A favorite pet can not only please, but also upset if it starts to sharpen its claws in the wrong place. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to break this habit. But you can learn to “spoil” a specially purchased scratching post for this purpose.
What is a scratching post and why is it needed
Cats don’t deliberately ruin your things – it’s just their habit. Cats sharpen their claws to get rid of dead particles and make the tips sharper. And it is a kind of exercise for the muscles of the legs. Also, Pets can thus relieve stress when feeling uncomfortable.
A scratching post is a device consisting of a wooden base, wrapped or covered with a special material, on which it will be convenient for the cat to sharpen its claws. It is made independently or bought at a pet store.
Scratching posts come in different sizes and configurations – from the simplest to entire game complexes, which are much more expensive. The stationary model is attached to the wall horizontally or vertically, and the floor model in the form of a column or Mat can be placed anywhere and moved.
How to choose and where to put a scratching post
The choice of scratching post models is very large – it’s easy to get lost. Learn the habits of your pet and understand what it will like. Whether you need suspended balls, different columns to jump, lie at the top, etc. – there is a risk that the scratching post will not interest the cat, and will just get dusty. Decide which surface to choose – if the cat scratches the carpet, it is easier to get used to scratching with carpet.
It is important to choose the right scratching post and size – for a large cat, small models will not work. A universal option is a flat wall model that will not have to be changed when the pet becomes an adult. If you choose a floor, then take a height of at least 80 cm.
Choosing the location of the scratching post is important. Put it in a prominent place and provide free access so that the cat can easily approach and do its job. It is not recommended to put a scratching post next to the sofa – the animal may make a mistake. In a large apartment, you can place several different devices for sharpening claws, let the cat choose.
The main thing is that the scratching post has a stable base and the pet can’t accidentally drop it or just move it. Small kittens can be very scared, and the animal will lose interest in buying.
How to train a kitten
The sooner you start to train the cat to the scratching post, the better. The pet will quickly understand what is required of it if its mother already knows that it needs to sharpen its claws in a special place – it will copy its actions and things will go faster.
For the training course, you will need a favorite treat of the kitten to reward for the right actions. Don’t skimp on praise. But you can not be too zealous and force the animal to scratch the scratching post, so that it is not associated with negative emotions.
Do not miss the moment when the kitten is first interested in the scratching post, and gently run your paws over the surface. After a few repetitions, he should understand what the owner wants, because kittens are smart. The animal must be praised and rewarded. Soon the pet will independently run to the scratching post and please the owner to get treats. This will develop a useful habit.
In the first days after buying a scratching post, do not pay too much attention to it, let the animal get used to it gradually. And to interest him, hang your favorite kitten toys or play with a twig, holding it on the surface of the scratching post – the pet will begin to catch the object with its paws. He will catch the suspended toy, unwittingly touching the scratching post. Having fallen in love with a new interior item, the kitten will sharpen its claws here.
Return the baby to the scratching post if it starts to do its job in another place, and gently put the paws on the surface, reminding the fidget about its purpose. Be patient and don’t wait for quick results – it will take about a week to get used to it.
The intricacies of schooling of adult cats
If an adult cat has appeared in the house, you will have to be patient. Great if you bought such a device in advance, and the animal has not yet chosen a place for unauthorized sharpening of claws. Introduce the cat to the scratching post, bring it to her, raise your front paws and gently put them on the surface. The animal will instinctively release its claws to catch on. This way the smell of it will remain on the surface and this will simplify the task.
If you started training your pet too late, you will have to put up with its favorite places for sharpening its claws. In this case, the cat will need to be retrained. Can help something sweet-smelling eau de Cologne, vinegar, the decoction of orange peels. This liquid should be used to treat the places where the cat sharpens its claws, and the scratching post, on the contrary, should be treated with Valerian or Catnip. Over time, the smells will fade, and the habit of sharpening your claws in the permitted place will remain.
If you need to get used to scratching an already grown kitten, it is better to buy a floor version with a sunbed for him – this will interest him more. You can use your pet’s favorite toy – attach it to the scratching post. Be sure to consolidate every success with praise and treats.
Experienced cat breeders give a useful recommendation – take a treat and leave it at the top so that the cat crawls after it. At the same time, lightly sprinkle the top of the scratching post with Catnip or Valerian tincture.
When you can’t get used to it right away
Do not worry if you can not quickly teach your pet to scratching, and it still pays attention to your furniture and Wallpaper. Scolding a pet is useless, so you can only provoke unpleasant revenge on his part. There are several useful recommendations on how to act in this situation:
- you can keep your pet away from walls, carpets and furniture if you treat them with a special odorous spray;
- move the cat to the scratching post if it has started to sharpen its claws where it can’t be done;
- move the scratching post to the place where the pet is already used to sharpening its claws, and in the most extreme case, change it to the one that the cat likes best.
Be patient, stock up on treats and kind words for your pet and soon he will leave the furniture, Wallpaper and carpets alone.
Hi, my name is Mike Fletcher. I am 36 years old and a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Granby Colorado. And this is my blog about Pets. I hope I can answer your questions here.