Did you purchase an Eco Cat Co. sustainable scratcher, but your kitty isn’t quite sold? Don’t worry! Beyond a little bit of patience, there are plenty of ways to transition them to their soon to be favorite scratching post. Keep in mind: as our scratchers come in different styles, some of these suggestions might not be applicable to all. Also, be ready to try these methods more than once, as they might not take the first time (remember: patience!). Don't own one of our eco-friendly scratchers yet? Shop for one now:
Where you put your scratcher is one of the most important aspects of its success, so carefully consider all of the following:
Place the scratcher in an area your cat frequents on a regular basis; putting it in an inconvenient location is nearly a guarantee it will be ignored.
Kitties have the tendency to stretch out and scratch after a nap, so consider placing the scratcher near their favorite sleeping spot.
If your cat has been clawing up specific areas and/or articles of furniture, position the scratcher to block those spots (as much as possible).
Note: If you haven’t purchased an Eco Cat Co. scratcher yet and this is a problem for you, consider the Kitty Kebab if your cat has taken to clawing up vertical things and either the Kitty Kebab (without the base attached) or Kitty Kornhole if they are more into shredding horizontal stuff.
If you own other scratching posts, cat trees, kitty condos, etc., either remove those from the vicinity of your Eco Cat Co. scratcher or place them well away from your existing scratchers.
Many cats prefer vertical scratching posts, some horizontal, and others like theirs at an angle. Fortunately, for you, ours can do it all!
Kitty Kebab owners are especially lucky, because this scratcher can do all three! The Kitty Kebab features a detachable base, so, if you think your cat likes their scratchers flat, then simply remove the two-part base (unless it came unassembled and you haven’t put it on yet). For a traditional, vertically oriented scratching post, simply install the base (instructions can be found here). If the vertical post isn’t appealing, then place the Kitty Kebab on its side with the base still attached - voilà, an angled scratcher!
As for Kitty Kornhole, this scratcher is designed to be at a slight incline, just like a cornhole board. However, it is set at a fairly low angle, so chances are good it will translate as a horizontal scratcher for your cat. If this isn’t the case, or you think your cat might prefer a steeper angle, you can remove the legs, so it rests horizontally on the ground or can be leaned up against a stable surface and serve as a steeply angled scratcher.
While about 20% of cats might not react to catnip, it’s a surefire way to get the other 80% interested in something; this is definitely the case with scratchers.
The more eco-friendly (but slightly messier) option is to use dried organic catnip. The key with our cardboard scratchers is to sprinkle the catnip into the flutes of the cardboard (see photo below), to ensure the catnip doesn’t just flake off. This is easy with Kitty Kornhole, because the flutes are the only part of the cardboard visible and they are already facing upwards. As for the Kitty Kebab, two of the four sides of the scratchable surface are fluted, so you must tip the scratcher over with one of the fluted sides facing up before sprinkling the catnip in.
The other option is to use a catnip spray. This route is less eco-friendly, because spray bottles are likely virgin plastic and much of the packaging is probably not recyclable.
Predatory play is an excellent method to get your kitty fired up to scratch. This is the perfect opportunity for getting rowdy with our Wandrous hemp tassel teasers, but, of course, you can use any teaser toy (or string, for that matter). Simply jingle the toy at the base of the scratcher to entice your cat and slowly pull it up the cardboard surface after they engage the toy. After a few moments, they will be nice and stretched out and hopefully start figuring out the scratching process.
What’s a better motivator than food, right?! First, place a treat (or two) at the bottom of the scratcher, so they get accustomed to it. Then, offer them one halfway up, so they have to reach for it a bit. After that, put a couple at the top (make sure they see you), so they climb the scratchable surface with their front paws (or all four if they are smaller) to get to the treats. If they don’t pick up on this one right away, be sure not to overfeed them!
Don’t try to “force” your cat to scratch their new post; taking their little arms and dragging them up and down the scratchable surface can be an off putting experience and deliver the opposite result desired.
Not to be a broken record, but remember patience is key! Also, another reminder, if you don't own one of our eco-friendly scratchers yet, you can purchase them here:
Disclaimer: Eco Cat Co. does not intend to provide veterinary advice; the content here is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. Also, this information is not a guarantee your cat will use the post, it is merely a conglomeration of information from reputable resources and personal experiences.