How to Make Cat Use Scratching Post: 5 Proven Tricks

To encourage your cat to use a scratching post, position it near their favorite resting area. Use enticing elements such as catnip or dangling toys to draw their attention.

Encouraging a cat to embrace a new scratching post can be a simple yet strategic task for any pet owner aiming to protect their furniture. A well-placed scratching post, appealing in both texture and location, can satisfy a cat’s natural scratching instincts.

By understanding feline behavior, one realizes that cats often seek to mark their territory, stretch their muscles, and keep their claws in top condition. A scratching post that fulfills these needs will quickly become a favorite for your furry friend. Select one that is sturdy, tall enough for your cat to fully stretch, and covered in a material that entices scratching. Regularly engaging with your cat near the post can also reinforce positive associations, turning it into the go-to spot for their scratching activities.

How to Make Cat Use Scratching Post: 5 Proven Tricks


Introduction To Feline Scratching Behavior

How to Make Cat Use Scratching Post

Understanding your cat’s natural habits is essential for a happy pet and a scratch-free home. Scratching is not just an outlet for claw sharpening but also a method of communication and stretching for cats. In this section, learn about the natural instincts behind scratching and how cat scratching posts can benefit both you and your feline friend.

Natural Instincts Behind Scratching

Cats scratch for several reasons. From marking territory with scent glands on their paws to keeping claws sharp, scratching is ingrained in the feline way of life. Notice how kittens start this behavior early on – it is an innate action for them.

Benefits Of Cat Scratching Posts

  • Protects Furniture: Scratching posts draw cats away from couches and curtains.
  • Stress Relief: Scratching can alleviate stress and boredom.
  • Exercise: Posts provide a full stretch of the body, promoting fitness.

Choosing the right scratching post and location can lead to harmony between your cat’s natural instincts and the preservation of your home decor.

Selecting The Right Scratching Post

Want your cat to scratch a post instead of your furniture? Selecting the right scratching post matters! Here’s how to choose the perfect one for your kitty. Cats love to stretch and scratch, but the key is finding a scratching post that suits their needs.

Height And Stability Considerations

Cats need a tall post to fully stretch their bodies. The ideal post should be at least as tall as your cat when they are fully stretched out. This often means looking for a scratching post that is around 30 inches or taller. Stability is just as crucial. A wobbly post can scare your cat away. Ensure the base is heavy and wide, so it doesn’t tip over during use.

Material Preferences For Cats

Cats have different scratching preferences. Many favor natural materials that shred under their claws. Common options include:

  • Sisal fabric or rope
  • Cardboard
  • Wood
  • Carpet-covered posts

Observe which textures your cat is drawn to. Mimic these textures when choosing their scratching post.

Location And Accessibility

Your cat will likely ignore a poorly placed post. Place the scratching post near your cat’s favorite spots. Cats often scratch after a nap, so consider putting it near their bed. Ensure the area is quiet and disturbance-free. A second post in a family area lets your cat scratch while spending time with you. Multiple posts in different rooms help, too.

Introducing The Scratching Post To Your Cat

Introducing your cat to a new scratching post can be a fun process for both of you. Cats have a natural urge to scratch, and a scratching post can satisfy this instinct. It can save your furniture from damage, too. The key lies in making it appealing so your cat chooses the post over other items. Follow these steps to help your furry friend fall in love with their new scratching space.

Making First Acquaintances

Place the scratching post in a popular area where your cat spends a lot of time. Cats like their scratching spots to be visible and in the center of the action. Keep it upright and stable to ensure confidence in its usage. Encourage your cat to explore the post by gently placing them near it. You can also scratch it with your fingers – this sometimes piques their curiosity.

  • Show it’s fun to scratch by using a toy to mimic clawing at the post.
  • Reward their interest with treats and positive reinforcement when they interact with the post.
  • Never force their paws onto the post, as this could create a negative association.

Using Catnip As An Incentive

Sprinkle catnip on top of the post to attract your cat. Catnip has a powerful effect on many cats and can significantly increase their interest in an object. Consider rubbing a bit of catnip onto the base or even using a catnip spray.

Step Action Outcome
1 Apply catnip Cat becomes intrigued
2 Allow exploration Cat investigates post
3 Regular application Cat develops a routine

Remember, patience is key. Give your cat time to warm up to the post. With a little encouragement, your cat will be scratching away in no time!

Training Techniques For Post Usage

Want your kitty to love their scratching post? Training techniques for post usage can make it happen! It’s all about making the post the most appealing spot for scratching. Time to teach your cat where to claw correctly!

Positive Reinforcement Strategies

Getting your cat to use a scratching post is easier with positive reinforcement. Here’s how:

  • Use treats and praise – Reward your cat with their favorite treats each time they use the post.
  • Play near the post – Cats scratch more when they’re excited. Play with toys by the post to associate it with fun.
  • Place catnip on the post – Catnip attracts cats. A sprinkle on the post might just lure them in.

