How to Train a Cat to Scratch a Post

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Training a cat to scratch on a post instead of the furniture involves making the new scratching post a positive and hospitable area. Incorporate treats and fun toys near the new scratching post with help from a professional pet behavior consultant in this free video on cat training.

Part of the Video Series: Cat Training Tips
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Video Transcript

Today, we're talking about how to train a cat to scratch a post. So, when you're considering getting a post for your cat to scratch, it's important to think of what kind of surface your cat been scratching on. For example, a lot of cats scratch furniture. So, that means start looking for something stable. They're probably scratching on a vertical surface. So, I try to replace that for them by getting them a very sturdy vertical surface. If it's something heavy, a scratching post that's got a really solid base some of the larger cat trees are really handy for this type of thing because your cat again is looking for a stable surface. They're also looking usually when they're scratching for a place to stretch out after they've taken a nap. So, if you're getting an area where they can sleep on the scratching post and they can also use it for scratching for playing then it makes it more attractive for them to take place of something else that they might be using as a scratching area and there's different types of materials. You can have a carpet. You can use something that's made with sisal or cardboard. Some cats do prefer a vertical surface. Others prefer a horizontal surface so it's good to know your cat and to experiment with different types of surfaces and to find out what they prefer. Now, it's really important when you are training your cat to use a scratching post to not pick up your cat and put their paws on the post. Cats hate this. It will probably detour your cat from using the post if anything. So, what you want to do instead, you can take some treats. You can put them into the fun areas or sprinkle them on the post. Put them up high so your cat has to get to them. You can dangle some type of toy. So, when your cat actually goes to get the toy, they're getting their claws stuck in the post and then surprise, surprise this actually feels really good but again you don't want to place the paw on the post. That usually don't go very well. So, teaching your cat that it's an attractive place to be. That it's stable and sturdy. That it's a nice resting area by having places where they can sleep and by putting in an area that your cat usually uses so if it's been using the furniture for scratching, put the cat's scratching post right there near the furniture and you'll have much more success. When your cat does scratch the post, praise, praise, praise. This is wonderful behavior that you've taught your cat to do and I will drop everything and tell my cat how smart and beautiful they are for doing it.


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