Kittens are a delight to every household with pets. They are irresistible comedians of the world with wide-open eyes shining with wonder. They dart madly at only nothing and then suddenly prances and jumps sideways with incredible agility making you laugh out loud.
Many people believe that cats, unlike dogs, are untrainable. But this is not true, for felines are extremely intelligent. They can be easily molded and taught a variety of behaviors. Cats learn by observing and modeling the actions of the humans around them. Just as we teach our children some good manners at a young age, these kittens need to be provided with proper care and training when they are as young as two weeks of age. It will ensure that they grow up into healthy, mature, and well-adjusted felines.
So, to develop positive behavior in your Kitty, let us look at the following tips:
1. Making a cat sit
Teaching a base behavior like sitting is a must. Make your kittens sit, try to mark the moment when your kitten sits and reward it immediately. A positive note like 'good' or 'yes' as soon as the kitten sits can be used. Also, as soon as the kitten sits, mark the behavior by giving it a food reward such as canned cat food using a spoon or a tuna. If your kitten tries to reach up with its paws or tries to stand on its hind feet, remove the threat and take it out of its reach until he is on all four feet on the floor. It will ensure that when your cat is hungry and wants a reward (food) will necessarily sit down at mealtimes. Remember, the more you reward an animal for good behavior, the more likely will the behavior occur in the future.
2. Kitty must get crate train
Your kitten needs to learn to have its meals inside the crate. Right from an early age, the kitten needs to enjoy its crate, an enclosed area, and a great way to keep him inside. Initially, you can keep the door open as your kitten is getting used to the crate and then shut the door for a small interval. This exercise will make the kitten learn how to enjoy his crate, and it will be more comfortable and secure for it, preparing him for future travels.
3. Kittens must learn various handling methods
Some kittens are relaxed while the others are timid. People have different ways of handling a cat or a kitten. We may know how to manage our kitten or how to hold it or how it likes to be held. But others, who are strangers in our homes or a veterinarian's office, may hold the kittens in awkward positions wherein a kitten is not comfortable. Thus, the kitten needs to be trained in different handling methods. Prepare your kitten by holding it in different ways, like keeping it from sites or under its arms with his bottom hanging or simply curling it under your arm. Similarly, pet your cat in different ways and styles so that it gets adapted and doesn't feel uncomfortable in the hands of others. The kitten will behave well and be comfortable with the strangers, but it will also be much easier for you to handle it while trimming its nails or brushing its teeth or cleaning its years as it grows older.
4. Kitten must socialize
Kittens need to be socialized during the prime period of two to seven weeks of its age. As adults, many cats are frightened or hide or behave strangely when exposed to visitors. They are familiar with only a few people from the family who are frequent visitors. To combat this situation, organize various fun-filled outings with your kitten and a lot of people. You can also invite a lot of people and have a party at your home. Reward every new experience of the kitten with treats or toys or petting or praise. Remember, do not push your kitten away in case if it reacts out of fear. Alternatively, you can use a kitten harness or a leash to tag along with your kitten wherever you go and introduce it to as many people as possible. Just be alert and care that your kitten is protected with proper vaccinations before it meets other felines or cats.
5. Kittens must play with toys and not hands
An excellent way to create a bond between you and your kitten is to play with it. Playing will bring you both closer and make use of your kitten's excess energy. However, take care while you play rough games with your kitten. Though it may sound exciting and the kitten would learn that it's okay to use its teeth and its claws on your skin, it could quickly become difficult to handle bites and scratches. Try to interact with your cat using a feather on a string, ball, or a catnip toy, which will be as enjoyable as your hands. In this way, your kitten will learn to play with toys and not with your hands stop.
6. Let your kitten be a small one and not an adult
Humans are treated like a baby, a toddler, a child, a teenager, and finally, as an adult. Similarly, treat our cat as a kitten, and not as a cat right from the first day it's born. Also, remember that the day of its birth till up to 8 weeks of his age, it will be with its mother and siblings. The kitten will try to adjust itself to the new environment. From around two to four months of age, the kitten will be full of energy and ready to take all your training programs with it. So, let the kitten be a small little cute kitten as long as it should be.
7. Arrange a variety of exposures for the kitten
There are some beautiful ways to show your kitten that this world is a lovely place to live in. Let us go through some of these training and socialization methods which are highly innovative and make your kitten the favorite of all –
- Make sure that your Kitty uses a litter box and keeps a litterbox always available and clean
- Maintain a grooming and combing session weekly
- Pet her frequently
- Introduce your Kitty to experience different surfaces of walking like carpet, tiles, stones, curbs, linoleum, and so on.
- Take your Kitty outside in her carrier so that she is not directly exposed to other cats without proper vaccination
- Let her explore objects like boxes or paper bags or newspapers and so on
- Let your kitten be introduced to loud music and a lot of noise so that it doesn't get intimidated and learns to acquaint itself with them
- Provide scratching posts as an alternative and reward the dear Kitty with praises, toys, and treats when she uses them
- Divert her attention to a toy in case she bites or scratches during playtime
- Let her meet other cats and kittens
- Take your kitten on long drives - can be car rides or on a bicycle with a carrier and treat her all the time so that it gets familiar with the carrier
- Whenever your Kitty shows a friendly behavior treat her or praise her
- Do not react instead ignore her display of bad behavior
- Challenge the thinking power of the kitten by teaching her different puzzling tricks
- Last but not the least be patient always
8. Visit a Vet
Schedule regular veterinarian check-ups for the kitten to examine her for fleas, intestinal parasites, and heartworms. Also, arranging a regular de-worming session can help. Fleas pose the greatest danger to your kitten right from when she is eight weeks of her age. Administer topical flea preventives regularly. Provide a vaccination against feline leukemia, rabies, and distemper to your Kitty between eight to sixteen weeks. Give booster doses every few weeks. The veterinarian will make a schedule for you to follow.
Bringing home a kitten is a unique experience. Imagine a cute, cuddly little ball of fur to play with all the time. Make having a cat the best experience of your life by training your kitten from an early age till she becomes an adult.
Keep training that purr-fect little fur-ball.