How to Train a Cat to Use a Scratching Post

How to Train a Cat to Use a Scratching Post

Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, and unfortunately, it can cause damage to your furniture, carpets, and curtains. The best way to redirect this behavior is to provide your cat with a scratching post. However, simply buying a scratching post isn’t enough. Your cat needs to be trained to use it. Training a cat to use a scratching post may seem daunting, but with patience and consistency, it can be done.

In this post, we will give you step-by-step instructions on how to train your cat to use a scratching post.

1. Selecting the Right Scratching Post

When selecting a scratching post, consider your cat’s preferences. Some cats like horizontal scratchers, while others prefer vertical ones. Some prefer carpeted posts, while others prefer sisal. Choose a post that your cat is naturally drawn to. You may have to experiment with multiple posts before finding the right one.

2. Placing the Scratching Post

The placement of the scratching post is crucial. Place it in an area where your cat spends a lot of time, such as near their sleeping area or litter box. Also, make sure it’s stable and won’t topple over when your cat uses it. If your cat has already established a scratcher, place the new post alongside it.

3. Encouraging Your Cat to Use the Scratching Post

Start by luring your cat to the scratching post with a toy or treat. Place your cat’s paws on the post and gently scratch their claws back and forth. Praise and reward them with treats when they use the scratching post on their own. If your cat starts to scratch in an undesired area, move them to the scratching post.

4. Making the Undesired Areas Unattractive

If your cat continues to scratch in undesired areas, make them unattractive. Cover the area with double-sided tape or aluminum foil. You can also use citrus-scented sprays or cayenne pepper. Cats dislike these sensations and will avoid the area.

5. Consistency and Patience

Consistency is essential when training your cat to use a scratching post. Encourage them to use the post every day, and reward them with praise and treats. Stick to a routine and be patient. Your cat’s scratching behavior will not change overnight, but with persistence, you will see results.


Training your cat to use a scratching post requires time and patience, but it’s worth it to save your furniture and keep your cat happy. Remember to choose the right post, place it in the right area, and encourage your cat to use it. Don’t forget to reward your cat for their good behavior and be consistent with the training.

With these tips, you’re sure to have a scratch-free home in no time!

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