Training your kitten can seem like a real head-scratcher, but it's not! While having a kitten around the house brings so much fun and excitement, these furry little friends can be a handful! If you find yourself the new parent of an adorable purr box, read these 5 easy steps and you can start training your kitten today.
#1: Training Your Kitten to be Social
The first step to train a kitten well is to teach them how to socialize. It would be futile to invest your time in the rest of the steps if your kitten is frightened or anxious in front of people or other animals.
And you know what? This step is not difficult!
You only have to place your kitty's crate or bed on a small table, or a safe, elevated area like a cat tower and give them 2 to 3 days to get comfortable with their surroundings. Cats and kittens love to observe from high up, but stay hidden until they are sure there are no threats.
Once the kitten is at ease and feels comfortable with you and other people, you can try holding them and carrying them around. You can also leave some treats nearby to earn their trust as you build a bond with your new kitty.
#2: Litter Training Your Kitten
Have you ever woken up just to see your kitty has ruined the carpet? Litter training will absolutely stop this from happening!
All you have to do is place your kitten in the litter box a few times to gain familiarity.
Some people prefer holding their kitten's paws and moving them in the litter box to resurface their natural scraping instinct.
We recommend cleaning the litter box daily to encourage use. If needed, have multiple boxes available for your Kitty to use throughout their household environment. Keep a scoop at hand to clean the litter box and ideally keep the box filled with up to 2-3 inches of litter.
Kittens usually prefer unscented litter, but you can experiment with different types of litter textures and brands.
Another thing to keep in mind is to place the litter box in a reachable, quiet corner to avoid your kitten getting distressed. Remember, it’s not just humans that have restroom anxiety!
#3: Keeping Your Kitten From Scratching The Furniture
So now, you have a socializing, litter-trained kitten, which means you're halfway there! Your kitten needs a place to sharpen their nails and mark their territory. They do this by scratching - a lot.
If you don't want your furniture to attract the cat's attention, you will absolutely want to get a sizable scratching post for them to play on and scratch to their heart's desire.
Your kitten should immediately find the post or tower suitable, but you can sprinkle catnip on it or get a scratching post with hanging toys to entice your cat. They will go crazy for it!
#4: Keeping Your Kitten From Acting Out
It's natural if your kitten acts out at times while they’re still growing up. Like any adolescent, they will test their limits, and yours! These mischievous balls of cuteness can certainly make a mess of things in a household and you want them to know what is ok and what is definitely not.
Don't yell or physically hurt your kitten when they do something wrong. Kittens will naturally associate punishments with you and not with what they are doing wrong. You will ruin any trust they had if you scare them too much.
Instead of shouting at the kitten, a better idea is to act like a cat! That's right. Hiss Like a Cat When They Misbehave. Hissing or “tssssst” sounds will alert them immediately. When your kitty begins to do something you don't want them to do (such as approach your laptop or jump up on a cabinet where you are preparing food), look the cat in the eye and hiss, just as a cat does. They will likely jump back and cease their behavior immediately. This is what they call speaking their language, and doesn't require any gimmick or special tools!
#5: Teaching Your Kitten to Answer Your Call
Training your kitten to come to you on your call is a helpful and possibly lifesaving skill. You can use these commands when they are hidden away somewhere in the house and are impossible to find.
For this, pick a specific word and relate it to a particular high value treat. Give this specific treat only when they voluntarily come to you. This way, the kitten will learn to relate these actions to the signal and will come to you with ease!
If you’re new to raising a kitten, making sure they are receiving training during these formative months will ensure a peaceful transition into your new life together. Plus, you will build an everlasting and loyal friendship with your new furry pal.
Ready to adopt?
Big and small, HSNT has them all! If you are thinking of adding a cat or kitten to your family, adoption is the way to go! Visit www.hsnt.org/all-pets to view all current available pets!
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HSNT’s mission is to act as an advocate on behalf of all animals and to ensure their legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection; to provide for the well-being of animals who are abandoned, injured, neglected, mistreated or otherwise in need; to promote an appreciation of animals; and to instill respect for all living things.