Your cat has a love-hate relationship with your furniture. She loves to scratch the furniture, but it looks like hate to you. You can end this cycle of abuse with just a little bit of understanding.

Scratching comes naturally to your cat as a way to exercise, mark territory, and sharpen her claws. She only picks the couch because it’s perfect for her; it’s tall enough to give her a good stretch, sturdy enough to get a vigorous workout, and covered in claw-catching fabric.

In other words, the couch takes the abuse that should be given to furniture that the cat owns.

Plunking a scratching post in the middle of the room isn’t enough to take the heat off the couch, however. The cat needs to know that she owns the scratching post and that she pleases you when she uses it. It also needs to be acceptable to her as a scratching surface.

As far as your cat is concerned, any scratching post should let her stretch to reach the top and take her most vigorous abuse without moving. She likes them tall and sturdy!

Covering and placement of the scratching post are important, too. Carpet is OK, but sisal rope is better and she’s a sociable animal so put it in a place where the whole family congregates and she can maneuver all around it.

Cats are very adept at learning through imitation. The easiest way to teach your cat to use her scratching post is to use it yourself. Whenever you catch her investigating her post, scratch it a few times with your own claws. She’ll get the idea very quickly.

If your cat doesn’t pay any attention to the scratching post, you can always attract her with a little catnip. Get a cardboard scratching post and set it up next to the permanent post. Cardboard posts are infused with catnip, so it will draw her attention. Also rub some catnip on the sisal rope. It’ll drive her nuts!

As aloof as they may sometimes seem, the greatest joy in your cat’s life is pleasing you. Praise her when she uses the scratching post. Give her a simple, sharp “No!” when she scratches the furniture. As she craves attention and praise, she will use her scratching post just to show off!

The very instant your cat shows any interest in using her scratching post, block her access to the old scratching areas. Acrylic shields work perfectly, but anything your cat can’t scratch will do. With her access blocked, she’ll go looking for another favorite spot and her own scratching post will be the logical choice. Within a few days, she’ll forget about her old scratching spots altogether.

Your cat only wants to abuse nice furniture. The key is, make sure it’s her nice furniture and not yours.

About The Author

Brock Lorber provides cat and dog health advice. You can find more advice and great pet products at:

http://www.myotherkids.com
http://www.squidoo.com/cat_health_advice/
http://www.squidoo.com/dog_health_advice/

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