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Discussion Starter #1
OKay so I've read on here in a few posts how people trained their cats to use their scratching post. Well my cats are completely not interested it at all and my leather furniture is now in pretty poor shape due to my sweet little kitties. How do you TRAIN a cat to use their scratching post?
 

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hi :) well there are different types.....there are sisal posts, carpet posts and cardboard scratchers......i have both....carpet and cardboard.....gizmo loves the carpet scratcher and just likes the cardboard one every now and then. marshall....LOVES cardboard...loves boxes....so he scratches the cardboard scratchers more....and the carpet one...every now and then i will also take a toy to the scratcher to initiate play on it.

pick up a couple and see what they like. if your cats like catnip....put some on the scratchers.....they have loose catnip.....and spray catnip. my cats LOVE catnip.....but some dont. you just gotta try a bunch of stuff and see what works.

good luck
 

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Well, you need more than one. Put different kinds in different areas, especially next to stuff you don't want them scratching. Use catnip spray or dried catnip on the different posts. Praise them and/or give them treats for scratching what you want them to. I did this from the start and Munch has never clawed anything he shouldn't.

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My Marty doesn't use his scratching post for nothing in the world!! Although he doesn't scratch up the furniture either...instead he clings his nails to the carpet when he stretches lol I really don't understand him. He doesn't even find boxes interesting...boxes!! cmon man! Cats loves boxes!
 

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That's really rough,no one likes ruined furniture :/

It might be the type of scratcher you have, or it might be that there aren't enough that's why the kitties don't use it. The way I started training my cat was we placed scratchers very close to where he was scratching inappropriately (so right next to the arm of the couch) and sprayed it with catnip (but spray it away from the couch so none gets on the couch) and he'd generally go for that instead.

Since that wasn't a pleasant place for a scratching post we just gradually moved it further and further away and made sure to always redirect him to the post if we saw him going for the couch. The biggest factor was positive reinforcement. If you see them go to the scratcher on their own give them a treat right away and lots of praise. Eventually we cut out the treat and just gave lots of praise, and then we didn't bother with the praise as scratching is such an enjoyable experience for cats once they realize they have a place they can scratch to their hearts content they are more than happy with it.

Also try different scratcher styles to get one your cat like. We have a floor scratcher still next to the arm of the couch he uses and a big thick tower where he can scratch the bottom and lounge on top next to the window. The more sturdy the post the better, cats like to really get into the scratch, so a flimsy post is going to turn them off.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for the advice! I have had the post in front of the spot she (its my Georgia) scratches at and she just ended up going to the other side of the couch and ripping up that end. My poor couch :( BUT I think Im going to invest in some of the spray catnip. I had no idea they made that in spray, I do have the dry loose stuff that I could sprinkle on it and try. Its been a long time since i owned a cat (i was 16 and didn't really worry about the real responsibilities) so I've got a lot of learning to do. I've also been in search of a good kitty tower. Right now I just have the small tower with two hidey holes in it for them and then the seperate scratching post. I'd like to find one friendly for the size of my apartment that is also suitable for all three of the kitties. The other two do not scratch at the couch, thankfully. Lol
 

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its a never ending learning process :) they have all sorts of scratchers...standing, laying down, hang on doors.... taller ones are good....cats like to stretch and scent mark on them
 

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Liloddball,
Some cats aren't into catnip, so you could try honeysuckle instead!
If you live in the States, Walmart is carrying a catnip/honeysuckle packet in the pet department...
I'd never heard of the honeysuckle until someone posted about it here on the forum!!
Some cats like vertical scratchers and some like horizontal scratchers...
as well as all the different textures already mentioned.
One thing I didn't see mentioned yet, is you need to remove the cats scent markings from your furniture, cats have scent pads on their feet so scratching not only feels good, they are marking as well!
One of the 'Scent Out' products would probably do the trick...
Then spray/sprinkle the scratchers you want them to use...
It can be a habit hard to break, but it can br done! Be patient and consistent!
Good luck!:p
 

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For this very reason, my next couch will be upholstered instead of leather... sure, I could try and train Newton not to scratch leather, but he's so used to it by now that I just don't look forward to the challenge of changing his behaviour.
 

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Well, can tell you what works for me, most people don't like my method, but it has been the only thing that ever worked for me. And that is, give your cat a bedroom to be in during the day, with a cat tree and a window to look out, and put their behinds in their room when you are not there to supervise them. You HAVE to catch them in the act. And when you do, you give them a loud, sharp NO, along with a loud clap of your hands, maybe a spray of water with a water bottle. They key is, you HAVE to catch them in the act and start using NO, and the water probably, for now. Eventually, no becomes enough, but in the beginning, you probably need the water bottle.

