1. Understand Your Cat
Cats scratch objects in order to:
- mark their territory
- keep in shape
- have fun
It is impossible to own a cat who will never scratch your furniture.
2. Buy a Scratching Post
A scratching post is meant to distract your cat from scratching your rugs, furniture and walls. It is vital to get the most suitable scratching post, so that the cat is drawn to that object. Observe the materials your cat prefers to shred and get a matching post. Posts made of wood, fiber or a rough textile may be appealing to him. The post needs to be tall enough so that your cat can stretch. Most importantly, a post should be safe. Secure the post so it is stable.
3. Don't Push Your Cat Towards the Cat Post
Place the scratching post in one of the favorite rooms of your companion, but don't insist on showing your cat what's it for. If you do so, the cat will ignore both you and the post. Cats are smart enough to discover for themselves. Instead you can trick your cat into getting closer to the post by giving him treats and toys in that particular area.
4. Reward Your Cat
Whenever your cat scratches the post, reward him with treats and encouraging words. It's a good idea to place posts in several rooms of your house, so that your cat has the freedom of choice.
5. Challenge Your Cat
Don't throw away the old shredded rug your pet dealt with. Your cat will be displeased and will attack the new rug. Instead, place the old rug under some furniture and secure it to the floor with some tape. Your cat will discover this new game and will enjoy it.
6. The Sooner the Better
Starting the training should start as soon as possible. A kitten will learn quickly to use the posts, while an older cat will take his time to make the transition.
7. Don't Hit Your Cat
Hitting a cat won't stop him from scratching. Cats cannot associate your punishment with the scratching and they will develop an aggressive behavior in time.
8. Don't Declaw Your Cat
The claws are necessary for your pet's balance and well-being. The procedure can lead to additional medical and physiological complications.