Cats and their scratching needs:
Scratching and climbing are natural cat behaviors. However, for a household cat, this can be trouble. Scratching posts, used instead of your furniture, are the perfect solution to your cat’s scratching and climbing needs. Scratching posts provide your cat with a place to play and meet her scratching desires, and will save your furniture, drapes, and carpeting. You can build your own scratching post or purchase one at a pet store. Make sure that the surface of the scratching post doesn’t have any loops so that your cat’s claws can’t get caught or tangled in them. You can encourage your cat to use the post by placing toys or even catnip on or around it. Be sure to always praise your cat when she uses the scratching post.
A good way to teach your cat to use her post is by using treats. Use a treat to get your cat to come to the post. If she’s unwilling, wait until she feels hungry. Keep doing this until she’s coming readily to the post. Next, start placing the treat higher so that your cat must make an effort to get the treat. Be sure to keep the training session as enjoyable for your cat as possible and, at the same time, discourage her attempt to use anything else for scratching. With time, your cat will associate the post with good things and her annoying habit of using your house furniture will vanish.