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New kittens -- scratch post training?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

We just got two 4-month old kittens (Ella and Mingus). We've only had them a few hours and so far they are very well behaved--using the litterbox and everything.

Ella seems to like scratching on the carpet. We've just been calmly picking her up when this happens and moving her to the scratching post or to a little on-the-floor scratcher thingy that we bought. But she hasn't scratched on those yet, she just walks away.

Any advice on how to deal with this? It's not a big deal yet but these are my first kittens so I want to make sure I train them right. We live in a rental apartment with wall-to-wall carpet, so if they mess it up it could get pretty expensive.

post #2 of 8
In my case the kittens were initially confined to a smallish room with lots of scratching posts and nothing inappropriate available to develop a preference for. I rubbed catnip on the posts and they took right to it.

Mine will only use sisal posts though, and I think many cats feel the same. And the sisal has to be at the right height for them to stretch and scratch.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Oh, well we got them this kind:

Arched Hideaway with Hammock Top by Green Duck

Except it's twice as tall. Do cats not like these?

I am worried about them scratching on the carpet when we are not home. Is it cruel to leave a new kitten in the bathroom (with food&water, bed, litter, toys, scratching) for a few hours while we are at work? At least for the first few days until it learns where to scratch, etc.

post #4 of 8
Try going over to the scratching post yourself and actually scratching it (yes, you will feel like an idiot!). Your cats might copy you. If I do that I can guarantee that one of my cats will come over and join me!
post #5 of 8
Many cats just won't use a carpeted scratching post. I'll bet they would use sisal, though.

Confinement is fine but they might need a good play session before going in and will insist on one when they come out.

If Petsmart is where you shop they have lots of sisal posts and furniture. Ebay also has some super deals on trees- I get the "Bigfoots" and find them extremely well made.
Whatever you choose, vertical space is what the cats want- the higher the tree the better. I just measured how tall my ceilings are and then chose the trees that just barely fit. That way there is nothing higher in the house than the top platform so they aren't even tempted to get on top of things they shouldn't.
post #6 of 8
If the kittens start scratching your carpets, you could get some inexpensive throw rugs with a sisal backing, and place them upside down over the spots they seem to like. There are also inexpensive cardboard or sisal "scratching boards" you can get (try WalMart).
Generally, most cats seem to like vertical sisal surfaces that are high enough for them to really stretch out when they sharpen their claws.
post #7 of 8
I vote for the sisal thing too. play with your cat on it and run your nails over it so they hear the sound, mine took to sisal immediately and so I have two on the floor and one mounted vertically.

Now she even uses the cardboard thingies.
post #8 of 8
Hi Chris,

I had the same problem. After trying two carpet scratching post that the kitten and her mom did not even look at, I made a one of sisal rope. You can buy it also. It was magical : never does my cat (the kitten is no longer here) uses anything else but this sisal rope post!

Best of lucks,

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