A to Zs Of How To Train Your Kitten | Hill's Transforming Lives
For more information and support on COVID-19 please visit www.sacoronavirus.co.za

The A-to-Zs Of How to Train Your Kitten

It’s well-known that training dogs can be a bit easier than cats in the sense that they are pack animals. This means that they will want to please you, as the leader of their household. Your kitten, on the other hand, is going to be a lot more concerned with keeping itself happy. However, it’s important to set some early ground rules and habits that will assist you in times of grooming or even vet visits.

Let’s start with the 3 "R"s

When you’re training a kitten, it’s important to remember that punishment is not the appropriate course of action because your kitten doesn't understand the reprimand. Instead, whenever good behaviour is displayed, try to encourage and reward your kitten. This will reinforce the habits you want them to repeat. When in doubt, always remember these three “R”s:

How to teach your cat to enjoy being handled

Being held and examined are crucial for veterinary visits. For your cat to be at its best in a variety of situations, you’ll need to give your cat positive experiences when being held while your cat is still a kitten. Avoid teaching your kitten bad habits by immediately putting it down as soon as it begins to wriggle in your arms. This only teaches your cat that by struggling it will get its way which can be a real nuisance during vet visits. Instead, gently but firmly hold your kitten in place and then reward them with lots of praise and a treat when they eventually calm down.

How to teach your cat to use a scratching post

This is one of the first things you should buy in preparation for having a cat in the house. At the end of the day, you will never train a cat not to scratch at all, cats love it and it’s part of their instincts. Not only is it a form of marking their territory but it’s also one of the best ways they know how to give their muscles a real deep stretch. However, you can redirect your cat from ruining all your furniture to using the rough surfaces of the scratching post. Play with your cat near it and whenever you see your cat use it, reward your kitty with praise and a treat.

How to teach your cat not to bite you

Kittens will naturally want to pounce and bite things as part of their development. Make sure they have plenty of toys around that you can dedicate time to playing with your cat every day. This will hone your cat's stalking instincts, keep it mentally healthy and balanced, as well as help with exerting energy. However, whenever your kitten does bite your hand during playtime, try your best not to jerk your hand away. This only makes the hunt even more enticing! Instead, calmly end the play session and encourage your kitty to settle down or self soothe until it is less stimulated.