Teaching Your Cat to Use Her Scratching Post

Is your cat destroying your sofa or your favorite armchair? Fluffy is super cute, but her nail-care habits aren’t always very popular with her humans. Read on as a local Ellicott City, MD vet offers some tips on getting your feline friend to use her scratching post instead of your couch.

Choose The Right Post

Kitties can be pretty purrticular about their nail-care stations. It’s important to choose something sturdy. If your pet’s post wobbles—or worse, falls over on her—she may become wary of it. Also, make sure that it’s high enough. Cats like to stretch when they sharpen their claws, so make sure your pet can stretch to her full length.

Make It Inviting

Put catnip and toys around the scratching post to make it inviting for Fluffy. Refresh these things regularly to keep things interesting. Giving Fluffy yummy treats and new toys near her scratching post may also help.

Reward Good Petiquette

Whenever you see your furry little diva use her scratching post, immediately reward her with treats, praise, and compliments. Tell Fluffy that she’s a good kitty, using a friendly, happy tone of voice. Cats really respond to affection, and they certainly love compliments.

Block Inappropriate Spots

If Fluffy is using the corner of your sofa, put an end table or potted plant there, so she can’t reach her favorite spot. If she’s scratching the side of a wall, try putting two-sided tape down in that spot. She’ll hate the sticky feeling!


We know, usually kitties train us, rather than it being the other way around. However, Fluffy is more than capable of knowing what she should and should not do. When you see your kitty scratching inappropriately, squirt her with water. Cats hate getting wet! You can also make a loud noise. Clap your hands, sound a bike horn, or rattle a jar of change. Chances are, your feline pal will bolt for a quieter spot. These things won’t hurt Fluffy, but they will annoy her, which may do the trick.

Avoid Punishment

Never punish your pet for scratching inappropriately. Cats sharpen their nails instinctively, so your kitty won’t realize she’s doing anything wrong. You may end up just scaring Fluffy, or confusing her, which will only make matters worse.

Please contact us, your Ellicott City, MD vet clinic, anytime. We are here to help!

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