Training your kitten
Your kitten learns in two different ways: it starts by imitating its mother’s actions and learning through new experiences and positive reinforcement. While kittens are more independent than puppies, it’s important to train them to adopt the right behavior from an early age and learn the rules of sharing a home with other people and animals.
It's good for their physical and mental well-being
Building training into your kitten's playtime helps them to make good use of all that extra energy and keeps them happy, active, and healthy. Teaching your kitten new skills and helping them to hone their agility can also help to keep them mentally stimulated.
It helps kittens learn how to behave
Many kittens bite and scratch. Play can help them understand which behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable, before their claws and teeth are fully developed.
It makes them less nervous in new settings
From time to time, it may be necessary to clip your kitten's claws, take them to the vet, or give them medication. Training can help your kitten to adjust to these unfamiliar experiences and cope with new situations, so they stay calm and don't react aggressively.
It makes them feel at home
Training your kitten doesn't have to mean teaching them tricks. It could mean simply teaching them to use a litter box, use a scratching post, or even come when you call their name. All of these can make your pet feel at ease in the family home.
Separate, calm litter boxes
Place your kitten's litter box in a quiet corner of your home. If you have other cats, make sure this box is separate.
Use the same cat litter
Remember to use the type of litter your kitten is used to. If you’re not sure, you may need to try a few different varieties.
Use after meals and sleep
Immediately after eating or sleeping, stand your kitten in the litter box. Then, if your kitten allows you to, use one of its paws to scratch at the litter.
Pay attention to body language
Make sure you keep an eye on your kitten at other times. If they look like they need to go, simply stand them in their litter box.
Be sure not to punish your kitten if they have an accident outside of their litter box as this will create a negative association.
It’s important to clean your kitten’s litter box on a daily basis, remove strong odors and add fresh cat litter
The litter box may be too small and your kitten is not comfortable using it
If the litter box is in a noisy or busy place, or too close to food and drinking bowls, your kitten may be nervous about using it
It’s important not to watch or disturb your kitten while they are in the litter box to avoid creating a negative connection
Attract them by smell
Your kitten has an incredible sense of smell – up to 14 times better than humans. Spraying furniture with a citrus smell will encourage your kitten to stay away. Likewise, spraying a new scratching post with pheromone or catnip will make them appear more attractive to a curious cat.
Make scratching part of playtime
Putting your kitten’s favorite toys on the scratching post, dragging a feather teaser over the surface, or attaching some soft tissue will all encourage them to use their claws constructively during playtime. This will also root the location of the scratching post in their memory.
Praise your kitten for scratching
The first time your kitten uses their claws on the scratching post, praise them and stroke them. Some impressionable kittens will associate the act of clawing with human affection and encouragement.