Do Scratching Posts work? Here’s The Answer

Many cat owners have reported that scratching is probably the most annoying aspect of owning a cat. The cat can choose any area in one’s household to mark their region.

One of the most destructive ways of marking territories is by scratching the furniture or carpets. Cat owners often buy scratching posts for the cat to mitigate this problem.

However, one cannot make sure that a particular cat will be comfortable with the scratching post one buys.

Every cat has a different personality, and the preference can vary significantly from one cat to another.

We will discuss the effectiveness of using a scratching post, describe the methods one can partake, and answer some of the frequently asked questions regarding scratching posts in this article.

Do scratching posts work?

In short, Yes – Scratching posts work

Scratching posts are an essential addition to any cat home. Cats use scratching to mark their regions in a multi-cat household and as a form of relaxation.

The glands in cats’ paws secrete a pheromone when they scratch on a surface. This smell is entirely undetectable for humans.

However, the sharp smelling sense of cats helps them understand the presence of any other cat’s pheromone in the area.

These glands also send a signal to the brain, which helps them relax. So, scratching is an essential activity for every cat, and a scratching post gives them the means to perform this in a non-destructive way.

But all the cats do not respond to the scratching post as soon as one introduces them. We will explain how one can make kittens, adult, or senior cats to use the scratching post in the following paragraphs.

How to get your cat use the scratching post?

The method of teaching a kitten is more straightforward than training an adult cat or a senior cat. If one observes that the kitten has already started scratching the furniture, keep the scratching post near it.

The popular method of attracting a cat to use the scratching post is to sprinkle some catnip near the base.

However, this might not work for a kitten as they are not as responding to catnip as adult cats. The best method is by wrapping the furniture with aluminum foil or other unattractive material and keeping the scratching post near it.

One can treat the kitten with delicious cat food to show that they are doing the right thing.

Adult cats take some time to develop the habit of using a scratching post if one did not train them when they were kittens.

However, one can train adult cats to use scratching posts at any point in time. One can sprinkle some catnip near the base of the scratching posts and hang some catnip bags from the top of the scratching posts.

Keeping a bowl full of catnip near the scratching post can also work like a charm. Experts suggest that one should encourage a cat to use the scratching post by playing with them near it and giving them enough treats when using the scratching post.

Using the scratching post is probably one of the most significant activities for senior cats. Senior cats stretch their muscles or trim their nails using scratching posts.

One can choose a more age-appropriate cat tree or scratching post on the internet if the old cat does not respond to the old one.

Developing this habit in senior cats can be quite a task for any cat owner. However, treat and catnip can do wonders in this aspect.

If one has not trained the cat to use scratching posts from the start, a little care can help the cat to develop this habit.

Frequently Asked Questions:

In this section, we are going to answer some of the frequently asked questions by cat owners. Knowing these facts can help one understand what one needs to do to ensure the happiness of your cat and you.

Do scratching posts trim nails?

Scratching is a natural trait for cats. Their ancestors used to use tree bark to scratch, and scratching served a variety of purposes.

One of the most significant aspects of scratching is trimming the nails. The regular house cats also have the same traits.

Like humans, the cat’s claws also frayed over time, and clawing pulls off the outer part. It exposes the new smooth and sharp inner nails.

If the cat cannot find a scratching post in the vicinity, it will start clawing on the sofa or other furniture. So, use a scratching post to respond to the need.

Why does my cat run to the scratching post when I come home?

Cat owners often find this particular behavior perplexing. Many cat owners have reported that cats run to the scratching post and start scratching it vehemently as soon as one enters the house.

This weird trait has a sweet reason behind it. Cats show their excitement by scratching on the scratching post or cat tree.

One should adore this behavior and consider to be lucky that the cat has such admiration.

Do senior cats attract to scratching posts?

As we have stated previously, scratching posts attract senior cats as well. Scratching is probably the only way senior cats exercise.

It helps them stretch their muscles and trim old nails. A senior cat will continuously use the scratching post if one has trained them beforehand.

If one needs the senior cat to adopt this habit, catnip and treat will help a lot.

Senior cats can be restive towards change, and it can take a lot of time to develop this trait. However, they can soon realize that using the scratching post will bring treats.


Having a cat brings its own set of challenges, and making them use a scratching post can ease the pain of replacing beloved furniture or rug.

One needs to keep in mind that it is never too late to develop the scratching post’s habit. With proper attention, care, and treats, one can encourage the cat to use scratching posts at any age.

Related Reading:

  1. Cat scratching post changing routine
  2. Ways to re-carpet a cat tree