When I cannot be around to supervise, if I'm going to be gone from the house, they are in their room. If you work during the day, they will not die. They will sleep almost the entire day anyway, so let them sleep on their nice cat tree, lazily lounging by the window. My cats usually have a routine to when they are going to scratch, and for one, it is right when I let him out of his room in the morning (my two boy cats sleep in a bedroom at night), he goes right to the rug in the hallway to scratch, which I have a cardboard horitontal (cheap) scratcher, and he scratches right then. Anther one of my cats scratches after he eats and uses the litter box. It's funny how they have a routine about even little things like this, but they do. So when they were little, I would pay attention to when they would do the routine scratching thing, catch them in the act, and they learned pretty quickly. Now that they are older, I do not have to put them up if I'm going out of the house for a while, but when they were little and destructive, this is what I did. If I could not watch them, I put them up in their room. This has always worked for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My only issue is I am limited in space. I have a 3 yr old and a 5 yr old that have a LOT of stuff. I also had my leather furniture before I got the kitties with claws, my first cat Clinton is completely declawed (long terrible story on that, let's just say I will NEVER be pressured to declaw a cat again) and when the other two came around I just didn't think anything of it. Monica will do it once in a while but Georgia is the one who is shredding it to pieces. I live in a two bedroom apartment with a spacious living room and dining room. Theres a perfect place in my living room to put a nice sized cat tree so getting several posts and trees isn't really an option. The cats do have their own room. Its a walk in storage closet where their litterboxes are. Its a perfect place to put all three boxes and I leave the door cracked for access.

I could add another post/small cat tree in my room. They already have a couple of boxes in there that they sleep in. I was not expecting to own three cats. lol These last two kind of...fell into my lap and I couldn't say no. I am looking to become a homeowner soon, in the process of looking for the right one. I have all these plans and ideas I want to do for my kids and cats but right now Im just so limited because I'm in an apartment. ;( I saw somewhere on here where they built a scratching post and its in the wall, I thought that was pretty cool and clever!!
 

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Aren't there also some sprays that you can put on furniture to deter cats from scratching it? I would try those...and then sprinkle some catnip on the actual scratching posts you want him to use.

Someone might be able to throw around the name(s) of the deterrent spray?
 

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Well, can tell you what works for me, most people don't like my method, but it has been the only thing that ever worked for me. And that is, give your cat a bedroom to be in during the day, with a cat tree and a window to look out, and put their behinds in their room when you are not there to supervise them. You HAVE to catch them in the act. And when you do, you give them a loud, sharp NO, along with a loud clap of your hands, maybe a spray of water with a water bottle. They key is, you HAVE to catch them in the act and start using NO, and the water probably, for now. Eventually, no becomes enough, but in the beginning, you probably need the water bottle.

When I cannot be around to supervise, if I'm going to be gone from the house, they are in their room. If you work during the day, they will not die. They will sleep almost the entire day anyway, so let them sleep on their nice cat tree, lazily lounging by the window. My cats usually have a routine to when they are going to scratch, and for one, it is right when I let him out of his room in the morning (my two boy cats sleep in a bedroom at night), he goes right to the rug in the hallway to scratch, which I have a cardboard horitontal (cheap) scratcher, and he scratches right then. Anther one of my cats scratches after he eats and uses the litter box. It's funny how they have a routine about even little things like this, but they do. So when they were little, I would pay attention to when they would do the routine scratching thing, catch them in the act, and they learned pretty quickly. Now that they are older, I do not have to put them up if I'm going out of the house for a while, but when they were little and destructive, this is what I did. If I could not watch them, I put them up in their room. This has always worked for me.
You're right. I don't like the idea of locking them up in a bedroom all day. Our cats have the run of the house. We have an upstairs and a basement. The cats like to chase each other around the house at different times of the day or night. When they want to wrestle they run upstairs so their humans don't stop them. They get a lot more exercise that way than if they were cooped up in one small room all day long.

You can get automatic sprayers to keep cats out of certain areas. Petsmart has them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am looking into building my own cat tree. It's looking to me more affordable that way...these things are outrageously expensive. I mean..the single cat trees arent that bad but the multi cat ones are very pricey. :( I know they make the sprayer deterrents for dogs but was not aware they made them for cats.

I am sure learning a lot! You are all awesome.
 

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Sprayers seemed to be very effective, though they don't work 100% of the time, once a cat knows what they do they tend to be more wary approaching the area. Though just a warning, I don't know how much this might bother you, if you do use a deterrent (like the spray can, double sided tape, or unappealing sprays) your cats probably won't want anything to do with the couch, including snuggling up on there. Just a potential side affect, there's plenty of other places to cuddle with them though :)

Also, confining them to a room during the day generally shouldn't be a problem. I notice on the days I don't have classes my cat in generally sleeping the entire time, and usually gets his energy around the time everyone comes home. Cats are notorious sleepers ;) Obviously not every cat has the same habits, but your cats probably match up to your schedule.
 

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Maybe having something like this will keep the scratches to a minimum. My girls don't scratch any of my stuff (knock wood!!), but they do get hair and puke/hairballs on my furniture. I bought a sofa cover and a chair cover last week. They were on sale, the sofa one was only $19.99, can't beat that. I take them off when non-cat peope come over. My cat people understand. :grin: Came home tonight to a hairball and side order of hairball soup on the sofa, but I didn't care - I just threw it in the washing machine.



Reversible Furniture Protector
 

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Hmmm...Note to self....if ever invited to Marie's place...find out what's on the menu first!!:eek::D
(Btw, do you serve oyster crackers with the hairball soup?;))
 

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Of course not! Everything tastes better on a Ritz.
 
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