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cat is switching her scratching spot every 2 days

post #1 of 3
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I have a problem that I hope to get some advice on. My cat (3 weeks new--adopted from a shelter) was hidding for about a week after she came to her new home. Now that she is more familiar with her surroundings, she has been using a different scratching spot every 2 days. First she uses the scratching post, but for only 2-3 days. Then she switched to the couch (which she is still using, poor me). I have been putting more and more doublesided sticky paper on the couch (to the point that I can't sit on it anymore!) Then she uses one of our rugs (no problem, its a cheap one anyway). But that lasted only 2 days, then she switched to the carpet area right outside of my bedroom. She is not allowed to sleep with me during the weekdays becuase she plays too much at night, and I need my sleep. I know sometimes she really wants to come in because she would meow meow meow outside my bedroom door, and when I wake up, she would run to greet me "meow good morning meow!" I wonder if she chooses that specific carpet spot to scratch on because she thinks she can "dig in" to my bedroom from below the door? I have tried to carry her to her scratching post whenever I find her scratching on the other areas. But I don't know if she views carrying her as a form a punishment. I was told by her foster mom that she hates to be lifted/ carried. She tenses up and tries to get out of my hands whenever I try to carry her. I even tried to show her how to use the scratching post by holding her paw and scratching it on the post--but she seems to be scared of me touching her paw. She is a very shy/ easily scared cat. I have even tried to stick snacks between the sisal rope on the post. She loves snacks but she doesn't touch the ones on the post! The post is very sturdy (very heavy piece of cat house/ scratching post furniture), so that should not be the issue. I have tried cat nip on the post, but I think she is in the 40% of cats that is not affected by catnip. What should I do to encourage her to use the scratching post?

post #2 of 3
The first thing that comes to mind is that she is marking different spots in the house. Cats have glands in their paws that leave a scent. If picking her up doesnt work, when you catch her scratching on something, clap your hands really loud and tell her no. They usually scamper off and will eventually get the idea. Just keep giving her pets when you see her use what she is supposed to
post #3 of 3
It sounds to me that she is trying to get her scent on different areas. She's marking her territory. She's letting you know that she lives there too. I read somewhere that you shouldn't rub their paws on the post...it will deter them from using it. If she's using the post I would reward her with a treat and just remove her when she scratches on something else. She'll eventually understand what she can scratch on. It also helps to put the posts near the sofas, etc. She'll get used to using them instead of the furniture. As for sleeping with you at night....you might want to just give in and let her. After a few nights she should settle in and start sleeping a bit instead of bothering you. Good luck...I hope this advice helps.
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