A high quality scratch pad can be an excellent tool for training your cat not to scratch your furniture. The main problem most cat owners fact is actually getting their cats to use it. At first, they are a boring new addition and you cat has plenty of more entertaining options. In this article, we will be going over how to get your cat to use a scratch pad.
We have a few tips that you can take advantage of to get your cat to use your scratchpad. If these are followed your cat will develop its habits within a month and use it of its own accord.
How To Get Your Cat To Use A Scratch Pad
But My Cat Doesn’t Scratch Anything
If your cat ignores it’s scratching post then these tricks should help you to get your cat scratching. If your cat won’t use it’s scratching post anymore then these tips may help but there may be a medical condition. We have also seen a few people ask how to get an older cat to use a scratching post. Senior cats can have issues with their claws that cause slight pain if they scratch. If this is the reason that your cat has stopped scratching then these tips are unlikely to help.
Take Advantage Of Catnip
Our go to advice on how to get your cat to use a scratch pad is to get a one that contains catnip. The catnip attracts your cat to the pad and gets it curious and encourages it to play. The smell of the catnip increase your cat’s energy levels and increases the chance your cat will actually start scratching the pad.
Provided you use a good scratch pad with catnip in it there is a good chance your cat will enjoy it. There are two main reasons your cat will scratch. The first is to mark its territory. If you only have one or two cats in your home then this instinct will likely be suppressed. The second is to shed their claws. If you get a cheap scratch pad then it may not provide the required friction for this meaning your cat won’t use it.
If you have already bought a fancy scratch pad that does not contain any catnip. You can purchase a good catnip spray to attract cat to scratching post to manually spray catnip over the scratch pad. This should get your cat interested in the pad while allowing you to have more scratch pad options.
For some reason, some cats prefer a vertical scratching post over a horizontal scratching pad. Even if you take advantage of our catnip trick, some cats may not use a horizontal scratching pad. Unfortunately there is no easy way to workout what way your cat prefers other than trying both systems. Some cats may scratch on trees or other vertical objects in your home or garden that can give hints.
Although it may not seem like it. Most cats enjoy social interaction and being close to their owners. Make sure that you keep your cats scratching pad in a heavily trafficked area of your home ideally near their bed.
This can help by having the scratching pad in the room your cat will spend most of its time. Some cats also enjoy scratching when they wake up so having it close to their beds can also help.
Share The Treats
Possitive renforcement has shown time and time again that it has a good effect on pet training. If you catch your cat using it’s scratching post be sure to give it a tastey cat treat as a reward. This can help develop possitive feedback loops to reinforce the habbit of using the scratching post.
How To Put Catnip On A Scratching Post
Although you can purchase a catnip scratching post that already has catnip included. It is easy to apply catnip to an existing or homemate scratching pad or post. We always recomend the Kong Natural catnip spray. It is very effective, easy to use and cheap. Currently retailing at around $5 with over 1250 possitive reviews on amazon.com it is a bargian.
Open your catnip spray and simply spray it over your cats scratching pad or scratching post. Within minutes your cats attention should spike as it smells the catnip. It shouldent take much longer for your cat to start to play and scratch the scratching pad.
How Do I Get My Cats To Stop Scratching My Furniture
There are three main ways you can use to get your cat to stop scratching your furnature if it rejects its scratchpad.
Cat Repellant Spray
It works by using a pheromone that cats dislike to discourage negative or unwanted behaviour in your cat. Each time your cat starts to scratch your furniture, spray it with Stop That! The key is consistency, the product wont work if you only spray your cat some of the time. Cat owners have reported their cats stopping furniture scratching in as little as a week.
Usually, you will only have to have the furniture defenders attached for a few weeks to break your cat’s habit. If you have a scratching post in the same room and you notice your cat is now using that. You can remove the defenders with only a small risk of it scratching furniture again.