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Animal Medical Care
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How to Train your Cat or Kitten

Behavior Training and Socialization for your Cat

Your first task is to introduce your new kitten to its new home. Animal Medical Care recommends confining your kitten to one room for the first few days so that you can supervise its activities. From there, you can slowly expand access to other rooms in your home.

If you have other cats, you should be prepared to go through an adjustment period for a week or two where your older cats may either remain hostile to the kitten or merely tolerate and/or ignore the kitten. To keep the introduction as friendly as possible, eliminate any competition for food and affection during the first few weeks. In most cases, your existing cat will soon bond with the kitten.

Although disciplining your kitten may be necessary, Animal Medical Care recommends a form of remote punishment such as a spray bottle or loud noise. The goal is for your kitten to associate the punishment with the bad behavior instead of with you.

Most cats scratch as an emotional outlet to express excitement and get attention. Scratching also removes the outer sheath of their claws. To prevent damage to your furniture, provide your cat with something appropriate to scratch on, which could be as simple as logs from the woodpile.

Because cats see the world as horizontal and vertical, they sometimes prefer the kitchen counter to the kitchen floor. Climbing is instinctive behavior for a cat so offer a good perching spot – like a window seat. You can also deter your cat from certain surfaces by using double sided sticky tape, tin foil, and other commercially available products.

Litter box Training

Most cats, by nature, will be attracted to a litter box with an appropriate litter. Many types of litter substances may be used, including clay, clumping, plastic pearls, wood shavings and more. What type you use is really up to you and your cat. Base the size of the litter box on the size of the cat to ensure easy access to the box. Some cats don’t mind a covered box, others do. Keep the litter box out of the way of household traffic but convenient to both you and your kitten.

Most cats generally want their own litter box and prefer for it to be clean and fresh. They don’t like litter that sticks to their feet and they want privacy. If the litter pan is too far away from where the cat typically hangs out, the bath mat may look a lot more convenient.

Do your best to accommodate your cat’s litter box needs to minimize the risk of problems.