Kitty Scratching Habits


Did you know?

  • Scratching marks a cat’s turf with visible claw marks

and their scent from special glands in their paws

  • Scratching stretches the muscles of the upper body

like Kitty Yoga and it feels good!

  • You’ll never convince them to stop scratching all

together, so focus on enticing them to scratch what

you want using some basic common sense


Scratching Posts

  • Height: the post should be taller than your cat when they stand on their hind feet and reach for the sky (keep in mind, a kitten will grow: 28 inches is a safe bet)
  • Base: make sure that the base is stable and sturdy (if it falls on them once, they may be too frightened or embarrassed to use it again!). Choose a wide base that is heavy or secure it to the ground
  • Texture: Given the choice, most cats prefer to scratch tree bark. They also love to shred stuff like sisal textile or textured cardboard (avoid carpet and sisal rope)
  • Where: Posts should be placed in popular areas where your family spends lots of time. Cats tend to scratch your most prized possessions because they want to mark themost visible objects in your home – put posts near furniture that has been scratched and near their favorite sleeping spots. Once your cat has developed good scratching habits, you can move the posts to less visible places



  • Start young! It’s easier to build a good habit than to break a bad habit
  • Feed and play with your cat around the post and rub or spray the post with catnip
  • Reward your cat for using the scratching post with tasty treats
  • Cats are not small dogs!! Never use physical punishment – it only makes cats resentful and more likely to scratch or act out in other ways
  • Resist the urge to “show them how” to scratch. You’ll only offend them. They know perfectly well how to do it, and will scratch when and where it suits them (so make the scratching post convenient and attractive!)
  • To deter your cat from previously scratched furniture, apply Feliway© to the fabric and temporarily cover the area with double-sided tape (such as Sticky Paws©) or aluminum foil
  • Trim nails every 2 weeks – make it a positive experience using treats


Play manners

  • Teach your kitten not to bite by saying “ouch” loudly when they bite. If they bite your hands, pull your hands away and ignore them until they calm down
  • Always put a toy between you and your kitten while playing. Teaching kittens to bite and scratch toys helps them learn not to bite hands and ankles