How to Establish Good Habits in a Kitten

Cats can be finicky and stubborn creatures, but they generally aren't born that way. In addition to being adorable, the youngest kittens are laid back and impressionable. If you start training them during this stage, you'll have a calmer, more cooperative feline later.

Steps

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    Do all of the following when the kitten is in a good mood. Do not try to force a kitten to do anything when it's scared or startled.
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    Handle the kitten's paws a lot. This will make it easier to trim the cat's nails later on. Touch, hold, and squeeze the paws often. Put the kitten in nail-cutting position and pretend to clip its nails, so the kitten gets used to having to be in this position for the required amount of time and doesn't fight it when it gets older.
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    Rub the kitten's belly often. Many adult cats don't like having their bellies touched, and might claw or nip at strangers who come too close. If you get the kitten used to having its belly rubbed a lot, though, it's more likely that the cat will enjoy being pet there later. A hyper kitten won't particularly like being put on its back and having its belly rubbed, but it won't fight it aggressively, either, and will probably start to enjoy the attention.
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    Encourage the kitten to use a scratching post. Those little claws can't do much damage yet, but now is a good time to teach the kitten to use a post. Spend a lot of time near the post (which should stay in one place) and gently put the kitten's paws on the post occasionally.
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    Hold the kitten often. Many cats are uncomfortable being held, but a kitten will tolerate it quite well, so this is a great time to get it used to the feeling of being held.
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    Have a wide variety of people handle the kitten. Many cats learn to be wonderfully friendly, but only to their caretakers. If you get your kitten used to being around other people, it won't be as skittish later in life. Most people are eager to play with fluffy kittens anyway. Ideally, have them do the above steps as well.

Article Info

Categories: Cat Training