For many proud cat owners, having a cat is wonderful. Being a cat owner is growing in popularity because it is often hard for someone to own a dog in an apartment. Most landlords are dead set against allowing a dog into their house for the fear of damage to the property. However, cats enjoy scratching and digging their claws into things. It is important, especially if you do not own your home, that you teach your cat to scratch in an you to appropriate area.
The best way for keep your furniture in good condition and free of claw marks from your cat is to provide a scratch post. This will give your furry friend a way to safely mark his or her territory and stretch, without damaging your belongings. Don't be misled into thinking a scratching post needs to be costly.
You can make a simple scratch post to match some of the more expensive ones in stores. The most important thing about a scratching post is the safety factor. If you are building a tower scratching post, obviously you want to be sure it can stand up to your cat pouncing on it and clawing at it.
Once you have built or bought the scratching post, you are gong to have to teach your furry friend how to use it. This might seem a little funny, especially if your cat already scratches at your furniture. To show him or her the appropriate place to claw, you will need to do a few things.
First, you will need to find a good location for the new scratch post to be put. Keep in mind, if you want the post to be used by your cat, it will need to be accessible at all times. If you have already established a favorite location for your cat to scratch, try to put the new post as close to this spot as possible. Close to a common sleeping area for the cat is ideal.
Next, you are gong to need to entice your cat to use the scratching post. To do this, you can rub catnip all over it. The scent will spark your fur balls curiosity. Soon after he or she shows interest, the scratching should begin. If your cat is not fond of catnip, you can put some other treats on top of the post and get the same outcome.
For the first week or so, every time you notice your cat is using the post, be sure to positively reinforce the behavior. Give him or her a treat, and verbally praise him or her. A quick stroke is also a great way for you to show your cat that the behavior is acceptable to you.
If you notice that your cat is still using your furniture as a scratching post, you will need to modify this behavior. One way to do this is to sharply and firmly say 'scratch' as you are redirecting your cat towards the acceptable scratching post. If this does not seem to work, you can use a spray bottle. Putting the bottle on mist, one squirt should do the trick. Your cat should take off running away from the unacceptable location. As soon as he or she goes back to your furniture, again squirt once and firmly say 'scratch' as you are pointing in the appropriate location.
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