Cats love to scratch their nails and that is a time when you have to sacrifice your beautiful furniture if you are not vigilant and if you do not teach her not to do that and do not give her proper lessons. Providing your kitten or cat with a good scratching post is like buying insurance for your furniture and drapes! Kittens should be trained and encouraged to use them from a very early age. Nail clipping should also be part of a weekly routine.

Each time you see her little claws happily going at the tempting and forbidden fabric, sharply and loudly say, "NO!" and clap your hands loudly or squirting the stubborn kitten with the squirt from a water pistol is also effective. Then take her to her scratching post and place her paws on it. Pet her with firm strokes along her backbone, telling her "Good Kitty!" and encouraging her to use her scratch post.

Scratching posts should be sturdy and should allow her to stretch up and vigorously scratch away, without it squirming or toppling over. It should be placed in a convenient (for the cat!) place so she will remember to use it. We highly recommend those made of sisal, a rough rope that is wrapped around the post. Sisal strips away the outer sheath of the nails and cats love the feel on their claws. Other good choices are rough industrial carpet, tree bark and corrugated cardboard. If your house has different floors, it's a good idea to keep a scratching post available on each level.

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