Train Your Cat to Scratch Only the Right Place: A Guide

Train Your Cat to Scratch Only the Right Place

Cats are naturally inclined to scratch, and it’s an essential behaviour for them. Scratching helps them keep their claws sharp, stretch their muscles, and mark their territory. However, as cat owners, we only sometimes appreciate our feline friends scratching on our furniture, carpets, and walls. That’s why it’s essential to train your cat to scratch only the right place, and in this guide of Parliament Animal Hospital, we’ll show you how to do it.


Why Do Cats Scratch?

The first step in training your cat to scratch only the right place is to understand why they scratch. Cats scratch for a variety of reasons, including:

Marking their territory: Cats have scent glands in their paws that release a unique scent when they scratch. This scent marks their territory and communicates with other cats.

Stretching their muscles: Scratching is also a way for cats to stretch their muscles, especially after a nap.

Keeping their claws sharp: Scratching helps cats shed the outer layer of their claws, keeping them sharp and healthy.

Relieving stress: Scratching can also be a way for cats to relieve stress and anxiety. 


How To Stop Destructive Cat Scratching?

Training your cat to scratch only the right place requires patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. It’s essential to be consistent in training, provide your cat with appropriate scratching surfaces, and discourage inappropriate scratching behaviour.

Once you understand why your cat scratches, you can provide them with appropriate scratching surfaces to meet their needs. It’s essential to have multiple scratching surfaces in your home, especially if you have more than one cat.

  • Choose a suitable scratching surface.

Cats prefer different types of scratching surfaces, and choosing the right one for your cat is essential. Some cats prefer vertical surfaces, such as scratching posts and trees, while others prefer horizontal surfaces, such as scratching pads and mats. Some cats prefer rough surfaces, such as sisal rope or carpet, while others prefer smooth surfaces, like cardboard.

One of the best steps for behaviour modification is to provide a suitable place for your cat to scratch. Provide a flat scratching pad if your cat scratches the carpet. If your cat scratches the sofa, place a vertical scratching post for them.

Location is also crucial when it comes to scratching surfaces. Cats prefer to scratch in areas where they spend a lot of time, such as near their food and water bowls, litter box, or sleeping area. Place the scratching surface in a visible and accessible location.

  • Encourage your cat to use the scratching surface

Once you have provided your cat with an appropriate scratching surface, it’s time to encourage them to use it. You can do this by Placing treats or catnip on the scratching surface. This will encourage your cat to investigate and use the scratching surface and Play with your cat near the scratching surface because Cats love to play, and playing near the scratching surface will encourage them to use it.

  • Interrupting the behaviour

Clap your hands, make a loud noise, or spray your cat with water when you catch them scratching on an inappropriate surface. This will startle them and make them stop.

Their behaviour to the appropriate scratching surface. Gently pick them up, place them near the scratching surface, and encourage them to use them.

  • Cover inappropriate surfaces

If your cat keeps scratching on a particular area, cover it with a blanket or furniture cover to discourage them from using it.

  • Trim your cat’s claws.

Trimming your cat’s claws can reduce the damage caused by scratching and make it less appealing to scratch on inappropriate surfaces.

Train Your Cat to Scratch Only the Right Place

The Importance Of Training Your Cat to Use a Scratching Post

You should spend more time training than feeding a cat so that it does not destroy the place. Scratching is a natural behaviour for cats, and it serves several purposes, such as helping them maintain their claws, marking their territory, and stretching their muscles. However, it can be destructive to furniture and other household items, so it’s essential to encourage your cat to scratch where you want them to. Here are some reasons why:

  • Protect your belongings.

By training your cat to scratch on a designated scratching post or mat, you can protect your furniture and other items from damage. This can save you money and prevent frustration from replacing or repairing items.

  • Prevent declawing.

Declawing is a painful and unnecessary procedure that involves removing the first joint of a cat’s toes. Encouraging your cat to scratch where you want them to can prevent the need for declawing, which can cause pain, behavioural problems, and other issues for your cat.

  • Improve your cat’s health.

Scratching helps remove the outer layer of a cat’s claws, preventing them from growing too long and causing discomfort or pain. It also helps stretch their muscles and relieve stress, improving their health and well-being.

  • Strengthen your bond with your cat.

By providing a designated scratching area for your cat, you can strengthen your bond with them. This can help to build trust and increase your cat’s sense of security in your home.


To encourage your cat to scratch where you want them to, provide them with a scratching post or mat that is sturdy, tall enough to fully stretch out, and covered in a material they enjoy scratching, such as sisal or cardboard. Place the scratching post in a prominent location in your home and reward your cat with treats or praise when they use it. Over time, your cat will learn that the scratching post is a preferred place to scratch, and they will be less likely to damage your belongings. You can ask the pet clinic during the periodic visit if you need more information.


Sum Up

Training your cat to scratch only in the right place is essential to protect your furniture, carpets, and walls. Understanding your cat’s scratching behaviour, providing appropriate scratching surfaces, encouraging your cat to use them, and discouraging inappropriate scratching behaviour are critical steps in training your cat.

Remember, consistency and positive reinforcement are essential in training your cat. Be patient, and provide your cat with multiple scratching surfaces to meet its needs. With time and effort, you can train your cat to scratch only the right place and enjoy a scratch-free home.

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