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I just got my DSH kitty (11 weeks) a couple of days ago. He is great with using his litter box and eating. Plays with all of his toys. I am just having a difficult time getting him to use his scratch pad. I tried putting some food on it for him to relax on it. Then I tried rubbing a little catnip in it for him. I even placed toys on it for him. He doesnt want to scratch on it. If i see him scratching the carpet I yell a stern "NO!" and pick him up, place him on the scratch pad and pet him and give positive reinforcement, but he just runs off. Now, it has only been a couple of days, so I know I have a ways to go. I just want to make sure I am doing things right and see if you guys have any experienced pointers in helping my new buddy use the scratch pad and not my carpet and most importantly, not my leather couches!!
 

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Well, I am not a lot of help, but my male, Jethro, took a lot of time to finally scratch where he was suppose to scratch.

I tried sisal cat trees. Sisal posts. Carpet posts. One that had both.

I was about to try the cardboard ones, but the last thing I bought (flat sisal scratching mats) seems to be working. I still have to watch him, as he's not 100%, but I'm just happy he's using something other than our carpet finally!

Of course, he's an older adult that I found as a stray, and it took 9 months. :x

Kittens tend to be much easier. When I fostered kittens, I would stimulate scratching the posts with my own nails, and that would intrigue them. If nothing else, I got the little posts from Walmart with a fuzzy toy that sits on top, so the kittens would go after the toy, and in the process put their nails on the post and get a feel for it. Many would actually stop going after the toy, and just go to town scratching the post.

It became their favorite thing.
 

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PureMuttz, the last thing you described sounds like what I have for my kitten. I just got her a few days ago. It was a cheap thing, on a little square base, the scratching post, and then a little ball on a boingy spring at the top. My kitten didn't show much interest at first, but once she became more independent as she got comfortable, she tried it out. Now she uses it all the time.

One thing I have noticed about the scratching products, is they come in a variety of textures. Perhaps your kitten has gotten a feel for the way your carpet feels, and the scratching post just doesn't have the same appeal. Maybe try getting another post or mat that has a similar texture/material as the carpet. Then do what you can to make it interesting for him.
 

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Go to a carpet store, get a few of those carpet square samples. Get some different textures, but I have found that close woven carpets are best. Rub them with cat nip and set them on the ground. When you see the cat using it, praise! Tell them what a good kitty they are, pet them, or give them a tasty treat. When they scratch somewhere they shouldn't, the best way to get them to stop is to use a technique that startles, but doesn't intimidate them. A jerky movement combined with a light stomp in their direction, clapping your hands, or saying "EY!" or "No!" sharply can work.

A lot of cats just love the feel of carpet. It could be the weave, or that they like scratching on a flat surface. Chica and Nito both utilize two different carpet squares that are strategically placed and leave my good carpet alone. Now, I'm still working on getting Nito to stop using the corner of my mattress...
 

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I just thought of something. If your kitten will chase the dot of a laser pointer....you can use that to get the kitten's attention on the scratch pad with claws out.

Just thought of that as I was watching my female, Martha, chasing the laser pointer and scratching her post whenever it went onto it. :p

Worth a try!
 
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