Did you know that there are a lot of effective kitten training tips that are easy to implement? You might not think you can train a cat, whether they’re a new kitten or an adult cat. But as long as you start early as possible, there’s actually a good chance your new family member will behave exactly as you want them to behave.
When it comes to training a kitten – or any other animal, for that matter – you’re going to need some patience and a lot of love. If you’re willing to put forth the effort, you might just be surprised at how well your kitty will adjust to their new home.
Start Training Your New Kitten As Soon As Possible To Avoid Unwanted Behavior
The key to successful cat training is to begin as soon as you bring home your new kitten. You’ll also want to have plenty of rewards, such as treats, on hand so you can encourage positive cat behavior.
But what kind of behaviors can you actually train a cat to perform? Well, one thing you can do is train your kitten to sit. Yes, you can do this with a cat just like you can a dog.
Here’s what to do:
- Have a reward handy the second your kitten sits down. It won’t take long for the cat to associate sitting with something good.
- Mark the moment by either using a clicker (more on this later) or saying something encouraging (“good girl” or “good boy”).
- Give the cat the treat. If your kitten doesn’t stay in the sitting position, take the treat away and don’t give it until they sit again.1
You can also crate train a kitten, just like you would a puppy. Keep the door open, and put the kitten’s food bowl inside the crate. When it seems like the kitten has gotten used to the crate, shut the door behind them for a few minutes. As the kitten gets more comfortable, keep the door closed for longer periods. This may help make traveling with your new cat a lot easier.2
Socializing Your New Kitty: Kitten Training Tips For A Cat Parent
Certain types of cat behavior can be a bit off-putting to a lot of people. Your cat might, for example, hide whenever someone comes into your home. Socializing your kitten from the start will help make them less fearful whenever they’re in a new situation. Getting your kitten used to different people – and even other animals – may help make them more outgoing.
Here’s one way to help socialize your kitten:
- Have some friends over to meet the kitten.
- Reward your cat with treats or toys for approaching your guests during the get-together.
- Have your guests encourage your cat to approach them by playing with a toy the kitten is especially fond of.
- Have the guests pet the kitten or even hold them if they’ll allow it. This helps the kitten get used to physical interaction with different people.
- Ask guests to give the kitten treats whenever the cat shows affection.3
Socialization also means exposing your kitten to new environments. It can, for instance, make it a lot easier to get your cat to ride in the car, go to the vet’s office, or go to the groomer.4
Litter Box Training For Your Beautiful New Family Member
Hopefully, your kitten already has an idea of how to use the litter box. But you might have found a kitten outside, or you’ve adopted an especially young kitten from a shelter or a rescue organization. If that’s the case, they might just need a little help when it comes to doing their “business” in the right spot.
The first thing to do is to buy the right type of cat litter and litter box. Since you can’t ask your kitten their preference of litter, go with an unscented, dust-free product. The kitten may be more apt to use it if it doesn’t have a powerful aroma. Also, get a litter box that has a low lip. This may make it easier for your kitten to get in and out.5
You also want the litter box to be accessible. It should be in a part of the home with good lighting and put in an area that doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. The litter box should be a place of peace and quiet, whether you have a kitten or an adult cat.6
Also, try to keep the litter tray clean. This is an important part of kitten care and adult cat care. Try to scoop out the litter at least once a day, and change the entire litter box weekly if possible. Always throw out the litter in your trash instead of flushing it down the toilet. Flushing litter could clog your pipes.7
Another Kitten Training Tip: Clicker Training
You might have heard of clicker training as it pertains to dogs. As it turns out, it can be an effective kitten training tool, too. As you already know, cats (and kittens) tend to repeat behaviors they associate with positive consequences. They’ll be more inclined to sit if they get a treat when doing so. Clicker training is designed to help you take advantage of that inclination.8
Basically, you use the “clicker” (usually a plastic object with a strip of metal that “clicks” when it’s pressed) to mark good behavior. Then you give the treat. When your cat sits, for example, click the clicker and then provide the reward. The click is different from any other noise the cat will hear on a regular basis, so they’ll pay special attention if it’s accompanied by something tasty to eat.9
Never Punish Your Young Kitten For Any Bad Behavior
Whether you have a cat, a dog, or any other type of animal, you should never punish them – especially when you’re trying to train them. If you hurt your pet, that could result in destructive – or even aggressive – behavior. Just like most animals, a cat will be more receptive to positive reinforcement rather than punishment.10
But that doesn’t mean you have to just grin and bear it when your kitten or adult cat behaves badly. Here are a few options to consider to help deter bad cat behavior.
- Use something that will deter bad behavior – Does your cat like to scratch the furniture or chew things they shouldn’t? There are several spray products you can find at your local pet store that will leave a bad taste in a cat’s mouth if they try to chew.
- Double-sided tape or aluminum foil – Cats hate the feel of foil and stick tape under their paws. Tape some of it to a surface you don’t want your kitty walking on, or tape it to a piece of furniture your cat is using instead of a scratching post.11
Even though these are deterrents, they’re safe for your cat. Again, never resort to any sort of physical punishment if your pet gets out of line. That won’t do anything except make your cat scared to be around you.12
How To Introduce New Pets To Each Other: Introducing Kitten To Dog
How To Set Up A Litter Box The Right Way (Plus Cleaning And Maintenance Tips)
Homemade DIY Cat Litter Boxes For Cat Parents