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Teaching A Kitten Proper Petiquette

February 01, 2024

Have you recently welcomed a new kitten into your home? Congratulations! These little creatures are playful and cute, but they can also be quite mischievous. Having a kitten isn’t just about enjoying your new pet’s silly antics. You’ve got some pet parenting to do! Kittens are in a way like human toddlers: they don’t know what is and isn’t appropriate, so you’ll need to teach them good behavior early on. In this article, a nearby Sale Creek, TN veterinarian shares some helpful tips on how to accomplish this.


How Can I Raise My New Kitten To Be Cuddly?


Cats all have their own individual personalities. Some are little cuddlebugs, while others are more aloof. While breed plays a role here, the way little Fluffy is raised also plays a significant role.


Socialization is crucial. Gentle handling from a young age helps build trust and confidence in your kitten, reducing the likelihood of fearful or aggressive behavior in adulthood. The more you pet and play with your little buddy, the friendlier and more confident she’ll become! 


If your kitten wants to snuggle on your lap or in your arms, let her. Stroke her gently as she relaxes. Chances are, she’ll crank up her motor right away.


Why Does My Kitten Insist On Kneading Me?


This is really just a cute way to express love, albeit a slightly painful one. Kittens knead while nursing, which helps with stimulating milk flow. So, this is a sign that Fluffy regards you as a parent. If those claws hurt, grab a pillow, blanket, or even a sweater.


Why Do Kittens Bite And Scratch So Much?


Your little buddy isn’t trying to hurt you: she’s just trying to sort out how all of her claws and teeth work. This is much more than just entertainment for your kitty. Cats are predators and prey in the wild. (Many scientists are starting to suspect that Fluffy may actually be the purrfect predator, but that’s another topic.) It’s important to understand that our feline pals are pre-programmed with both hunting instincts as well as a desire to explore and find safe spaces.


In other words, you can pretty much expect your tiny ball of fur to practice her murder skills on you. It can be cute to let your furry pal pounce on your toes, but this can lead to dangerous behavior in an adult cat.


Regular play sessions can also strengthen the bond between you and your feline friend. Use toys like feather wands or laser pointers to stimulate your kitten’s natural hunting instincts. If you play with your kitten using your hands or feet, you are teaching her that it is fine to use you as a toy. Opting for toys that can be controlled remotely also makes things more challenging for your cute pet. Laser pointers, string toys, remote control toys, and balls that you can roll toward her are all great options. Just remember to put string toys away after, so your kitty won’t get tangled up.


What Can I Do To Make My Kitten Feel Safe?


Kittens may be fearless, but at the end of the day, they are small and fragile, and can easily be frightened. It’s important to make sure your furry pal feels loved and safe. Speaking to Fluffy can go a long way toward helping her feel safe. It is also great for bonding! Just use a friendly tone of voice when talking to Fluffy.


Your pet will also both enjoy and benefit from snuggling up with you for a nap. Cats crave affection, and many of them love cuddling up with their humans. In fact, this is good for both of you! You and your feline friend both release a hormone called oxytocin, also known as the Cuddle Hormone, when you cuddle. This reinforces your feeling of love and safety.


What Is The Best Way To Teach My Kitten Good Manners?


The key is to be firm, patient, and consistent, but never harsh or mean. Whenever your cat bites or scratches, reprimand her immediately. Don’t yell at her: just use a stern, disapproving tone. You can say, ‘No’ or ‘Play nice’ or ‘Don’t bite’ or ‘Put Your Claws Away.’ Just make sure you use the same words or phrases every time. then walk away and ignore her. If your tiny friend looks insulted and affronted, and perhaps a bit confused, you’re doing the right thing! She will eventually figure it out.


No luck? The next step is to try incorporating something that will irritate your furry friend without hurting or scaring her. You can spray water in her face or blow in her face. Loud noises work well as well. Clap your hands, sound your phone, or rattle a change jar. 


It’s also important to reward your furry friend when she’s being nice. Compliments, attention, toys, treats, and even catnip all work here. 


You don’t want to frighten little Fluffy, but to help her form good associations with good behavior, and less pleasant ones with bad petiquette.


Don’t let bad petiquette slide. Establishing consistent rules and boundaries is crucial for a polite kitten. If you don’t want your kitten on certain surfaces or engaging in specific behaviors, be firm and consistent in your responses. Cats are quick learners! They also thrive in environments where expectations are clear.


What Are the Signs That My Kitten Is Happy?


You can tell quite a bit by the way your furry pal acts. Content kittens are playful, curious, and energetic. They may also act quite self-assured. If your cat feels secure enough to sprawl out on the floor, that’s a good sign. 


Happy cats also seek attention from their owners. When you talk to your adorable little buddy, she may follow you around, hop into your lap, and meow back at you.


Of course, Fluffy’s health will have a big impact on her mental and emotional wellbeing. If she feels sick, uncomfortable, or hurt, she won’t be happy.


How Do I Keep My Kitten Healthy?


Start with good food, clean litter, fresh water, and love. You’ll also need to provide Little Fluffy with toys, beds, and things to climb or explore. 


Veterinary care is also crucial. During that crucial first year, your tiny friend will have to visit the vet a few times: microchipping, spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, and parasite control. If your Sale Creek, TN veterinarian gives your pet the thumbs up after examining her, you’re doing great.


Why Do Kittens Scratch Things? 


Scratching is a natural feline behavior that serves various purposes, including marking territory and maintaining healthy claws. Provide appropriate outlets for scratching, such as scratching posts or pads, and discourage scratching on furniture.


Cat towers are a great option here. You may find kitten-sized ones, but it’s probably best to go for the full-sized one. Otherwise, your pet will outgrow it quickly. You can also use scratching posts or boards. Ask your Sale Creek, TN  veterinarians for more information.  


Do you have questions about caring for your kitten? We can help! Please feel free to contact us,  your local Sale Creek, TN veterinary clinic, for all of your feline friend’s veterinary care needs.

Posted in Behavior, Cat Care

865 Rhea County Hwy
Dayton, TN 37321
(423) 775-5619
Also serving Sale Creek, TN and surrounding areas.

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