Security for your Kitten
Although your kitten may be trained for housebreaking purposes either inside or outside the house, an indoor cat will lead a more secure life in the comfort and safety of its home. A kitten housebroken to go outdoors is more exposed to hazards such as automobiles and attacks from other animals.
Training your kitten
The kitten's first year is one of rapid growth and development. This is the time to encourage the kitten to develop good habits to help it become a delightful pet. Here are some tips to make your experience with your new kitten happy and enjoyable.
- Once you have picked out a name for your kitten, call the kitten only by that name so that it can learn to respond.
- Speak quietly as kittens are sensitive to the tone of the voice. A firm "no" when the kitten is being naughty usually will stop any misdeed.
- Give them attention and affection such as soft petting. Handle them everyday when they are eating and playing.
- Kittens can become bored and misbehavior can result from their desire to play. Make sure they have adequate toys to keep them busy such as a scratching post, a box, and crumpled pieces of paper, plastic balls or specifically made cat toys. Strings should be avoided because when ingested they can cause serious intestinal problems. Regularly scheduled play time will discourage nocturnal and destructive behaviors.
- AVOID rough play with the kitten because this encourages scratching and/or biting. The pinpricks from tiny teeth and claws can become bites and scratches as the kitten matures.
- If a kitten develops a bad habit, a squirt of water from a spray bottle or toy squirt gun is generally an effective deterrent. Yelling and hitting are not effective forms of punishment. A can filled with pebbles to shake will also startle the kitten while it is misbehaving.
- Grooming should be part of training for a kitten. Being accustomed to grooming will make it easier as the kitten matures and they may learn to enjoy the extra attention. This is especially important if your cat has long hair to avoid mats and tangles that may lead to skin infections.
- Kittens need to take naps just like babies. Do not disturb them and make sure to stay quiet as loud noises may frighten them.
- Gently play with the kitten's feet so that they are used to having their nails clipped. This will make it easier as the kitten grows up.
- Brushing your kitten's teeth will help it to get used to having its teeth checked when it comes in for appointments and will also help to keep their teeth healthy.
- Keep a kennel/carrier a part of your kitten's everyday life. You do not want your kitten to associate the kennel with the "scary vet clinic."
- Socialize your kitten so it is less fearful of strangers. Have neighbors, friends and coworkers handle your kitten by holding and gently petting them. Socialization is very important through the first 14 weeks of age.
- Call your veterinarian or a trainer with questions about training and social problems.