As with all new furniture, most cats will first need a time of discovery.
We can make it more attractive putting toys on the scratcher.
Putting on it an object used by the cat, such as a cushion.
Incorporating it in the daily playing ritual.
Putting treats on the platforms.
We can also show the cat it's purpose scratching with our hands.
To attract the cat you can prepare the scratcher with catnip or valerian, although it doesn'tt work for kittens up to 6 months and not all adult cats react to these odors. To test whether your cat is sensitive to them, you can buy a toy with catnip or valerian and observe his/her reaction.
It may be helpful spray it with Feliway. It's synthetic pheromones that mimic natural pheromones with which a cat marks - rubbing his/her head - objects of his/her territory if he/she feels comfortable and secure.
Some cats seem not to accept the (new) scratcher and still go on scratching furniture, sofa or carpet.
This may be due to several factors:
The most expensive and fun scratcher can be ignored by the cat if he/she doesn't like the place where it is (see location).
You can try to catch the cat (wordlessly) every time he/she scratches on the 'wrong' site and put him/her where he/she should scratch. If this doesn't work, there's no choice but to find a place of greater acceptance by the cat 'user'.
But beware: Cats are very intelligent and learn that scratching on 'prohibited sites' guarantees attention from their humans, so we should never scold them to not reinforce this behavior.
The scratcher doesn't does allow scratching in a streched standing position.
Smell of the scratcher
Cats are very sensitive to odors, which can cause them to reject a piece of furniture or a scratching post.
Anyway, if the scratcher gives off an unpleasant smell even for you, chances are that it was manufactured in an Asian country and treated with toxic products, and therefore it's not suitable for your cat and your living space.
If despite all your efforts your cat continues scratching on the furniture regularly, it can also be a stress problem, eg. territorial problems or co-existence of several cats, and that requires professional help.
Why does my cat need a scratching post
The Scratching Post - Choice, elements and location