Tips for Training Your New Kitten

 In Pet Care

Adding a kitten to your family is a big decision and an exciting time in your life. When you finally choose your furry friend you want to make sure to take proper steps while training them. Cats are extremely intelligent animals and are quick to learn new behaviors and tricks. It is important to begin training your kitten as soon as you bring them home so they do not develop poor habits. Here are three important tips to help train your kitten to fit in with your family.

Socialization

A kitten will follow the lead of their owner during the first couple of weeks in their new home and carry the behaviors till old age. In order to properly socialize your kitten, there are a few things to try. As soon as you bring your new kitten home, slowly introduce different rooms one at a time. Make sure to pick one room for your kitten to become comfortable in, rather than letting it loose in your house. While your kitten is exploring their designated room, make sure to sit with them. Your presence during this time also teaches the kitten that you are a constant and they will become accustomed to you faster. During this time do not heavily scold or punish your kitten during their exploration, remember they are learning.

If you have more than one person in your home, slowly introduce one family member at a time. An easy way to do this is to bring the other person into the room, and have them interact with the kitten. They can do this by holding the kitten, playing with them, petting them, or just letting the kitten introduce themselves on their own. If you have other pets in your home, wait a few days to begin the introduction process to your new pet. You can start this process by feeding your new kitten by the door and feeding your other pet on the opposite side of the door. This will allow your pets to safely smell and explore each other scents while not directly interacting! Once you feel both animals are comfortable you can begin to directly introduce them. At any point of socializing your new kitten, make sure you are present!

Potting Training

Potty training your kitten is one of the most important steps in acclimating them to their new home. A kitten may be hesitant to use a litter box at first, so make sure you place it in an accessible area. The litter box should be positioned in a quiet area and one the kitten can clearly see. When you first get home, place your kitten in their litter box and allow them to stand in it for a moment. They may not use it the first time you place them in it, but this shows them where it is at. Every time your kitten wakes up or finishes eating or drinking, place them in their litter box. Kittens usually catch on quickly that this is where they are to use the bathroom. You may only have to place them in their litter box a few times before they realize what it is for. If your kitten is struggling with finding or using its litter box, continue placing them in it throughout the day.  When a kitten uses their litter box a few times in a row, they will begin to associate the scent with that action. You may also want to positively reward your kitten each time they use the litter box correctly so the behavior is reinforced! As long as you are patient and consistent, your kitten will become potty trained quicker than you know.

Kitty Etiquette

When you bring your new kitten home, you will begin to notice their behaviors and patterns. A young kitten will most likely sleep for 20 plus hours a day because they are still developing. That means the other four hours the kitten is awake, they will have a ton of energy. This is the perfect time to teach your kitten positive kitty etiquette. Your kitten will be extremely playful during their younger months, and it is vital you teach them good behavior at this time. Your kitten may playful chew on things, try to softly nip at your hands, and play with their claws. If you do not teach them how to properly play or interact, these behaviors will become permanent as they grow.

A good way to teach a kitten not to bite is to reward them with treats and praise when they are playing nicely. If your kitten becomes too rough while playing simply walk away. All your kitten wants is your attention, and if you stop giving it when they are misbehaving, and reward the good behaviors they will understand. If your kitten begins jumping on things you do not want them on or scratching, get a small spray bottle with water and squirt them, this will teach them no. Most kittens do not like water and if done enough, simply holding up the squirt bottle will deter them. If your kitten is displaying behaviors you cannot get them to quit, making a visit to your vet will help!

When you add a new kitten to your family, it is extremely important to make sure your kitten is in good health because that will directly affect their training. At Andes-Straley Veterinary Hospital we offer a variety of services to make sure your family kitten is happy and healthy. We are passionate about providing high quality and compassionate veterinary care to your furry family members. For more kitten training tips or to set up an appointment please visit our website or call us.