Place scratcher in a room where the cat spends a lot of time. Cats often like to stretch and scratch when they wake up from a nap. 

To introduce the scratcher to your cat, try using a few pinches of catnip as a lure. (Kittens under 2 months old may be repelled by catnip, however.) Rub catnip on the scratcher and the cat over to the newly scented scratcher. Freshen with catnip occasionally.

Scratching_postScratch your nails along the surface. This will help your cat learn where to scratch. Cats are great imitators, as in ‘copy cat.’

After your cat begins to scratch, praise the cat; offer a food treat. (Small kittens can be trained by showing them the food treat and then placing the treat on the scratcher.)

If your cat has been scratching a chair, rug or other household object, you can redirect this scratching behaviour to the scratcher by placing the scratcher directly in front of the household object. Scratching is a territorial behaviour whereby marks created by scratching serve as ‘signs, boundaries, messages’ such as ‘Keep out.’ ‘Stop here.’

Temporarily cover the previously scratched item(s) with a few strips of double-sided carpet tape or wrap/cover with aluminium foil. Cats do not like the feeling of sticky tape or slippery aluminium foil.

Most cats take to this training quite naturally. If your cat is the exception, please call Cats International at 262-375-8852 for free help. Visit helpful website: www.catsinternational.org 

Remember: Healthy feline paws and claws are used in countless tasks of living, including walking, balancing, grooming, grasping (toys, food, prey), raking and negotiating litter material – as well as climbing, scratching, exercising, playing, kneading, communicating, and in ways we undoubtedly do no now understand! The feline forepaws are almost fully prehensile!

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