how do you train a kitten to use a scratching post??
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Please don't force your kitten to scratch by dragging it's paws up and down the scratching post. Cats don't like being forced to do something and may associate the scratching post with being forced to do something (which is a bad thing) and you may actually discourage them from the post.
Remember these things: Cats LOVE to think they thought of something themselves, they learn by example (remember that moms teach kittens how to use the litter box!), they learn better through priase than reprimands.
First, buy scratching boards/posts. Plenty to give you an idea here:
My cat loves her cardboard one (it looks like rows and rows of corregated cardboard boxes on their side):
Whenever kitty goes to scratch something s/he shouldn't, say "NO" (or whatever you've selected to be his/her "bad" word). Go to the scratching board/post and pretend you're a cat and scratch away. Really look like you're enjoying it. When my cat saw me scratch and having a blast, she ran over and started doing it herself (she didn't want to be left out!). Once your kitty starts doing it on his/her own, praise the living daylights out of him/her. Give treats, praise and lot of love. This makes the kitty relate the scratching board/post to great things and s/he will use the board/post out of happy choice rather than fear of you coming to grab it's lil paws and drag them up and down the post.
I prefer this method of training my kitty to do anything rather than forcing. I just feel like there's more respect between us.Source(s): (Longtime cat lover/owner) http://cats.about.com/cs/catmanagement101/a/manage... http://www.cozycatfurniture.com/howtomakecatscratc...
- AlleycatLv 51 decade ago
It's very easy provided you have the "right" kind of scratching post. A scratching post should be upright vertically and tall enough for a cat to get a good stretch of his legs and spine. The surface of the post should be a material that allows the cat to hook his claws into safely. Common materials are wood (not recommended since your furniture may also be wood), corrugated cardboard (not ideal because it shreds) carpet and sisal rope. The sisal rope is best because of it's durability and texture. Cats love it! Introduce your kitten to the post by putting it's 2 front claws on it...most likely your kitten will automatically start scratching. If not, get a teaser toy dangle it around the scratching post so your kitten can play with it. Again, your kitten will automatically start scratching and climbing all over that post, this time to get to the toy. If all else fails, rubbing some catnip on the post never hurts, but not all cats react to catnip (contrary to popular belief). Good luck and kudos to you for having a scatching post for your kitty. Paws come with claws!
- 1 decade ago
Sprinkle cat nip or use cat nip spray on it. The scent will attract the kitten even if they're too young or not affected by it. Have treats nearby and everytime you catch the kitty scratching on it, praise big time & give treats.
If you catch your kitty scratching on something other than the scratching post, say "NO!", then pick them up, take them to the post, rub their feet on it and praise. Most kitties will learn quickly.
Make sure you have options; some cats prefer horizontal scratching surfaces, some prefer carpet over cardboard, and some prefer sisal over carpet. Experiment until you find one your cat likes. Make sure it's big enough that they can fully extend their front legs on it (if it's vertical, so they can stand up and reach their legs out as far as they go), as part of scratching is stretching.
You can also get spray, double sided tape, or other materials to put on the places that the kitty might want to scratch (furniture, etc) to deter them from doing so.
Good luck, & hope that helped.
- macleod709Lv 71 decade ago
well, my kittens already knew. but maybe someone else has a better idea. I would take the kitten to the scratch post and move their paws how they should scratch, show them with your hands how it is done. do this repeditly. and if they start to scratch the rug or furnature then pick them up and say NO and bring them to the scratch post. any time you see the kitten go to the scratch post give it a treat.
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- mikah_smilesLv 71 decade ago
The trick is to find a surface texture your cat likes to scratch at.
My cat loves cardboard and the texture of outdoor welcome mats, so these are what her scratching posts are made of. She doesn't like carpeting to scratch at.
Try buying some catnip spray to spray on the post so the cat will associate the post with her stuff.. Also, whenever your cat uses the post, be sure to reward them with lots of praise and a treat, and if they scratch elsewhere, a water pistol shot on the back or rump (NEVER in their face) will help deter them.
Also, keeping a couple of scratching posts will make the process easier.
- Ragdoll KittyLv 41 decade ago
Enticing them with catnip or a toy on top is helpful. You can try rubbing its feet on the post, but if you run a little feather up and down the post, the kitten will naturally play. It will associate the post with scratching and a pleasurable feeling.
- 1 decade ago
put the cat up against the scratching post and let nature take its course.
if puss in boots starts scratching other things, like chairs and rugs, use a spray water bottle EVERY time to discourage kitty.
If puddy tat USES the post, reward the little furball with a kitty treat or caresses! Good Luck
- smarteeLv 41 decade ago
If your kitten doesn't naturally scratch the post, it's gonna be difficult to get it to. Try rubbing catnip on the scratching post. And if you catch him/her scratching your carpet or furniture, tap his/her nose, and carry the kitty over to the scratching post.
- Answer KingLv 51 decade ago
Rub his nails on the post. Then reward the cat with mouse to chase, catch and kill. He will use the scratching post all the time.
- 1 decade ago
When it scratches something it's not allowed to pick it up, tell it 'no', and take it to it's scratching post. After a while it might start useing the post more and more often then it does know.