You have just brought home a new kitten. Everything has been lovingly picked out and put into place; food, bed, toys and litter box. The kitten is everything that you had hoped for and more, except for the fact that his fur is all over your furniture. You love your kitten, but not his fur on your sofa. So what do you do?
Your kitten needs you to buy him a Cat Tree. This is a piece of cat furniture that can be anything from a few feet high with a couple of lounging spots to a 6 foot sculpture wrapped in a carpet/sisal combination with ledges for lounging and toys that are attached. The reason for this type of a cat tree is to give your beloved kitten something that is acceptable for him to hang out on.
When you are looking for a cat tree, it is important to look for something that is sturdy. As your cat grows, if the cat tree starts to give way under his weight, he may once again choose your furniture. If you prefer a freestanding cat tree, look for one that has a wide base, this will help to prevent it from tipping as an adult cat uses it. The other option is to purchase a cat tree that actually attaches to the wall or even to the floor and ceiling.
When you decide which type of cat tree is right for you and your kitty, its time to teach him that this tree is the only thing that he is allowed to sleep on. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this.
The first step in teaching him to use the cat tree is to show him what it is for and make it fun. Take him to it and play with him there, feed him treats or give him catnip. You could also try putting a shirt that you have recently worn on the tree, this will let him get the feeling of being close to you while he is resting or sleeping on the cat tree. Tell him he is a good boy when you see him playing or on the tree, use lots of praise.
When you see the kitten starting to use something other than the tree, tell him no in a firm voice and redirect him to his spot. Please do not use physical punishment, it really has no place in training. Using catnip and toys to entice the kitten to the cat tree is a very good way to reinforce that this is where you want him to be.
These steps will need to be consistently re-enforced with the kitten until he learns the rules. It will be work, but will be worth it. The results of a kitten that uses a cat tree are many, including fur-free furniture and a loving relationship with your pet.