We're getting more and more scratch marks on our curtains. What would be the best way to make our cat scratch his scratching post instead?
I would suggest positioning the scratching post in a highly visible location. Cats use scratching to mark their territory and placing the scratching post near the curtains or where the cat is scratching will help give the cat alternatives. Additionally, I have had success with catnip and scratching posts as the cat relates the sensation of catnip and the scratching post, giving positive memories. Also, spraying the cat with water, or making a loud noise when the cat scratches at the curtains will help deter the cat from using them as his personal claw sharpening post.
Additionally, trimming the cat's claws may help limit the damage caused to the curtains if/when the cat decides to use the curtains instead of the post. Just make sure to stay clear of the quick on the cat's nails.
The curtains need to be prevented from moving and being enticing to the cats to catch and grab at. I would suggest tying the curtains back. This serves two purposes. Makes them heavier and less likely to move in any breeze. It also bunches them so they can be pushed behind a chair perhaps, to stop them from dangling down to the ground.