Understanding Your Kitten's Behaviour | Hill's Transforming Lives

Understanding Your New Kitten’s Psychology

One of the most fulfilling experiences as a proud pet owner is when you start to understand all the precious quirks behind your kitten’s personality. Understanding how your kitten thinks and behaves can help you build an unbreakable bond. This also helps you to address any of your kitten's destructive behaviour and bad habits as they emerge. After all, we all want to live with a cat that harmoniously shares our home, not destroys it.

Encourage your kitten’s learning curves

Kittens are much like humans, they learn through experiences. If they have good ones, they’ll want to do these over and over. If they have bad ones, they’ll want to avoid them from happening again. When it comes to training, the most important note is that rewards work but shouting at your kitten will only scare and frighten it. Rather discourage your kitten’s bad behaviour by creating and reinforcing something they are allowed to do.

For example, if your kitten is clawing your favourite sofa, encourage your kitten to claw a scratching post instead. This can be done by putting your kitten's toys and some catnip on and around the post. Then praise and make a fuss of your kitten when it chooses to use it. Fostering a playful relationship with your kitten by providing plenty of stimulating toys is already a good step away from naughty behaviour. Particularly as this kind of mischief is usually born from boredom and lethargy.

Kittens will often suck on various items

Sometimes as a form of self-soothing, you may notice your kitten sucking on things like linens, clothes or toys. Some pet owners have reported even waking up to their kitten sucking on their ears. It’s not entirely explained by science, but the theory is that kittens who are weaned earlier are more likely to develop this habit. If it’s a toy, try rotating toys to keep your kitten interested in them rather than growing bored and suckling instead.

You must pay attention to your kitten’s sucking habits. When cats eat non-food items it is called Pica. Pica can be dangerous if cats are eating things that could block digestion like fabric or string. Also, some house plants are very toxic to cats and should not be sucked on either. If you notice your cat eating grass, this is usually normal and shouldn’t be of concern. Whenever you’re worried about something your cat has ingested you should immediately speak to your vet.

Getting to know your kitten’s sleeping habits

When your kitten grows up, you can expect your kitten to sleep between 13-18 hours every day. Of course, this always depends on their personality and age. Most kittens need to sleep even longer. As firstborns, kittens nap all day long. Cats are nocturnal and you’ll notice they’re more likely to be asleep during the day and active at night. Try to pace your kitten’s daytime playtime to just before bedtime and you’ll have more chances of your kitten sleeping through the night with your household.