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I recently bought my cat a scratching post so she would stop scratching other things, but she never uses it. Do I need to "train" her to use it? And if so, how do I do that??
 

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What kind of scratching post do you have? The material can make a big difference. There are several ways to show her what to do. My scratching post is wrapped with sisal rope. It's a homemade job, but it works. With Cinder I just gently scratched on it with her paws. Then we'd get her chasing a toy all the way up. Instinct took over for the rest. This is a little kitten just learning to scratch, not one with bad habits to change.
 

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I've never had to train mine to use it. I've had to train them to use ONLY it, but never to just use it. I just put them on it when I buy it and they sniff, then scratch. If they are not touching it then chances are they don't like it. Material is everything. I have a cat tree with sisal posts, a cat tree with actual tree bark posts, and a cat tree with carpet posts. They only scratch the carpet one. They don't like sisal or tree bark.

You need to find what YOUR cat likes. There is sisal, wood, carpet, cardboard...and creativity. I made one out of an old pair of jeans once because Willie wouldn't use our cardboard scratcher that Neko uses. Then I went to the fabric store and bought material that is similar to our couch. He was scratching the couch so I knew he liked that material. I bought it, some batting, and then grabbed a 2 foot long wooden plank my dad had and used a staple gun to staple the batting and then material around the piece of wood. Laid it down and he loved it. It didn't hold up super well but it stopped him from touching the couch.

But I just bought this:
Petlinks System Dream Curl Curvy Two-Surface Scratcher at PETCO
and they both LOVE it, they only use the top of the bump though (mine's flipped over so the top of the bump is carpet, not cardboard).

Also make sure the post is sturdy, none of those stupid ones you hang over a doorknob. I use horizontal posts but they also have the cat tree for vertical scratching and I think that's important. Unfortunately there are not many suitable vertical scratching posts that allow the cat to stretch all the way up, they're usually only like a foot tall and pretty unstable.
 

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There are lots of different kinds. I tried sisal and carpet and MowMOw wouldn't use either. I bought him an inclined cardboard one and he jumped on it like it was a long lost friend.

Although a few months back he went after the sisal scratcher ( I feed him on top of it) and he looked terrified when he saw me watching him. I had to praise him to high heaven and tell him how sweet and good he was to use it, petting him like crazy. Since then I've noticed him going back to it pretty regularly. I'm wondering if in a previous home he was disciplined for scratching and expected the same from me (as if).
 

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my cats were okay enough with the scratching post but oliver really likes to rip into it and it would just slide with him, so I bought some sticky velcro and velcroed it to the floor, now he doesnt even bother glancing at the sofas, he goes at it with a vengence. maybe you need to just make it more sturdy. oh and for kicks I rubbed it in catnip just to make the other cat try it out. now its all they used about 99.9 percent of the time
 

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To get them to scratch it, scratch it with your nails and say your cats name/s.
Or you can pick them up and get their front two paws and scratch it with them.

Hope she starts to use it!
 

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To get them to scratch it, scratch it with your nails and say your cats name/s.
Or you can pick them up and get their front two paws and scratch it with them.

Hope she starts to use it!
I tried that with a sheet of plywood outside with Zenobi. I don'tknow what it meant to her, but she went beserk wanting to chew on my hand. I had to go hide until she calmed down.
 

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Yeah, you've just got to control them that's all. When they go to chew at your hands(which probably 90% of cats do), push them away and say, "No!".
 
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