1. What gets rewarded gets repeated. I’ve noticed that this can be true even for cats. You can encourage your cat to use the cat scratcher (instead of the sofa or wallpaper) merely by stroking him while using it and using affirming words such as “Good boy Muffin!” with a pleasing tone. I’ve noticed that, contrary to what people think, your cat does want to please you.
2. Clip those claws. I have also noticed that my cats scratch less when their claws are shorter. You can clip your cat’s claws if you want – just make sure you only clip the transparent part of the nail not the opaque area otherwise you might hurt them and cause bleeding.
3. Fun doesn’t have to cost money. Muffin’s favourite toy is a paper ball and he loves to play catch. I use paper balls to play with my kittens and they love it. Fun doesn’t have to cost money and even a piece of string can turn a boring evening into fun for all.
4. Call them by name before dinner. Call them by their names so they can get used to it and actually respond. I also make a distinctive ‘pssssh, psssh, psssh’ sound when I serve them food in order for them to associate the sound with dinner. This also helps when you simply want them to come to you just for fun. Make sure you also reward them every now and then with treats as what gets rewarded gets repeated.