How to make your cat use its scratching post
Q: I've had both my cats for a long time. One of them uses their scratch post, but the other uses my (now virtually non-existent) carpet instead, and meows constantly. Can you help?
A: Some cats prefer to scratch horizontally, whilst others scratch vertically, so this probably explains why your cats differ in their behaviour. I suggest that you try putting a scratch mat over the carpet area that your cat is using to see if that helps. To make the mat more attractive to her, use a wire brush to scratch it a few times (in the direction that she normally scratches), to help 'get it going' for your pet. I would also rub the upper side of the scratch mat against the scratched carpet for a few minutes, so that it picks up some of your cat's scent.
With regard to the constant meowing, some cats learn that they receive attention when they meow, and this is the reason why they do it. However, as your cat is older, I recommend that you get her checked over by the vet as there may be an underlying medical problem. For example, cats who are suffering from hyperthyroidism can become very vocal indeed.
Inga MacKellar, animal behaviourist