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Can You Convince A Cat To Use A Scratching Post Instead Of Your Sofa, Rug, Etc.?

The answer to this question is a categorical yes but you need to know why cats scratch to stand any chance of success. Contrary to popular belief cats do not scratch things to sharpen their claws. Scratching may help shuck off some old nail husks but cats' main reason for scratching is to leave a visual and olfactory mark ("Kilroy was here"). Thus, scratching is directed toward high traffic areas where it will be most obvious. To this end, provide several scratching posts in strategic areas. Posts should be 3 feet high, stable, and composed of an attractive, easily deformable material like burlap. Deter inappropriate scratching and redirect your cat's attentions to the posts provided. Successful resolution may take some time and patience but is far preferable to the disturbing practice of surgical declawing.

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