Raising a kitten: the first 6 things to teach your cat

  Raising a kitten: the first 6 things to teach your cat

Raising a kitten: the first 6 things to teach your cat

Have you just adopted a baby cat? As soon as he arrives at your home, you have to start his education slowly but surely. Discover the first 6 essential steps not to be missed: cleanliness, respect for the place and its inhabitants, and rules of socialization are all aspects to take into account. Although your kitten will come naturally to it over time, it is important to instill the basics with consistent and fair supervision.

Encourage her to clean up

It's a fact: the cat is a clean animal by nature since it is the mother who does the work! She teaches her little ones the good behavior to have to keep the place of living clean, and this from the first weeks. Some even say that cleanliness is innate in these animals since bottle-raised kittens are also clean without maternal intervention... Indeed, the cat is instinctively hygienic: it licks itself several times a day to keep its coat clean.

But when the little feline arrives in its new home, it's up to you to show it its new litter box, which you'll have to clean every day so as not to put it off. It often happens that cats, even adults, have problems with cleanliness simply because the litter is not clean enough for them! To limit this problem, we will take care to choose the right type of litter and the right box preferably closed so that the kitten has its privacy. There are even self-cleaning litter systems.

Introduce the new litter

For the first few days, it is best to keep your kitten in a single room so that he can gradually get his bearings. Place the box in a corner and take the baby cat to its litter box several times a day, especially after meals.

By instinct, he will quickly understand that he must use the litter box as a toilet since the mother is no longer there to clean up after him! When he has relieved himself, do not hesitate to pet him to show him that he has done his business in the right place. Thereafter, place the litter in a quiet corner of the house and preferably a little behind: your cat will go there on its own because it will appreciate being out of sight.

Get him used to be handled

It is recommended to start handling the kitten as soon as possible, gently of course: take it in your arms or on your shoulders, scratch its belly, look at its teeth or ears... (your veterinarian will thank you!). Be careful not to make the sessions last too long, otherwise, you risk disgusting him. Also, take care to choose the right time: if you interrupt him during a nap or meal, he may not like it and rather take it as harassment...

As for touching the belly, note that some cats support it more or less well; you will quickly realize in which category yours is! If he seems to like it, that's a positive point, but if he gets angry, don't insist more than necessary: ​​the principle is to make it at least tolerable to him, thanks to repetition, in anticipation of veterinary care. for example.

Teach him respect

This consists of showing certain limits to your kitten, especially during the play phases when he may scratch and bite with a little too much conviction! To prevent a cat from developing this tendency, never let it play with your hand or your feet. Indeed, as long as he is small and harmless, it may seem fun... but quickly become a problem if he gets used to it. On the other hand, this kind of "game" can be perceived as aggression in some kittens, it risks developing defense mechanisms that will remain systematic in adulthood, and which you will have a hard time getting rid of.

It is, therefore, better to teach him to play nicely from the start: always use a toy (feather, string, etc.) so that the kitten is not tempted to bite or scratch you directly. And if he bites or releases his claws, always reprimand him with the same sentence in a firm tone, but without shouting so as not to panic him: for example, "No, not the claws"; "Don't bite".

Socialize him with others

Socializing the kitten with other animals and visitors is an important step. Do not hesitate to invite relatives to your home, so that the little feline gets used to meeting other humans! If you have children, set clear rules with them that they agree to respect in the presence of the kitten: do not scream or run, do not make any sudden gestures do not force him to be touched if he doesn't want to hold him by force in his arms.

Otherwise, it may be a good idea to bring friends or family with children to help your cat get used to it, after explaining these same rules to the little rascals. If you have other animals, organize a "supervised meeting" (preferably not the day of arrival of the kitten). If the face-to-face meeting goes wrong, avoid physically intervening but rather clap your hands: frightened and surprised, the kitten will hide and you can repeat the experience the next day. Stay calm and confident and don't rush things.

Kitten reward and punishment

Never yell or hit your kitten with direct physical contact (hand, foot). If you catch him in the act, just raise your voice and keep repeating the same thing (“No!”; “Not that!”). If the kitten has done something stupid or annoys you when you have sent it away several times (if it has stolen, runs around the table when you eat, does not stop playing...), the best solution is to ignore him until he calms down or lock him in a separate room.

To reward him, the best reflex is caressing to reinforce good behavior: when he uses his litter box, his scratching post, his toys instead of playing with household objects... Adopt a benevolent and encouraging tone. Finally, the kitten will of course appreciate small treats from time to time, but this should not become systematic: this could encourage him to complain and lead him to overweight problems.

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