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text Your cat will need a good scratching post, which he will need to learn how to use as a kitten.  Pictured here is the Two Tier Scratch & Perch with Sisal by Greenduck, sold at Petsmart for $64.99.  This is just one example of a scratching post, but I chose to show it because it highlights different aspects of most.  A good scratching post will have a few tiers for your cats to climb on.  As well as having a carpet surface for the cat to scratch on, it also contains sisal rope (the tan part) for a different textured surface.  Other more complex scratching posts contain little toys hanging down from some of the tiers as well as little cubbies for your cat to hang out in.

You can find directions online how to make your own
scratching post. Be creative - my brother made a post for our cats that is covered with rough carpet. It isn't your typical post, but our cats enjoy playing on it.  He also put a small (about 4"x4") hole in one of the corners on the top, which provides endless "poke your friend through the hole" fun.

To teach your cat how to use the post, put his paws up on the post and show him how to scratch by pulling his paws gently down the post.  If your cat still doesn't learn after a few times of teaching him this, turn the post on its side.  The cat's natural curiosity will get the best of him and he'll start to climb it and naturally start to scratch at it.  Once he understands what to do, leave it on its side for about two weeks (or until you notice him scratching on a regular basis) then put it upright.  He should go to it fine after that.

Because most scratching posts have a carpet coating, your cat may wrongly scratch normal carpet.  If you see him doing this, a firm "NO" and picking him up and putting him by his post will stop this.  Do this if he is scratching any surface that is not approved - a loud noise when he does it or a simple squirt of water (don't let him see you do it - you don't want him to associate the water with you) will also do the trick.

Many people get their cat declawed because of scratching problems.  This is not the answer.  All cats can be trained, and their natural body parts should not be removed to save someone's couch.  Patience and guidance will solve any scratching problems, not a horrible surgical procedure.



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