Cats may seem un-trainable, but not if they are trained at an early age. If you just adopted one and have no idea how to train a kitten, this guide is for you! Start implementing the following tips as soon as you get home with your new fur baby to ensure it grows up to be an obedient and playful cat:
Start Litter Box Training IMMEDIATELY!
Your kitten will relieve itself anywhere and everywhere whether you like it or not. While cats keep themselves clean, they have to be trained to use a litter box at a very early age. Otherwise, they will pee and defecate on your furniture and beautiful carpet.
Your kitten will cover its waste on its own once it is trained to. Follow these steps to train a kitten to use the litter box:
- Place an uncovered litter box in a separate room and place the kitten in it every half an hour.
- If the kitten doesn’t use the box, but relieves itself outside, use a small spade to place the poop in the box.
- With time, the kitten will come to associate the smell of the litter box as a place where it can relieve itself.
The process can take several days so patience is key. If the kitten still refuses to use the litter box, make sure it is clean. Even trained, adult cats will refuse to use a litter box that is smelly or unclean. You may even need to change the cat litter brand you use. Plus, also make sure it is placed in a secluded area where the kitten can ‘go’ in peace. Would you like someone staring at you when you’re on the toilet?
Socialize the Kitten
Kittens are irresistible to animal lovers and this includes children. While you should teach your kids to be gentle with kitty, the kitten should also be trained to get used to a human’s touch. This can prove useful not only during playtime, but also when you take it to the vet to get vaccinated or to get a check up.
Hold the kitten in a variety of ways (without hurting it!) to make it used to being manhandled. Cradle it in your arms or scoop it up from the floor by grabbing it under its front legs with its bottom dangling free.
Plus, also practice restraining the kitten from time to time. Hold it down for a few seconds and let it go. Just don’t overdo it. Kittens are fragile and can get traumatized easily if they are handled roughly. Run your fingers over its fur and rubs its ears gently. Once the kitten is used to your touch, you should have no trouble examining it for injuries or fleas.
Don’t Punish the Kitten!
Cats do NOT respond well to punishment. Similarly, a kitten that is sprayed with water for behaving badly will only run away and hide. It won’t change its behaviour because it doesn’t know it has done anything wrong.
Depending on the temperament of the kitten, a punishment can have long-lasting repercussions. It may grow up to be aggressive or overly scared. The stress can kill your kitten since it can compromise its immune system and it may also start to relieve itself everywhere rather than in the litter box.
A much better idea is to train the kitten with positive reinforcement such as treats. The key here is persuasion, not force. Treat good behaviour with snacks and praise and your kitten can grow up to be an obedient cat that can sit on cue purring all the while.
Maintain a Strict Feeding Schedule
Kittens are hungry ALL the time. That doesn’t mean you should overfeed them. They can get hungry when they are bored or over stimulated as well. If you feed your kitten each time it cries, you will lose control of its calorie intake which can prove dangerous for its health.
Prevent that from happening by maintaining a strict feeding schedule. Feed your kitten 4 times a day till it is 12 weeks old and shorten it to 3 times a day till it is 6 months old. Adult cats should only be fed twice every day – once in the morning and once at night. Plus, make sure you feed them on the same time. That way the kitten will know it will be fed and may stop crying till feeding time comes around.
Tire Out Your Kitten to Make it Sleep at Night
If your adorable kitten loves to jump and play on you when you are asleep, you can say goodbye to a good night’s sleep. Cats are nocturnal by nature since they hunt at night, but domestic cats don’t need to be since they are fed every day.
You can train your kitten to overcome that instinct by tiring it out before bedtime. Play with it, chase them around or play hide and seek with them. Invest in interactive toys (such as a windup mouse) it can chase around. Pretty soon, the kitten will tire itself out and fall asleep on its own. Do it right before you go to bed so you can have a few hours of sleep without disturbance.
If you want to know how to train kittens, the aforementioned tips can help, but most of your experience will be based on trial and error. Every cat has its own personality. What can work for one, may prove disastrous for a different breed. Welcome to DhohOo to discuss more pet-related topics with us.