SUCCESSFULLY INTEGRATING A CAT TREE OR CAT TOWER
Many people believe that your cat is partial to which surfaces it prefers to scratch. I read lots of ads where people state their cat won’t use their cat tree, cat tower or cat condo furniture. Introducing a cat tree, cat tower or cat scratching post will require patience. Many cats are purchased, adopted or inherited once they have already become accustomed to using their nails on various surfaces for scratching and developing a preference without cat towers. Many have never been exposed to cat trees, cat towers or cat condo furniture. You will need to train your cat to use its cat tree, cat tower & cat condo furniture.
I have three cats of different breeds accustomed to either clawing carpet on the ground or a carpet wrapped cat scratching post. I threw out one of my cats shredded carpet covered cat scratching post and replaced it with a cat tree and cat tower that has sisal rope wrapped posts. My cat would enter the bedroom, approach the new cat tree and cat tower where his old one was and not do any scratching. He would only enter the cat tower condo on the bottom and sit inside the cat condo. I thought I had emotionally damaged him and he would never use his cat tree, cat tower or cat scratching post.
We also recently inherited our third cat that was accustomed to floor carpeting. She would simply go to various lying carpets throughout the house with no regard for the cat tree or cat tower. She had never been exposed to cat trees or cat towers. She was actually the easiest to adapt to our cat trees, cat towers and cat scratching post.
I worried I would have a difficult time retraining the cats to take to the new cat towers, cat trees and cat condo furniture. I can tell you that the cats can be trained to scratch on the sisal rope covered cat trees, cat towers and cat condo furniture. We initially tried spraying the cat scratching post with a catnip solution. We also rubbed cat nip into the cat tree, cat tower and cat condo furniture cat scratching post. This method did bring the cats to the cat trees and cat towers and they were quite interested, but, it did not cause them to start clawing and scratching the cat trees or cat towers.
The method I used to get my cats to start scratching the cat trees and cat towers was to start playing with them on the cat tree, cat tower and cat condo furniture at the cat scratching post area with a piece of yarn. The yarn has characteristics in it that make it want to stick or intertwine with the sisal rope on the cat trees, cat towers and cat condo furniture. I would wrap the yarn around the posts of the cat tree and cat tower, then pull it slowly to get the cats’ attention and intrigue. After a few seconds, the cat attempted to capture the moving yarn. Once the cats claws started catching on the sisal rope wrapped posts it was like they figured out themselves the cat tree and cat tower is a good scratching surface.
I kept playing with the cats at the cat tower and cat tree with yarn for a few days, they developed the habit of returning to the cat tree for scratching purposes. Reward your cat with treats when they start using their cat scratching post, cat trees and cat towers. I no longer worry if they will use their cat condo furniture, cat tree or cat tower. I still play with the cats using yarn periodically, but, now it is for entertainment only instead of trying to get them to use the cat towers, cat trees and cat condo furniture.
To summarize, cats can be trained to use cat trees, cat towers and a cat scratching post. You will need to entice them to put their claws onto the cat trees, cat towers and cat condo furniture cat scratching areas. Best method I have found is pulling yarn around the cat scratching post of your cat tree, cat tower and cat condo furniture. Repeat these activities until your cat returns to the cat trees, cat towers and cat condo furniture on his own.