How to Train Your Cat to Use a Scratching Post: Tips and Techniques

How to Train Your Cat to Use a Scratching Post: Tips and Techniques

Cats are known for their natural instinct to scratch. It's an essential behaviour for them as it helps them stretch their muscles, maintain their claws, and mark their territory. However, if your cat is scratching your furniture or other inappropriate surfaces, it's time to train them to use a cat scratching post. In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable tips and techniques to successfully train your cat to use a scratching post. Let's get started!

Choose the Right Scratching Post

The first step in training your cat is to select the right scratching post. Look for a sturdy and tall post that allows your cat to fully stretch out while scratching. Opt for a post made of sisal rope or cardboard, as these materials provide a satisfying texture for your cat's claws. Additionally, consider the placement of the scratching post. Position it in an area where your cat spends most of its time, such as near their favourite sleeping spot or by a window.

Introduce the Scratching Post Gradually

Introduce the scratching post gradually to your cat. Start by placing it near the furniture or surface that your cat tends to scratch. Encourage your cat to investigate the post by using toys or treats to create a positive association. You can also rub some catnip on the post to attract your cat's attention. Allow your cat to explore the post at their own pace without any pressure.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is key to training your cat. Whenever you see your cat using the scratching post, provide praise, treats, or affection. This will help reinforce the behavior and make your cat associate the scratching post with positive experiences. Conversely, avoid punishing or scolding your cat for scratching furniture, as it can create fear or anxiety and hinder the training process.

Deter Inappropriate Scratching

To discourage your cat from scratching furniture or other undesirable surfaces, use deterrents. Cover the furniture with double-sided tape or aluminium foil, as cats dislike the texture. You can also spray a cat-safe deterrent on the furniture to make it less appealing. Additionally, trim your cat's nails regularly to reduce the damage caused by scratching.

Make the Scratching Post More Attractive

To make the scratching post more appealing to your cat, try the following techniques:

  • Sprinkle catnip on the post: Catnip can act as a natural attractant and entice your cat to use the scratching post.

  • Use interactive toys: Attach toys, feathers, or strings to the post to make it more engaging for your cat. This will encourage them to interact with the post and incorporate play into their scratching routine.

  • Provide vertical options: In addition to a traditional scratching post, consider adding vertical scratching surfaces such as cat trees or wall-mounted scratching pads. Cats enjoy different angles and heights for scratching, and providing variety will help meet their needs.

Regular Maintenance and Replacement:

Inspect the scratching post regularly to ensure it's in good condition. Trim any frayed or loose threads from a sisal rope post and replace it if it becomes too worn out. If you have a cardboard scratching post, flip or rotate the panels to extend its lifespan. By maintaining the post's appeal and functionality, you increase the chances of your cat using it consistently.


Training your cat to use a scratching post is a gradual process that requires patience and positive reinforcement. By choosing the right post, introducing it gradually, using positive reinforcement, and making the post attractive, you can successfully redirect your cat's scratching behaviour. Remember to be consistent and avoid punishing your cat for inappropriate scratching. With time and consistency, your cat will learn to love their scratching post and spare your furniture from their claws.
At Shopping4Pets, we understand the importance of providing your cat with suitable scratching options. With our wide selection of cat trees and scratching posts, you can redirect your cat's scratching behaviour. Visit our website ( to explore our range of cat trees and scratching posts and start training your cat today.

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