Scratching Post Question
I have one cat, Munchie, a tortie. She moved in about 8 months ago, and is 2 and a half years old.
Before I got her, I got her a scratching post with carpet material which she absolutely loved and took to in no time at all after a couple of days of explaining to her where she can't scratch.
In late August or so I went to visit my parents for a week and a neighbor kept watch on her. He did a fine job and she took to him very quickly after a couple of visits he had before I left. But she took some of her stored up energy from less play time out on the scratching post, and when I got home, it was pretty much useless to her, threads coming out of it and everything.
So, I got her a new scratching post a couple days later. Because I have a pretty low income, this time I got her a scratching post with rope wrapped around it. It also has carpet at the very top of the post and a little sitting perch, as well as carpet on its base. I paid a little more for the rope post, knowing that a relative of mine who uses this kind of scratching post just replaces the rope when its worn out, and I figured I could save more money in the long run doing this.
So, that was August. She took to the small carpeted area of the post right away, scratching it as much as her old one. She avoided the rope part though, I assume because it was a different material and she didn't know it was for scratching. Here we are in February, and she has still not attempted to scratch the rope part of it on her own, and the carpet part is pretty much worn down.
Before I go out and get her yet another scratching post (an all carpet one) I wanted to see if anybody had any advice on how to get her to start scratching the rope. She is a very respectful kitty, and knows where not to scratch - even though she stays away from her post because she doesn't use the rope part and the carpet part is worn down for the most part, she still stays away from places she knows she can't scratch, mainly the couch. I've given her a few compromises, such as letting her scratch my cheap computer swivel chair and the cheap chair that she likes to use as her bed, and she very gently claws at some stuffed animals in an affectionate manner (she thinks they're real) that resembles scratching. But I know this doesn't suit her needs and she's not getting as much scratching in as she should.
These are things i have tried countless times over the past months to try to get her to scratch the rope part of the scratching post:
*Spraying it with catnip spray.
*Scratching it myself while she watches
*Placing her paw on it (from both a vertical and horizontal position) showing her how nice it is to scratch
*Her favorite game to play is knocking toys off of the top of the post, so I tried putting toys on the rope part (both from a vertial and horizontal position) but when her paw touches the rope she acts like it's not supposed to be there and she stops playing.
*My newest idea was placing treats between the ropes, and trying to make it so that she had to scratch the rope part to force the treat out. She tried it a couple times, gave up on that, and just tried to bite it out. I stopped this, because I was afraid she'd wind up eating the lose parts of the rope.
The most confusing thing: I have a hamper made up of a nearly identical rope material. She loves sitting in it and will occasionally scratch at it. I've tried showing her the connection between the rope of the hamper and the rope of the scratching post, but she does not quite understand that it's the same thing. I've made it a point to not take the hamper away from her while she's scratching it, hoping that she'd see she's allowed to scratch rope, but she hasn't figured out how to translate it to the scratching post.
Does anyone else have any ideas to offer someone willing but not really looking forward to buying another new scratching post?