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Scratch Post Training for Your Cat

Can you train your kitten not to scratch? No. Kittens love to scratch — it's a natural form of territorial marking that also gives the muscles a good stretch. Does this mean you have to accept ruined furniture? No. Buy your kitten a scratching post, and when she uses it, reward her with praise and maybe a treat, like a few kibbles of her favorite kitten food.

To keep your kitten from scratching your possessions, you will need to keep her within eyesight at all times when you are home. Whenever you cannot watch your kitten, confine her to a room with the scratching post. Be aware that if she does scratch an item of furniture, she'll mark it with her scent. Cleaning the item with an anti-odor product may discourage her from going back to it to scratch.

Tips for protecting furniture

To keep your kitten from scratching furniture, try one or more of the following:

  • Hang a blanket, towel, plastic or canvas drop cloth over the side of the furniture
  • Attach a tissue with a strong citrus fragrance to the side of the furniture
  • Use a commercial, motion-activated pet alarm to teach your kitten to stay away from the furniture
  • Use a commercial, sticky tape to discourage scratching

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