New kitty avoiding scratching post at all costs

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Purred: Mon Dec 10, '12 6:57am PST 

We adopted Luna from the SPCA in September. She just turned a year last month. We have been working really hard on training her to use the scratching post because unlike our last cat, she wants to scratch EVERYTHING.

The post is sturdy, on an angle and made with rope with some carpeting at the top, bottom, and base. We've tried to play with her near it, praise, she is being clicker trained so we'll catch her near it and click-treat. She loves to chase foil balls, but if the ball rolls near the post she'll stop dead in her run and won't approach. She never goes to it on her own. Before meals, we take her to it, put her paws up and giver her ear-rubs. She'll dig in and we'll give her lots of praise and then dinner, but we've been doing this for 2 months now!

At first we thought it was that she didn't like catnip (we had put some on the post to encourage her to go near it), but she got a new toy recently that had nip in the package and she seems to like that just fine. I've sprinkled the post with baking soda and vacuumed it repeatedly thinking maybe there is a smell she's picking up on (it came from a petstore). I'm considering trying Nature's Miracle too.

Any other advice or suggestions?

Edited by author Mon Dec 10, '12 6:58am PST



I fetch,- therefore I am.

Purred: Tue Dec 11, '12 10:26pm PST 
Wow, that's a tough one! thinking

I suppose it's possible that she doesn't like the angle or the texture. You could try getting a couple of different scratchers to see if she likes them better. Maybe she'd prefer a horizontal cardboard scratch pad or a vertical one with carpet?

Good luck! Keep us posted!


Purred: Wed Dec 12, '12 2:29pm PST 
LOL. Of course she would need options. laugh out loud


Purred: Thu Dec 13, '12 3:33am PST 
Buy some of the cheap cardboard ones and put them near important spots for her. You know where she's already been scratching, so those are good targets. Normally, scratching also helps mark her important areas... such as food, her people, her favorite lounging area.

If you have a favorite chair, put a scratcher by it. (one of those inclined cardboard ones work, so the scratcher doesn't get pushed under the chair by play or when cleaning up).

In addition to catnip, during play, move her wand toy over to the scratcher and get her on it. Scratch it a few times yourself. Cats, kittens especially, learn by watching momcat, and that's your role now.

Good luck!


Purred: Thu Dec 13, '12 7:39am PST 
Getting some cheap cardboard ones is a great idea, thank you. We're primarily concerned with her ruining the corners of the mattress.

Good news - taking her over to the post before meals is working! Today I just put her paws up and she alternated scratching a few times on her own. I'm also planning to teach "paw target" with the laser too.

Thanks for the help smile