If you happen to be a cat owner, then you would notice that your precious pet loves scratching stuff. Much to your horror, cats love to scratch the furniture! This may seem like a big problem, but it can be easily resolved. The key is to learn how to train a cat to use a scratching post. There are many ways for you to deal with this problem.
First of all, it is important to understand why cats scratch their paws. Cats spread their scent by scratching their paws which means they are marking their territory.
It helps them to feel secure and to identify their enclave. Shedding claws is another reason for scratching. Scratching also helps them stretch their muscles. See that there are many advantages to cats scratching their paws except that it wreaks havoc on your furniture.
On the other hand, you can trim your cat's nails to help them ease the scratching. This method is not recommended as they lose their defense mechanism. So we compiled some tips and tricks to follow to aid in your dilemma.
Useful Tips on How to Train a Cat to Use a Scratching Post
Now that you know the common reasons why cats are scratching their paws, we can move on to some useful things that you can do to help them learn to use a scratching post instead of your furniture.
If you have your pets as kittens, then you can start training them while they are young. This way, the action will be ingrained in them. However, if you already have an adult cat, they can still be trained but might need more persistence and perseverance.
Find a scratching post that your cat will love
Sometimes, it is all about finding the right kind of scratching post that will appeal to your cat. You can find the right post for your cat usually through trial and error. You may need to experiment and see which one works. For example, some would prefer a vertical post as opposed to a horizontal surface. The important thing is to be able to find the right one that will appeal to your cat's preferences.
Determine the best place to put your scratching post
Other times, it is not the quality of the scratching post that is important but the location. You should keep in mind that you should place your post where it will be accessible to your cat.
One pro tip: cats usually do their scratching before they take a nap. The ideal place to put your scratching post is where your cat usually naps. If you have the capacity, it is also great to put several posts in different parts of the house. Place it on your pet's usual spots, and it will surely get to maximize its use.
Now, if you happen to have a piece of furniture that your cat is very much attached to, then you can try placing a scratching post near it. This is an excellent way to divert its attention and focus the scratching on the post and not on your furniture.
Use Rewards and Affirmations
As with all great training, you can use rewards and affirmations to your pet. This simply means that whenever your pet uses the scratch post, it will get a reward. On the other hand, if they still play with your beloved furniture, then you need to be firm and let your pet know that is wrong.
To further entice your cat to use the scratching post, you can put catnip on and around the post or hang a toy for them to be able to play with. Eventually, they will get the hang of it and start using the post regularly.
Do not tolerate
If your cat is persistent, then it is time to use your voice to let your pet know its actions are incorrect. When you hear your cat scratching the furniture, say stop in a loud voice. Your pet will be startled and over time will understand that what it is doing is inappropriate. You may also spritz some water on your cat whenever it starts scratching the future. These are just some ways to dissuade your pet.
Now, if the tips mentioned above do not work at all, then you can go a different route. One thing that you could do is to make your furniture unappealing to your pet. You can do this by covering your cat's favorite furniture with foil or tape. Cats do not like these textures and can dissuade them from further scratching. It may seem like a hideous look for your furniture, but it is only temporary. You can remove them when your cat already loses its interest.
When all else fail, you can try changing your furniture. Consider furniture that is made from microfiber. It can tolerate scratching, but at the same time, there are also different designs available that will suit your home.
Cats are adorable and fun-loving. Just remember that cat scratching is a natural phenomenon. It may seem horrible, but if you train them early, then you will be able to surpass this ordeal. As mentioned before, cats scratch as their way of marking territory and shedding claws. It is easier to train cats when you understand the reason behind their behavior.
There are countless of other ways on how to train a cat to use a scratching post. These are some of the most common ones. You can start training early while they are still kittens so that they can remember as they grow up. Perhaps, you can find a nice scratching post that your pet would like. There are many different kinds of scratching posts, so it is better if you try and see which one best work for your pet.
In the end, if all else fail, then you could just consider changing your furniture or making your furniture scratch-proof. It pays to be patient and listen to your cat's needs. Cats differ from one another; one might be susceptible to training while others are not. Hopefully, your cat is trainable and can easily pick up the things you are teaching.