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Maybe try to put some Catnip spray on the scratching post, that might help

yes that worked for one of my cats..

I read about that tip from someone else in here, and I just used it on my new cat. Worked great.
Actually, he's a used cat, not new, although a reasonably late model. Met him at the county animal shelter and he just insisted that I be his new papa. He's in the middle of acclimatization to his new house and doing wonderfully.
As for the scratching post, he had been living in a steel cage for the past month at the shelter, so I can understand that he feels a real need to scratch. Steel just doesn't cut it as a scratching material. On the first day he scratched on my computer chair (which earned him a swift swat and a loud NO!). He ran off and hid for a bit afterwards. Then I heard a noise from the living room and he was scratching the top of the couch. Another loud NO! and he ran off and hid again.
Then I decided I'd really better get a scratching post. I drove to the local PetSmart, but everything they had looked ridiculously overpriced and ugly as well. I ended up going to Home Depot instead, thinking maybe I would just make one. I looked all over the store for carpet remnants, but didn't find any. Then I wandered through the lumber section and discovered rough-sawn cedar fencing boards. I bought four of them that were six feet long and 5.5 inches wide.

I took them home and cut them in half, making eight 3-foot long boards, then nailed four into a hollow square, repeating with the other four (planning to make two scratching posts). Then I used some scrap plywood I had to make a base and a top shelf for each post. They came out really great and the fencing boards only cost about $8.
But the cat ignored my fine handcrafted scratching posts, so I rubbed some catnip on them. That did it. He went nuts scratching on them. So far he has come back to scratch on them a couple times when I was in the next room, and he has not scratched on the furniture at all since. So thanks to the person who suggested using catnip to train a cat to use a scratching post. It seems to have done the trick.

If anyone needs a scratching post, rough-sawn fence boards are cheap and the cats love them. After all, in the wild they use trees to scratch on, so it's probably more natural and effective than carpeting or sisal. Cedar is a very soft wood that is perfect. You wouldn't even need to make them into a fancy post like I did just buy the board and lean it against a wall.
More about my used cat later.

Bogus e-mail address, but I read this newsgroup regularly, so reply here.