Do provide your cat with a scratching post covered in a material she likes. For instance, if she prefers to scratch soft surfaces get her a scratching post with a carpeted surface. If she favors rougher surfaces, provide her with a sisal rope scratching post. This option will make the transition much easier.
However, you can also try the reverse: if your cat loves to scratch carpets, then provide him with a sisal rope post. This way your cat will learn to use a different type of material and hopefully will stop scratching your carpets. Try whatever approach works best for you.
Do get a combination of scratching post with cat furniture. Many cat trees and kitty towers come with scratching posts built-in. This will give your cat extra play and sleep areas, and will provide your cat with an enticing alternative to your furniture.
Do find a post that matches your kitty’s scratching style. For instance, some cats love to scratch horizontal surfaces such as rugs and carpets while others prefer upright surfaces such as sofas and drapes. What does your kitty like? You can find horizontal, vertical and even slanted scratching boards and posts. See below for more information.
Do make it a pleasant experience: Play with kitty to entice her to use the scratching pole. Place catnip on her post so that she will associate pleasure with the post. Another idea is to place a post near her sleeping and feeding areas. Cats love scratching right after eating and just after waking up from a catnap.
Don’t force kitty to use the scratching post. Remember that one important key to successfully train your cat is to make the whole experience as pleasant as possible. Do try to encourage him or her using the techniques explained above but don’t force your cat to use the post.
Don’t use physical punishment – Never hit your cat or otherwise use physical force to train your cat. It is not only inhumane, but also your cat most likely will not understand why you are punishing him, especially if you punish him after the act.
Don’t de-claw your cat- De-clawing can be a very painful experience for your cat as it involves surgery. In this procedure, the bone of the cat’s front toes is removed. Many people- including vets and myself- consider this procedure inhumane.
This article about cat scratching has several tips to help you stop your cat from scratching.
Different types of cat scratching posts
Also, make sure that the surface doesn’t have any sharp, protruding objects or nails, which could easily hurt your cat.
If you prefer to buy, you can find different types of cat cat scratching posts, boards and even cat scratching furniture. Practically every online store carries cat scratchers, so you have a wide selection to choose from.
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
Sisal rope scratching posts: This is a great idea for cats that like scratching rough surfaces. However, the opposite is also effective. You can give this type of post to cats that like scratching softer surfaces like drapes, rugs and carpets. This option will train them to favor rope instead of carpet.
Carpeted scratching posts: These types of scratching posts are covered with carpet instead of rope. If your cat enjoys scratching your carpets and rugs the sisal scratching post might be a better choice. If your cat doesn’t care about your carpets, this is good alternative. However, scratch posts covered with carpet are less durable than sisal-covered posts.
Scratching furniture: As I mentioned above, you can find scratching posts that come with play and sleep areas. You can also find cat trees, cat condos, and cat playgrounds that come with scratching surfaces.
Fun shapes: In addition to the vertical scratching posts, you can also find triangular and slanted scratching posts. These pieces provide great entertainment for your kitty.
Cat scratch posts made out of wood: These pieces are usually custom-made. Some of these scratching posts look like tree stumps.
More helpful tips
Looking for something?
Mia was lovely, courageous, and one of the wisest cats I've ever met. This site is dedicated to her memory.
Max is our very own magical cat. He loves big mouse toys and is an avid bird watcher.