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scratching posts

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just bought a scratching post for kitty, but how do I make sure he knows he can scratch that but nothing else?
post #2 of 11
You can spray it with catnip spray, or sprinkle cat nip around it. You can place it near his bed, cats like a good scratch after a nap. But if it is covered with carpet, don't be surprised if kitty also starts scratching furniture. They cannot make the destinction between a soft scratching post and the sides of a couch. Feels the same to them. I use natural upright wood ones and cardboard ones that you just throw on the floor and have had no problem.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it is a carpet covered one, so the only thing i can think of to do at the moment, is to tell him off and spray him with water (pointing the sprayer works too) when he scratches something he isn't supposed to, and not saying anything when he does the right thing. I thought about catnip, but I haven't seen any spray about, not that I can afford it anyway. I'm hoping just praise when he is good and warnings when he is bad will work. The other thing is, is he going to electricute himself before he realises NOT to chew on cords? I suppose he could have a lovely looking afro for free if he doesn't get the message soon!
post #4 of 11
You could also just rub regular catnip on the post and he should get the message, you don't have to have the spray. If he picks things up pretty quick then you shouldn't have a problem. I never even had to tell my kitties where their scratching areas were - they are designed to be attractive to cats.

Oh the chewing on the cords. I think we've all dealt with that with kittens. We were lucky that Trent would only chew the cords under the headboard when we were all in there (he wasn't much interested in being anywhere we weren't). We were able to just make a loud noise (banging on the headboard) and tell him NO and he basically got the message. Now he messes with the cords under the bed when we aren't paying enough attention to him.

If he has a particular place he likes chewing on the cords, you could temporarily wrap them in double sided tape. You could also put something citrus smelling on them (like spray citrus air freshener on the cords). I also understand they sell a bitter apple gel at pet supply stores that you can apply to the cords so he won't chew on them.

Good luck!
post #5 of 11
Easier than double sided tape is that cheap strapping tape. Just wrap the cords in that I usually tape them to the walls near the baseboards so the cats soon get the idea that immovable objects are not fun to play with.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Flavour of the week, so to speak, is the cord from the iron. That's the only one I have seen him play with. Probably attractive 'cos it's wiggling all over the joint. He just gets a warning from the spray bottle and a "BAHHHHHHH" when he starts to go stupid with it.
post #7 of 11
All I can suggest is try hanging toys from the scratching post, using catnip on it. Play on it with him (LOL).

Also I have noticed if its a carpeted scratching post... if your OWN carpet on the floor isn't as new and plush as the one on the post, the cat will actually preffer the post due to that reason They can sink their claws in better.

Also just be onguard, they scratch something they shouldn't, stop them.
post #8 of 11
I taught Sydney how to use it by taking his paws and scratch the pole with them !! After a few days , he got the message and now he uses it all the time !!
Of course , he was only 2 months then ; the younger they get this , the sooner they get used to it ...
post #9 of 11
I bought one of those carpeted cat playground things at Costco for $35 which ws a great deal by the way. I just yelled at my cat if she scratched anywhere else and praised her when she used the "playground". It did not take long ..3 or 4 days and she is good most of the time. almost all of the time. Also, if I act like I am scratching something, she understands and she scratches it. When we are outside together I act like I am scratching the bark of a tree and she joins in. Between the trees and the "playground" I keep her all scratched out.
post #10 of 11
The best ways to make a cat use a scratching post are:
a. catnip (if you're cat is catnip sensitive).
b. Use a fishing rod sort of toy to play around the post and move the object at the end of the rod over the post. The cat will try to catch it and move its paws on the post. Almost always, that's all it takes to make them scratch it.

Taking the cat's paws and moving them on the post for her may work for some cats, but you run the risk of the cat taking an aversion to the post as most cats don't appreciate being manipulated like that.

I don't advise using the water pistol at all. It's a form of punishment and with 90% of the cats it's ineffective and can even make some cats afraid of the owners and aggressive towards them. Once the cat uses the scratching post, cover the places where she used to scratch with double sided tape or with a product called Sticky Paws (developed specifically for that - see this page: http://www.thecatsite.com/shop/claws.html)

For more info about scratching posts and how to get your cat to use them see here:
post #11 of 11
I always tell mine they are "good kitty" when they use a new scratching item. They respond to positive reinforcement much better than yelling. I have a water bottle, but don't even have to spray them any more. They will stop what they are doing at the sound of the bottle being primed. I have had good luck with having a rug for them to scratch. They leave everything else alone, including the carpet and other rugs. They know that one is theirs.
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