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how to get a cat to use a scratching post

marijay
September 18th, 2010, 04:01 PM
My husband and I have 2 cats that we have had since June. When we got them, they would both use the carpet and sofa to scratch. Buffy ran out and was gone for 6 weeks. Since she's been back, she's been really good, using only the scratching post, scratching pod and the emery cat. Buffette, on the other hand, will not use anything but the sofa and the carpet. I have previously read that to deter a cat from scratching inappropriately, not to tell them no, because its a natural instinct for them to scratch, but to move the scratching post closer to them and encourage them to it and to leave an appropriate scratching station near the inappropriate one. Tried that with no luck. Any suggestions?

Love4himies
September 18th, 2010, 04:30 PM
Is the scratching post sturdy and large enough for Buffett to really stretch and get her claws in?

chico2
September 18th, 2010, 04:33 PM
My cats really love the card-board scratchers,really cheap to buy..I bought one of those emery-ones,but they totally ignore it.
I also have cat-trees but like L4H,says,it's important they are sturdy and high enough for the cat to be able to stretch and scratch.

Longblades
September 18th, 2010, 04:43 PM
Putting the preferred scratching object so near the wrong one as to make the wrong one unusable has worked for me. Sometimes this has entailed temporarily attaching the preferred object to the sofa. Usually I show the cat how to use it. Then I've moved the preferred object to the place I want, meanwhile wiping down the couch or whatever with citrus scent, which most cats don't like.

Some ideas:

Is the scratching post a store bought one with carpet on the outside? Some cats don't like the carpet. They like the woven jute backing better.

Some cats like to scratch standing up, some like horizontal surfaces. It helps to observe which the cat likes best. Some like both.

The absolutely best cat scratcher I have ever found is the end of a cedar fence rail. About a foot and a bit long. The wood is soft and they can really get their little hooks in and it doesn't catch like loop carpet will. I appreciate people who call before visiting so I can vacuum up the cedar sawdust that's always on my rug before they get here. :)

Our cats also like a small roll of carpet that is always lying on my rug. It flops around and I don't know why they like it better than carpet fixed to a post but they do. It's very low pile, and actually, there's very little pile left now but they still use to scratch and play on.

Frenchy
September 18th, 2010, 05:09 PM
maybe rub some cat nip on the scratching post ?

14+kitties
September 18th, 2010, 06:50 PM
Here's a great site to explain the whole cat scratching thing.

http://www.catscratching.com/

catlover2
September 24th, 2010, 12:28 PM
Cats have different preferences for scratching surfaces. Try different ones and find out what his preference is. Rubbing catnip on it will encourage his scratching, as well as your praise when he scratches where you want him. My boy likes a sissal covered scratch post and a door mat that has small tight stiff loops I got at a hardware store. My girl's favourite is a cardboard egg carton on the floor and the door mat. Cover your sofa with a sheet until your cat has got a well established place to scratch. Good luck!

Marty11
September 24th, 2010, 02:49 PM
I have old floors so I can do this. Get a mat at the dollar store, nail it upside down, carpet to the floor, put on some cat nip and voila. My siamese left my couch alone after that. I'm not sure what's in that spray that deters the cats, but it worked too on the couch. Oh yeah and that emery board thing was a waste of money.