Some people may think that cats are untrainable, but that is not the case. Felines are highly intelligent animals and can be taught a range of behaviors.  It is important to begin training your kitten as soon as you bring them home. This will give them the best chance to thrive and fit in with your family.

At Animal Medical Center of Streetsboro, we have put together a few tips to help you get started training your kitten!

Train Your Kitten to Play with Toys

Cat Training

Taking the time to play with your kitten will to promote bonding between you and your cat and will also help your kitten get rid their excess energy.
Avoid using your hands to roughhouse with your kitten. This will teach them it’s okay to play with their teeth and claws which can escalate to harder scratches and bites. Be sure to use toys such as a ball, a feather on a string, or a catnip toy, to interact with your cat.

Help them Get Comfortable Being Handled

Many times, cats will only tolerate being held a certain way, but with visits to the veterinarian or the possibility of them being handled by a child your kitten has a chance of being held in an uncomfortable position. To make sure they are comfortable in situations like this, it essential to teach them how to accept different types of holding and petting.

You can practice holding your cat in a variety of different ways including:

  • On their back
  • On their side
  • Under their arms with their feet dangling
You will also want to touch or slightly tug on their tail, touch their feet and ears, and even run your fingers over their teeth and gums. Also, be sure to

practice restraining your kitten for brief periods to help get them used to being held. Give your kitten a treat after each hold or movement. Getting them used to be handled will make it easier for you to do things such as brush their teeth or trim their nails more efficiently when they are older.

Teach them to Socialize

Kittens hit their peak socialization time between two to seven weeks of age. If your kitten is not exposed to people outside of their family during their socialization period, they can become shy as adults, hiding when visitors come over. Invite a variety of people over to your home and take your kitten on outings where they can socialize with people and other pets. You can use a harness and leash to make these outings easier. Be sure to reward them with treats, toys, petting, and praise and be careful not to push your kitten to the point they react in fear.

You should also introduce your kitten to cat-friendly dogs and other pets while they are still a kitten to get them comfortable around other animals, but be sure your kitten is fully vaccinated first.

Be sure to use positive reinforcement with your kitten and avoid using physical or emotional abuse as a means of punishment that could lead to aggression. Focus on rewarding their good behavior rather than deterring their bad behavior and be patient and consistent with their training to help them thrive.

Contact the Animal Medical Center of Streetsboro today to learn more about our basic and advanced care for cats and how we can help keep your kitten healthy.