Even cats that roam freely outside look for something when indoors that they can scratch and there are several reasons for this:
- They will scratch to sharpen their claws
- They will show their superiority over weaker cats
- They will be exercising the extension and retraction of their claws
- They will be marking their territory
- They might even be getting rid of anger or frustration
You can see there are many reasons why cats we need to scratch, but you certainly don’t want them to use your furniture as the scratching pad therefore it is a good idea to supply the cat with a good scratching pad and let them know that that is what it is intended to be used for.
Put the scratching post in a place that is easily accessible to the cat particularly when it is finished eating or grooming itself and is likely to feel like having a scratch.
Anytime the cat looks like it is going to scratch your furniture or anything else that you don’t want it to scratch, quickly pick it up and put it near the scratching post so it learns that the scratching post is where it should be scratching.
If the cat tends to scratch a particular piece of furniture or other item in the house on a regular basis, then remove that item and replace it with a scratching post. The cat will begin to learn that it is the scratching post that it should be scratching and nothing else.
The more time you spend with your cat when it is young, training it where it can scratch, the less trouble you will have as it grows older.
Sometimes a cat will scratch as a form of devotion, or leave its scent over your own scent. By rubbing your hands or clothing over the scratching post you will be leaving your scent and often this is all that is needed to encourage your cat to scratch the post.