How Do You Train a Cat to Use a Natural Sisal Cat Scratch Pad?

How Do You Train a Cat to Use a Natural Sisal Cat Scratch Pad?

Cats have a natural instinct to scratch, but sometimes it can be challenging to direct that behavior towards an appropriate surface like a natural sisal cat scratch pad. Training your cat to use a scratch pad not only saves your furniture but also provides a healthy outlet for your cat’s scratching needs. In this article, we'll explore effective strategies to train your cat to use a natural sisal cat scratch pad and ensure they develop good scratching habits.

1. Understanding the Importance of Scratching

Before diving into the training process, it's essential to understand why cats scratch. Scratching serves multiple purposes for cats:

  • Marking Territory: Cats have scent glands in their paws, and scratching leaves both a visual and scent mark.
  • Claw Maintenance: Scratching helps remove the outer layer of the claws, keeping them sharp and healthy.
  • Exercise and Stretching: Scratching allows cats to stretch their muscles and release pent-up energy.
  • Stress Relief: Scratching is a natural way for cats to relieve stress and anxiety.

2. Choosing the Right Location

The location of the natural sisal cat scratch pad is crucial for successful training. Place the scratch pad in areas where your cat already likes to scratch or spends a lot of time. Common locations include near their sleeping area, close to their favorite resting spots, or in high-traffic areas of your home.

3. Introducing the Scratch Pad

Introducing the natural sisal cat scratch pad to your cat requires a bit of patience. Start by placing the scratch pad in an accessible location. You can gently guide your cat's paws to the pad to familiarize them with the texture. It’s important not to force your cat, as this can create a negative association with the scratch pad.

4. Using Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to train your cat to use the scratch pad. Whenever your cat uses the pad, reward them with treats, praise, or affection. This will create a positive association with the scratch pad, encouraging them to use it more frequently.

5. Attracting Your Cat to the Scratch Pad

To make the natural sisal cat scratch pad more enticing, try using catnip. Sprinkle a small amount of catnip on the pad or use a catnip spray. The scent of catnip can attract your cat and encourage them to investigate and use the scratch pad. Some scratch pads come infused with catnip or offer pockets where you can place catnip.

6. Making the Scratch Pad Appealing

Cats have individual preferences when it comes to scratching surfaces. Ensure the scratch pad is stable and doesn’t wobble or slide around. Some cats prefer vertical scratching surfaces, while others like horizontal or angled pads. Observe your cat’s behavior and adjust the type of scratch pad accordingly.

7. Redirecting Unwanted Scratching Behavior

If your cat is scratching furniture or other inappropriate surfaces, gently redirect them to the natural sisal cat scratch pad. You can do this by placing the scratch pad near the area they are scratching or using a deterrent spray on the unwanted surfaces. Consistently redirecting your cat to the scratch pad will help reinforce the desired behavior.

8. Creating a Comfortable Environment

Ensure that the area around the scratch pad is comfortable and inviting for your cat. You can place their favorite toys or a cozy bed nearby. Creating a positive environment around the scratch pad will encourage your cat to spend more time there and use the scratch pad regularly.

9. Regular Maintenance and Cleanliness

Keeping the natural sisal cat scratch pad clean and well-maintained is essential. Remove any loose fibers or debris from the pad regularly. A clean scratch pad is more appealing to cats and will encourage them to use it consistently.

10. Patience and Consistency

Training a cat to use a natural sisal cat scratch pad requires patience and consistency. Cats are creatures of habit, and it may take some time for them to develop new behaviors. Stay patient, be consistent with your training methods, and celebrate small successes along the way.


Training your cat to use a natural sisal cat scratch pad is a worthwhile endeavor that benefits both you and your feline friend. By understanding the reasons behind your cat’s scratching behavior and using positive reinforcement, you can guide them to use the scratch pad effectively. Remember to choose the right location, make the scratch pad appealing, and be patient throughout the process.

A well-trained cat that uses a designated scratch pad will not only have healthier claws but will also be less likely to damage your furniture and other household items. With the right approach, your cat will soon see the natural sisal cat scratch pad as their preferred scratching surface, keeping both you and your cat happy.