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How do I interest her in a scratching post?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
We got Ophelia a sisal scratching post this weekend, and right now she could care less about it. I have rubbed catnip on it, which she ate the remainder off of the carpet covered base and proceeded to scratch the base. I tried puttin the catnip on top of the post, thinking she would feel the sisal on her paws and start scratching. Well, she got up and ate the catnip, but still doesn't scratch. I tried showing her with my fingers how to scratch, and she looks at me like I am a complete idiot and am invading her new thing. She has claimed it as hers, but won't use it. I've tried playing with her by/on it, and again she looks at me like I'm an idiot.

Any more suggestions on how to get her to use it? She doesn't have a scratching problem I am trying to correct, but I would like her to use it to dull those claws naturally, and I don't want to have spent good money on it for nothing...
post #2 of 15

Lay it on the ground and watch her go for it. Once she has walked up and down it a few times and stretched and scratched on it, she will use it wherever you put it or in whatever position it is in. You can also put her food nearby so she eats within a easy stretch of it.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I will try that tonight!
post #4 of 15
Also, kitties really like to scratch right after waking up. . .so have some treats nearby and wait for her to wake up. once she's awake, pick her up slowly and put her on the sisal. You may have to take her paws in your hands and make stropping motions for her. If she gives it a good ol scratch reward her with a treat. Do this for 2-3 days and walla! Her scent mark will be all over the sisal and she will use it all the time. . .hopefully! :tounge2:
post #5 of 15
Ivo has never really used her scratching post for what it's meant-she hides behind it when we play "Pounce on the Kitty Dancer". When I got her kitty condo, however, she started using that as a scratching post. I think it's because the scratching post is so short, and she can't get a good stretch in while scratching. With the kitty condo she can stretch real high while scratching. Maybe it's too short for Ophelia?

post #6 of 15
Christy is absolutely right. Cats need the scratching posts not to scratch but to stretch. Helps them stay limber and be able to jump easily. If it is a short post, they may not want to deal with it.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
It is probably a little too short for her, but it was the tallest one they had there.

The good news is that I laid it on it's side, and she did scratch on it last night. So I'm going to leave it laid down for a while and see what happens. I was so happy when I heard her using I didn't know what to do!
post #8 of 15
You may also want your cats to have more than one thing to scratch on. Another thing you could get is a sisal scratching pad, which is just a piece of plywood with rope wrapped around it, and it can be attached to a doorknob. The last time I bought one of these I paid about $5.00 for it. Snowball is a large cat, and these scratching pads work really well for him.
post #9 of 15
I just wanted to add this.
Sometimes I catch Snowball sharpening his claws on a piece of furniture. When this happens, I tell him "no" and carry him over to his scratching pad and I hold his paws against it, making scratching motions for him. He figures out what I want him to do right away. Also, every couple of days I rub some catnip into the sisal which helps keep him interested in using it.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
She has other options for scratching, I just really wanted her to be interested in the new one that we actually spent "real money" on instead of the cheapy things she loves (the cardboard ones). Hubby said he has seen her using the scratching post since I laid it on it's side and she was really going at it! We may just have it laying down for a while, and then see if she's still interested in it standing up. If not, it can stay laying down.

Lorie, I had looked at those scratching pads you can hang from a doorknob. Does it knock against the door when Snowball uses it? We had one kind of like that once, but it was a plastic base shaped like a mouse with a big scratching pad as the mouse tummy (and a ball to play with). Ophelia wouldn't touch it after she tried scratching on it and it bumped against the door and made a noise. She's kinda skittery.
post #11 of 15
Yes, it does knock against the door when it's being used so it wouldn't work out for you.
post #12 of 15
I've always placed my scratching posts near windows and the cats naturally leapt on top to get a better view.
post #13 of 15
" but I would like her to use it to dull those claws naturally"

The scratching post SHARPENS the claws by removing the old layer of nail exposing the sharp new layer underneath! You will still have to trim the nails
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
I should clarify a bit what I meant, too. Her claws weren't getting shed off, so they were long needles. Since she has been using the sisal post (still laying on it's side), a lot of the old nail has come off and her claws aren't catching on everything anymore. She seems much happier with the arrangement.
post #15 of 15
some cats have a preference on how they scratch. Sounds like your kitty prefers the horizontal arrangement. You may want to buy a jute or coir doormat to keep inside for her. I have found these to be pleasing options for my kitties.
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