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Promoting Proper Scratching

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
More kitten questions!

I have two scratchers for my kitten, one is mounted on the corner of the wall so it's an upright, and one of those floor circle scratchers. So I have both an upright one and one on the floor.

How do I promote him to scratch the scratchers and not the floor or furnature? He's scratched the furnature a little, and he likes to scratch the carpet. He's not gone crazy on either, but I want him to know from a young age what he should be scratching.

I was thinking of rubbing a little catnip on the scratchers, but he may ot be suspetable to catnip being so young. I was told catnip doesn't have an effect on cats before a certian age.

Thank you everyone! You all are the best!
post #2 of 6
I've "trained" two cats to use scratchers (both came to me as adults), and here's how:

1. I make sure the cat has something to scratch where he wants to scratch (they have favorite places, but be sure they can get to a scratcher easily from many locations).

2. I rub catnip on the scratchers.

3. I monitor the cat. My current boy was tempted by my door frames (natural wood), but he would usually go for them in the morning when we were on our way to the kitchen for breakfast. I never yell at them. When he'd get up to scratch on the door frame, I'd pick him up and bring him to the nearest scratcher. THEN I'd mimic scratching on the post.

My first cat got the message right away. My boy was 5 and more stubborn, but now (with me 6 months) he rarely goes for anything that's not his.

What I find amazing is that with both cats whenever I brought something new into the house, if it was for them (a new climber for example), they knew right away that they could scratch it. But they never bother my things!
post #3 of 6
Make sure you provide different kinds of scratching material as well. I have one cat who loves the carpet and cardboard scratchers. My other cat prefers the sisal kind.
post #4 of 6
Be sure to make scratching the posts a positive experience for the cats. When you catch them scratching the posts praise and treat them. They will soon figure out that scratching on the post is a better deal than scratching the furniture.

HappilyRetired's third recommendation is right on. I would go as far as placing the cat's paws on the desired scratching location.

Best of luck!
post #5 of 6
I have always trimmed my kitties claws, front and back. When they are kittens is when this should be introduced, even though they may not have full, long claws yet. Exercise holding them and extending their claws regularly to get them comfortable with the action, also give them treats when they are calm and allow this. Trim only the very tips of the claws, front and back. Only do so when they are relaxed and calm.
I have been practicing this with Maia since she was a tot! She is almost 3 now and lets me clip her claws at her will.
post #6 of 6
All I had to do was put one of those basic cardboard scratches down on the floor and sprinkle a good amount of catnip on it and rub it into the holes. Now she goes to it and scratches at it and lays on it all the time. She loves it. Why didn't I think of getting one of these things sooner??

When I first got it I took her over to it and she smelled the catnip and immediately started rolling on it. I took her paws and made a scratching motion with them. Then later when she was scratching at it I praised her and gave her pets. She has been using it ever since and I have yet to see her scratch at anything else.

At least with Gus, even with trimming his nails on a regular basis, he still scratched (as does Nora) and destroyed a ton of carpet. I keep all my cats nails trimmed (they have all been the type to knead a lot, so you can tell when they need them trimmed again) and they still scratch and cause damage.
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