KITTEN TRAINING AND SOCIALISING
Kittenhood is a time for learning, and your new furry friend will be looking to you as a guide for how they should do things. This means that it will be your responsibility to show them everything from using the litter box to how the scratching post works. You should also take time to introduce them to other cats in the right way, thereby your kitten to acquire social skills.
Young kittens are fast learners, so it may also be a good idea to start training and socialising them as soon as they come into the home. Remember, though, that they are still experiencing the world for the first time and patience is invaluable – perhaps with the help of some carefully measured treats as well.
Positive reinforcement training can work wonders with some kittens. Try allocating a portion of their daily food allowance (no more than 10%) to reward them where appropriate.
MUST-KNOW KITTEN CARE TIPS
If you own a kitten, it’s worth heeding advice such as:
- They’re not an adult cat yet – like any infant, your kitten needs as much love and care as possible in order to thrive
- Prioritize preventive care – this includes vaccinations and routine appointments with the vet
- Don’t leave them unattended – kittens should be fully vaccinated and at least five months old before they go outside on their own
- Remove any dangerous plants from around your home – lily of the valley, Christmas cherry, castor oil plant, avocado plant, rubber plant and ivy are all potentially poisonous to kittens
- Introduce toys – these will help keep their playtime interesting and fun
- Discourage biting or scratching people – if your kitten won’t stop, redirect attention to a toy or their scratching post; similarly, don’t use your hands when playing with a kitten so that they learn it’s not ok to chase and bite fingers/feet/etc.
- Arrange for microchipping – this can be done from five weeks old and is a definite must before your kitten goes outside for the first time, helping them be traced back to you should they ever become lost or stolen
Whether you’re a new kitten owner or an experienced hand looking for your next forever friend, a few helpful tips can make it easier to provide support and care to the latest pet member of your family.
Getting a kitten isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but this guide should hopefully make the process a little easier and much smoother for both you and your furry friend. Likewise, you can always consult with a vet if you have any concerns about getting a kitten and how best to prepare.