How to get your cat to use the scratcher

If you’ve gotten tired by now of finding your furniture, curtains, clothing or magazines all scratched and torn up by your cat’s claws, my advice is for you to buy a good cat scratcher and show your cat how to use it before your cat drives you crazy.

No, we don’t do that scratching to be mean. We need to scratch things with our claws. That’s the way we also take care of our claws, stretch our muscles and physically mark our territory with our scent. The scratches and pheromones with which we impregnate the objects we scratch clearly mark our territory and make us feel much more secure.

If you give us a scratcher and we start to use it right off from the start, helping us to get the hang of using the scratcher won’t take you too long. Mind you though, once we start leaving our mark on the scratcher, we’ll be using it over and again to make certain that our pheromones are always there. Here are a few little tips to make your life much easier and our lives much fuller.

Play cat and show us by example. Besides spending time and playing with us, if you make a point of scratching the scratcher yourself when you’re playing with us, we’ll try to imitate you to keep up the fun. Do the scratching several times a day and even take our paws and show us how to scratch so that we’ll catch on fast.

Put the scratcher in a quiet, safe place. You may not know right off what the best place for locating the scratcher may be. Generally speaking, choose those places where we’ve been scratching most to leave our scent. On being near furniture already scratched, we’ll wind up trying out the scratcher and, once we’ve marked it, we’ll go back to it once and again. Never put this toy near our litterbox or near where we eat. We want places that relax us and that are not used for other purposes.

Reward us every time we use the scratcher. Every time you see us use the scratcher, reward us right away with a treat or by petting us. That way, we’ll associate using this toy with the reward and we’ll be much happier about using it. If you reward us once we’ve moved away from the scratcher, we’ll be totally clueless as to why you’re rewarding us, so be prepared every time to see us scratching the scratcher to reward us right when we finish scratching.

Use catnip. If we are being somewhat reticent to use the scratcher despite all of the tips provided above, rub it with a few drops of catnip to stimulate our senses and make it more attractive for us to use.

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