Are you tired of your cat scratching your beautiful sofa, your curtains or your wallpaper? Little problem, you bought (or made) a scratching post but he doesn’t use it! Don’t give up, there are tricks to attract your cat to his scratching post and make him not want to turn to your furniture.
1. Place the scratching post next to the furniture your cat scratches
Cats are territorial animals that communicate a lot through scent. Their scent glands are located on their paw pads. So, to mark its territory, the cat leaves its smell on objects by scratching them. The trick is to place the scratching post in close proximity to your cat’s favorite furniture. For example, if your cat is particularly fond of scratching the sofa, place the scratching post there.
The scratching post should be sturdy enough to support your cat’s weight when she stretches, and it should be placed in a visible location. A potential rival entering the house should immediately perceive the scent left by your cat.
2. Add toys
To encourage your cat to use his scratching post, hang toys (ball, feather duster, mouse…) on it. Felines are playful and very curious, so this will attract his attention and encourage him to come closer and put his paws on the scratching post.
You can even play with him to make him understand that this object is reserved for his well-being and that it is something positive.
3. Make the scratching post more fragrant
Cats love certain smells. To attract your cat to the scratching post, there are several scenting tips:
- Saturate the scratching post with his scent by rubbing his blanket on it.
- Rub catnip on the scratching post or place some nearby (some posts even contain catnip).
- Rub crushed green olives or olive oil on the scratching post, cats love the smell.
- Spray the scratching post with a hormone-based soothing product, such as Feliway.
- Rub cat litter on the scratching post.
4. Praise him
To encourage your cat to scratch on the scratching post, don’t hesitate to use positive reinforcement. Praise your cat every time he approaches or scratches on the scratching post. Use treats, petting, and especially verbal praise! Your cat needs to understand that his behavior is right and that you’re happy about it so he’ll want to do it again.
5. Change the scratching post
As you know, felines are particularly picky. Sometimes the material or shape of the scratching post you choose doesn’t work for your cat. So try a different scratching post. For example, instead of a vertical scratching post, try a horizontal or even a wall-mounted post.