Training Tips for New Kitten Owners
September 7th, 2021
Congratulations on your new four-legged family member! Kittens bring so much love and joy to a home, but they can also be a lot of work. Taking time to train your newcomer right from the start will pay off in the long run. Here are some training tips to help set you both up for success!
The key to encouraging desired behavior is positive reinforcement, so consider stocking up on some healthy treats. Your new furry friend will also learn to discern between praise and a stern “no.” In general we don’t recommend using a spray bottle as a deterrent. Spraying water can sometimes help discourage unwanted behavior, but your cat may associate this negative experience with you instead of the behavior. Positive reinforcement usually shows better results with cats of all ages.
Train Your Kitten to Use the Litter Box
Training new kittens to use the litter box is usually very quick and simple. After getting done with eating, place your new furry friend in the litter box. Pick up your kitten’s paw and gently dig in the sand. Your newcomer will use the litter box like a pro in no time!
Train Your Kitten to Tolerate Handling
It’s important to get your kitten acclimated to handling and petting right from the start. Hold your furry friend in different positions and practice restraining for brief periods. That will make future grooming and vet trips much less stressful.
Socialize Your New Kitten
Socializing early on will help your furry friend become comfortable with the people in your life. Make sure to have a safe, quiet area to escape to when needed. Shower your kitten with plenty of praise and tasty treats each time you witness a positive interaction.
Stop the Scratching
Scratching is natural for cats and helps keep their nails trim and healthy, but that doesn’t mean you must sacrifice your furniture. Instead, provide your kitten with a scratching post. If your kitten is hesitant, demonstrate by scratching the post yourself, and when you see the desired behavior, shower your little furball with praise and offer a yummy treat.
Curb Those Biting Habits
Kitten’s teeth may be small, but those tiny chompers are super sharp and can do quite a bit of damage. If your kitten is a biter, you need to address that behavior right away. For starters, supply your furry friend with plenty of toys to chew on. A larger toy that the kitten can both bite and bunny thump with their back legs is recommended. If your kitten insists on biting humans instead, a firm “no” and walking away will discourage the unwanted behavior. If the biting continues, talk to your trusted team at All About Cats Veterinary Clinic about ways to curb that behavior.
Keeping the Counters Off Limits
Cats love to climb. Indoor-only cats especially need to use multiple surfaces for climbing and playing, and counters are a natural landing place. If you want to keep them off your counters, you must provide alternatives. When choosing a scratching post, find one that’s tall enough to provide the perfect climbing experience. You can also place shelves on walls and perches near windows to provide your kitten with multiple vertical surfaces. To discourage jumping on counters or tables, place crinkled aluminum foil or sticky tape on the restricted areas. Cats dislike those sensations and will learn they’re better off with their shelves and climbing posts. In any case, keep all areas of your house, including countertops, safe by placing all toxins out of reach, including cleaning supplies, medications, and plants.
Quality Kitten Care in Kirkland, WA
If you have any questions or need kitten training tips, our cat-friendly team at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital is here to help. We will work with you to ensure your newcomer’s training is a success. You can always count on us for purr-fect care and service because, after all, we are all about cats!
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