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How do I train my cat to use a scratching post instead of clawing at the furniture?

How do I train my indoor cat to use a scratching post
Photo Credit: Jennifer C via cc

Some great tips on how to train your cat
to use a scratching post or mat

All cats like to scratch. In fact it’s a necessity. It’s an instinctive and natural pastime that they have. Scratching helps the cat keep their claws in trim by shedding old dead outer layers or sheaths from their claws.
This scratching activity also allows the cat to mark their territory as they have scent glands within their paws. Scratching their claws is also a way of stretching their entire body and flexing the feet and claws. It’s like a mini yoga workout for cats!
Scratching may also be used by some cats to communicate their dominance in front of other cats. Scratching is a normal behaviour of all cats and it’s also used during play.
Outdoor cats tend to do the majority of their scratching outdoors. You may discover your outdoor cat scratching tree bark or a wooden fence but for indoor cats they need to find something with a similar texture within the confines of your home.
If there are no scratching post facilities in your cats home environment, chances are they will then turn to your furniture and furnishings for scratching purposes. So if you want to avoid your best Chippendale chair legs from being mutilated, buy an appropriate scratching post or mat for your indoor cat.
And if your cat is already clawing at your furnishings, then here are some simple steps to train your cat to use their new scratch post instead.