Discouraging Unwanted Scratching

Stop your cat from scratching furniture with these tips:

  • Cover furniture – Use furniture guards or covers. Cats dislike the feel and will avoid scratching.
  • Use deterrent sprays – Safe, anti-scratch sprays can discourage them from scratching unwanted areas.
  • Double-sided tape – Place it on forbidden areas. Cats dislike sticky paws!

Maintaining Scratching Post Attractiveness

Keeping a scratching post attractive to your feline friend ensures its frequent use. Cats love places that feel familiar and comfortable. A well-maintained scratching post draws your cat back time and time again. Dive into the upkeep tips below to keep the post irresistible to your pet.

Regular Post Maintenance

Cats prefer a clean and stable spot to dig their claws into. Regular maintenance is crucial for an attractive post.

  • Inspect the post for any loose fabric or dangling pieces that could harm your cat.
  • Tighten any loose parts to ensure the post remains stable during use.
  • Trim stray fibers from the sisal or carpet covering to keep it neat.
  • Use a lint roller to remove fur and debris from the post surfaces.
  • Clean the base regularly to remove any dirt or spilled catnip.

Revitalizing Old Posts

Over time, the scratching post may lose its appeal. Restoring an old post can make it exciting again.

  • Wrap fresh sisal rope around worn areas to renew the texture.
  • Sprinkle catnip or pheromone sprays to rekindle interest.
  • Offer rewards close to the post to encourage scratching.
  • Introduce a new toy at the top of the post for extra allure.

Transitioning To New Ones

Introducing a new scratching post should be smooth to prevent confusion.

  1. Place the new post next to the old one initially.
  2. Transfer some old scents to the new post by rubbing it with the old one.
  3. Use positive reinforcement like treats when your cat uses the new post.
  4. Gradually phase out the old one as your cat adjusts to the new post.
How to Make Cat Use Scratching Post: 5 Proven Tricks


Troubleshooting Common Issues

Getting your cat to love their scratching post can be a challenge. Sometimes issues arise even with the perfect setup. Let’s troubleshoot common issues to ensure your cat uses their scratching post effectively.

When Cats Ignore Their Posts

Location matters. Place the post where your cat spends the most time. Posts hidden away in corners often get ignored. Move it next to their favorite resting place and watch for changes. Use catnip or pheromone sprays to attract your cat to the post. Sometimes it’s about finding the right bait to spark interest.

Surface preference is key. Cats have personal tastes. Some prefer soft surfaces, while others love rough textures. Observe your cat’s current scratching spots and match the post material accordingly. If your cat enjoys the arm of the couch, a post wrapped in a similar fabric might do the trick.

Dealing With Multiple Cats And Posts

More cats mean more posts. Cats need their own space. One post for multiple cats can cause stress and territorial disputes. Each cat should have a post of their own. Always opt for one more post than you have cats.

  • Variety helps. Different heights and materials cater to individual preferences. A sisal rope post for one cat, and a carpeted one for the other can prevent competition.
  • Consistent training is necessary. Praise and treats work well for behavior reinforcement. Each time a cat uses their post, show them love and give a reward. This strategy reinforces the desired behavior for each cat.
How to Make Cat Use Scratching Post: 5 Proven Tricks


Frequently Asked Questions On How To Make Cat Use Scratching Post

Why Do Cats Need Scratching Posts?

Cats possess a natural urge to scratch for marking territory, stretching muscles, and shedding old claw sheaths. Scratching posts provide a dedicated spot for these activities, redirecting their scratching from furniture to a more suitable area.

How To Introduce A Scratching Post To A Cat?

Start by placing the scratching post near your cat’s favorite area. Encourage interaction with catnip or toys. Reward use with treats or praise to reinforce positive behavior. Eventually, your cat will recognize the post as an appropriate scratching spot.

What Type Of Scratching Post Do Cats Prefer?

Cats often prefer scratching posts that are stable, tall enough for stretching, and covered in a material that shreds under their claws, like sisal fabric or rope. Providing a variety of shapes and textures can cater to different scratching preferences.

Can Declawed Cats Use Scratching Posts?

Yes, declawed cats may still exhibit scratching behavior. A scratching post can provide a sense of comfort and normalcy. However, ensure the post is covered in a soft material to prevent discomfort or injury to sensitive paws.


Encouraging your cat to embrace their scratching post can be a win-win scenario. By following the tips we’ve shared, like choosing the right post and using positive reinforcement, you’ll protect your furniture and satisfy your feline’s natural instincts. With patience and consistency, your cat’s new favorite spot will be their designated scratching haven.

Remember, every cat’s preferences are unique; keep experimenting until you find the perfect match.

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