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Getting Your Cat to Use a Scratching Post

A scratching post is one of the most important items you can provide for your cat. Not only do they help your feline friend stave off boredom and satisfy her natural clawing desire, they shed off the outer claw layer, keeping them from getting too sharp. Learn how to get your cat to use one below from your Brighton veterinary professional.

Start Early

If possible, get your cat used to scratching on a post when she’s young. This way, she’ll be acclimated to using it throughout her life, making your life easier! While older cats can certainly be trained to use a post, it may take more time and effort. Some older cats ignore posts altogether, so don’t get frustrated. Ask your vet if you need help training your older feline.

Use Incentives

Many cat owners use catnip as an incentive to use the scratching post. Try sprinkling a bit of catnip on the post, and watch your cat go wild. Toys or cat treats can also work to get your cat playing with the post. Many cat jungle gym structures come with a built-in scratching post and toys. These structures are available at most pet supply shops, so ask your vet for a recommendation.

Place Properly

The placement of your cat’s scratching posts within the home is very important. Sitting the post in a random spot and hoping your cat will like it isn’t the way to go. Consider where your cat often sleeps; since cats tend to scratch while they stretch after a nap, placing the post near your cat’s sleeping area can be extremely helpful. Putting the post near an often-lounged-on windowsill or the nap chair can also work.

Offer Rewards

Whenever you see your cat use the post successfully, offer a reward like a cat treat or toy. Don’t offer any reward if you see her scratching inappropriate items, such as furniture or carpet. Scold her gently when you see your pet scratching these items, and lead her instead to the post. If you offer a reward once she scratches it, she’ll quickly get the hint that she ought to use the post!

Call your Brighton vet to get a recommendation on the size, shape, and type of scratching post that will best suit your cat.

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