This is a very common problem for cat and kitten owners.  A cat naturally need to scratch something – it’s instinct so you are not going to stop the scratching itself.  You just need to make sure they know what you’d prefer them to scratch.

Firstly, do they have an adequate scratching pole inside the house? If not then you must get them one. Make sure you choose a scratch pole that is made from different material than  your furniture.  Ideally avoid carpet if you have the same type of carpet in your house. Many cats like to stretch up when they scratch so make sure your scratching pole is tall enough for them to stretch up.

Ok, now you have a great scratching pole or even a great cat inside climbing “tree”.  So what if your ungrateful cat decides they just don’t want to use it? Do not worry, it isn’t unusual. Most cats don’t know you want this to be their scratching pole at first. They just think it is a neat place to climb. So firstly we have to make it the “fun place” and everywhere else not so fun:

Now you have to make their scratching pole really exciting.  Try spraying with Catnip spray, which cat’s love the smell of, attach some fun toys and maybe sprinkle some really great treats around the pole.

If your cat has a particular favourite mat or leather sofa they like to scratch, you can place your scratching post next to the sofa or mat that it scratches until it starts using the scratching pole instead.  You can then move the scratching pole to where you would like it to go. If this does not work you’ll need to try and make their old scratching place less pleasant for them:

There are several products which can help with this. There are sprays you can cover the furniture or mat with that smell bad to the cat and are released when they scratch them e.g. Cat Lover “No Scratch” spray.  There are also special double sided, industrial strength, easily removable tapes that can be applied to furniture to help deter Felix. If your cat scratches where the tape is their paws will get sticky and cats hate that.

If you have a seriously expensive sofa and you’ve tried the above, there are products which have motion sensors. These spray citronella spray, which cats really don’t like when they move near the sensor e.g. SssCat Cat Repellent Spray System..

Ok, so you’ve deterred your cat from where you don’t want them to go. Now, every time you notice your cat scratching elsewhere pick up your cat and take them to the scratching post. Praise your cat if it starts scratching the scratching post and even give them yummy treats.

Also, when your cat is in a good or playful mood gently run its paws down the scratching post while praising it, do not force your cat - make it a fun positive experience.  Once they start scratching keep up the fun stuff for a while until they now have a new favourite scratching area.