kitten and would really appreciate some advice:) :

We have carpet floors, except for the kitchen and bathrooms, and my kitten (3 months) keeps scratching the carpet instead of the sisal sratch pad (similar to the one that the mom used :)). The chairs (fabric-covered) have also become a target.
It is not that bad yet, but I'm afraid she's going to get used to scratching the carpet and chairs :(, so I'd like to retrain her asap.
Covering the carpet with sticky tape or spraying it with citrus scent is not an option - this would involve covering the whole house :sad: .

Thank you in advance for any training advice!

-Elena-

LianneCatherine
June 2nd, 2006, 01:02 PM
Elena,

It's good that kitty is still young so that you can set definite boundaries that she will hopefully internalize for life.

If the sisal pad isn't working, try the cheap cardboard ones. They are reasonably priced and my kitty just loves them! Also, whenever kitty goes to claw the chair or carpet, calmly walk over, pick her up, and take her to the place that you would like her to scratch. If you see her scratching the kitty post or pad, PRAISE her like crazy, give her treats, and tons of attention. It only took a couple weeks of this before my Scout understood that scratching on the carboard meant attention and treats!

Good attention and bad attention are both ATTENTION. If kitty learns that doing something bad gets attention, she may continue to do it. If moving her to the correct scratching area isn't working, try a water bottle. When she is calm, take her to the scratching area and try to coax her to play with a string or toy near it. Once she learns that it is a nice scratching place, she will use it regularly.

Praise praise praise, award, award, pet, love, etc. when she's doing something right! To this day, though I haven't been as diligent in rewards, Scout looks at me while he's scratching to get my approval. It works!

Good luck!! :fingerscr

jessi76
June 2nd, 2006, 02:13 PM
you got excellent advice, just wanted to add, catnip on the scratching pad may help get her interested in it. you may also want to try a scratching POST w/ a kitty condo - a place for her to hide, snuggle, scratch and play.

and at the risk of offending anyone, I second the water bottle idea. just a light spritz will do the trick.

cpietra16
June 2nd, 2006, 02:31 PM
The problem with a kittycondo...at least with my cats..they were allowed to scratch the carpet on their kittycondo, but thenn they thought that all carpets were ok to scratch....I don't think they can tell the difference between a carpet they can scratch and one that they can't...IMO

Stacer
June 3rd, 2006, 04:45 PM
i agree with the above advice, lots of praise when they do it right. Also, some cats prefer to scratch horizontally, others prefer vertically, find out which your cat likes best. We have the "cosmic catnip alpine scratcher" it's like a ramp on a 45 degree angle, the cats can actually stand on it and then they go nuts scratching, it's awseome (oh yeah, it has catnip in it). If all else fails you can buy softpaws, which are little plastic cover that go over each claw individually. www.softpaws.com.

rainbow
June 4th, 2006, 01:21 PM
None of the cats I've had, as well as the ones I have now, have liked the sisal scratching posts. They have all preferred the carpeted ones and only one of the ones I have now will occassionally use the carpet. She knows it's wrong but sometimes does it anyway. :evil:

http://bestsmileys.com/cats1/6.gif

LM1313
June 4th, 2006, 06:22 PM
i agree with the above advice, lots of praise when they do it right. Also, some cats prefer to scratch horizontally, others prefer vertically, find out which your cat likes best. We have the "cosmic catnip alpine scratcher" it's like a ramp on a 45 degree angle, the cats can actually stand on it and then they go nuts scratching, it's awseome (oh yeah, it has catnip in it). If all else fails you can buy softpaws, which are little plastic cover that go over each claw individually. www.softpaws.com.

Mine love the alpine one as well. :)

PetFriendly
June 5th, 2006, 06:24 PM
Our cats really like the cardboard ones. One cat likes the flat one, the other likes the one on an angle.

A friend of mine swears by leaving the sisal rope posts outside in the rain a few times to make the cat be interested... Ours never went for them either way.

We taught the kiten to scratch the boxes by moving her to them when ever she choose something else. That worked for a while, then she'd use the furniture to get some attention... Out came the water!