You’ve brought a kitten home, and although it’s super cute, it still needs help when it comes to house behavior. The sooner you teach your kitten to use the kitty litter and behave properly, the better and the easier your life together will be. All you need is some time to play, patience and a litter box, and you’ll train your kitten in no time.
Besides teaching your kitten to use the litter box, it’s also important to keep it active in order for it to stay healthy and happy. Spare some time for playing, as it will help you bond with your kitten and keep it mentally and physically active and stimulated.
1. Play with your kitten often.
The more you socialize with your kitten, the more responsive it will be to you and the more inclined to obey. Other than that, your little kitty will be satisfied with its life and it will see you as its guardian and an authority. Frequent petting is a plus.
2. Litter box.
You can buy commercial litter, place it into the litter box and make sure you clean it regularly (as cats aren’t likely to go into a dirty litter box to do their business).
When you bring your kitten home, put it inside the litter box to show it where it is. For the first couple of days, keep the kitten in the room where the litter box is – that way it’s more likely to go into it to urinate or defecate, and it will be easier for it to remember where the box is.
If the box is too far from the place where the kitten is sleeping, it may forget about it and do its business on the floor or carpet. After the kitten gets used to the box, you can let it run free throughout the house. Once you’ve set the place for the box, don’t move it because once a cat gets used to the place where the toilet is, it may continue going there even though the box has been moved.
3. Establish a grooming routine.
Cats usually don’t like to be groomed, so the sooner you establish this routine and let your kitten get used to it, the better. It will be difficult to make your kitten stay calm at first, but in time grooming will become a pleasant habit.
If your kitten is longhaired, you should groom it daily (or in every couple of days), while if it is shorthaired you don’t have to groom it more often than once a week. You can find all the grooming equipment you need at the local pet shop.
4. Establish rules for the kitten’s behavior.
If you don’t establish any rules, your kitten might go out of control when it comes to kitchen manners. You don’t want your little pet to develop bad habits. Therefore, as soon as you bring it home, give it a name and stick to it. Kittens tend to scratch furniture if they are bored, so make sure yours has toys to play with – a ball or some string or rope is fun enough, but there are also several types of toys you can buy at the pet shop.
If you play rough with your kitten it may scratch or bite and you don’t want that to turn into a habit, especially as cat teeth and nails are sharp and can cause serious problems. Play nicely and stimulate your kitten, don’t enrage it.
When your kitten misbehaves, you can simply raise your voice and say ‘NO’. Cats are very responsive to the tone of voice, so they will understand that they are doing something wrong and stop doing it.
There is NO NEED to hit your pet – training it to listen to your voice is more effective and humane. Hitting your kitten can make it not like you and your bond will be broken.
5. Kitchen behavior.
Let your kitten know that your food is yours only. It shouldn’t have access to your food unless you put it into your cat’s food container. If your kitten tries to climb onto the table and take your food, use a strict voice to let it know it’s not allowed. A loud tap on the table is effective as well. The sooner you teach your kitten to respect your space, the better.