A widespread assumption regarding kittens is that they can’t be trained. However, if you’re preparing to bring home a kitten, you have to know that this assumption is completely baseless. Felines are, in fact, extremely intelligent creatures that are trainable. Raising a cat is very similar to raising a child; provide them with proper training while they are young, and they’ll grow up to be adjusted adults.
So, if you’ve brought home an adorable little kitten for the first time, here are a few tips to help you train this little ball of joy.
1. Teach Your Kitten to Sit
The first step to training a kitten is to start simple, like teaching your kitten to sit on command. You can train your kitty to sit by asking it to sit, and as soon as its bottom touches the ground, use voice commands or a clicker to appreciate it. You can also make your kitty follow your command by giving it rewards. So, as soon as your little one sits, bring out some canned cat food or delicious treats. If your little fur ball begins to stand up on their hind feet to grab the reward, gradually move the treat away from it to show that it needs to sit as per your command.
2. Train Your Kitten to Use the Cat Bed and Crate
You can provide your kitten with the most comfortable bed ever, but unless you train it to use it, it will be completely useless. Training a kitten to use the cat bed and crate is very important. If you don’t train your kitten to use the cat bed, it will sleep everywhere else including your bed, and if you don’t train your kitten to use a crate, you will experience a lot of trouble travelling with your fur ball.
You can train your kitten to use the cat bed or crate by using food as a reinforcement. Keep your kitty’s favorite meal or snack on its bed or inside the crate to attract it. Doing this from time to time will help your kitten form a positive association with the bed and crate, and it will eventually begin to enjoy its free space.
3. Develop the Socialization Skills of Your Kitten
The prime socialization time for kitten is when they are between two and seven weeks of age. Many cats are frightened or uncomfortable when visitor come over because they were only exposed to limited people during their prime socialization time as a kitten. You need to let your kitten socialize with people, animals, and other kittens as much as you can during their prime socialization period. Otherwise, you will be raising a cat who will get nervous at the tiniest change in the environment.
You should invite people home, take your kitten for fun outings, and take it to the farmer’s market or pet store to get it accustomed to different environments. You can train your kitty to become more comfortable by pairing these experiences with toys, treats, petting, and praise. However, you need to make sure that you don’t push your kitten too much to the point that it reacts out of fear.
Also, using a harness and leash will make it much easier for you to take your kitten wherever you go. It is also the best way to ensure that your fur ball is safe and comfortable around a variety of animals, even dogs. Before you introduce your kitten to other felines, make sure to consult your vet to see if it has gotten all its necessary vaccinations.
4. Teach Your Kitten Safe Playing Techniques
Kitten are very energetic beings that love to play around. Playing with your kitten is a great way to make them use their energy in a positive way while bonding with you. However, you should ever engage in rough play with your four-legged baby. You need to set boundaries so that your kitten knows that it isn’t alright to use their claws or teeth on your skin. You can use a few toys such as a ball or catnip to play with your kitten to teach them appropriate behavior.
5. Handle Your Kitten
Your kitten won’t always be held or handled in position that it likes. For instance, if you take your kitty to the vet’s office or anywhere else, there may be children trying to pick it up, and they won’t do so in the most appropriate way. So, you need to train your kitten to get used to being handled and picked up in different ways. Your kitten should be used to being touched on their back, legs, sides, ears, gums, and even their teeth. This will make things easier in the long run as your kitten will not only be comfortable at the vet’s, but it also won’t make a fuss about getting their ears cleaned or their teeth brushed.
6. Train Your Kitten to Use the Litter Box
You don’t want cat poop lying around your whole house! This is why it is pivotal to litter train your kitty. Litter training is a very simple process. All you have to do is place your kitten inside the little box so that they know where it is. It is easy to little train them as most cats and kittens instinctively prefer to do their business in the litter box.
However, if you’re facing problems litter training your kitten, then you should just sit and hold your kitten in the little box or a few minutes while comforting them and giving them treats. Your kitten will easily get familiarized to this environment as all you have to do is trigger your kitten’s instincts to poop in the litter box.
7. Teach Your Kitten Proper Feeding Etiquettes
If you’re bringing a kitten home, you should be well-aware and well-prepared regarding all the foods that aren’t preferable for kittens. You should keep your kitten far away from chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, and garlic. However, this isn’t the only reason that you shouldn’t feed your kitty directly from the dinner table.
If you make it a habit to feed your kitty directly from the table, your kitten will come crawling around every time you sit down for your meal. This is not a healthy eating habit for your little fur ball as kitten should only be given specific foods during their specified mealtimes.
Training a kitten isn’t a very difficult job. Follow the above tips and you’ll have yourself a well-trained and well-socialized happy and healthy kitty!
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