Teach Cats To Use
by: Marilyn Pokorney
Cats love and need to scratch. When they live in a house or apartment they will scratch whatever is available which usually turns out to be their owners best piece of furniture.
Here are some tips to help teach your cat to use a scratching post instead of your favorite couch.
Cats don't understand physical punishment. Punishment only breaks the trust that your cat has with you.
It feels good to cats to scratch. Scratching serves as exercise to keep your cats muscles in shape.
Don't try to show your cat how to scratch the post. The cat knows how to scratch and will do so when they want to.
A good scratching post should be tall enough for your Kitty to fully stretch the body, usually around 3 feet tall and should be very stable. If it falls over, even once, the cat won't go back to it. A resting place on top is even more attractive.
Cats like rough surfaces that they can shred to pieces. Choose material as close as possible to the item that the cat is now scratching on. The reverse side of rugs provides a good texture for clawing.
Cat's mark their territory by scratching. The paws also have scent glands that leave their own special scent on their territory, so a scratching post should be in an area that's used by the family.
Encourage the cat to use the post by feeding and playing by the post. Rub dried catnip leaves or powder onto it. Attach toys to it, such as a catnip mouse, which causes the cat to grab the post attempting to catch the toy.
Put a post near where the cat sleeps. Cats like to scratch when they awaken, especially in the morning and the middle of the night. If possible, place a scratching post in every room of the house.
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