Training Your Kitten
Choosing A Kitten - Ready For Training
This is a story of a family adopting a kitten from a family whose cat had a litter of five and it consists of a conversation with the neighbour with regards to Training Your Kitten.
You will find out why you need to train your kitten, how you train your kitten and what you will be training your kitten for.
These cute kittens had a little growing up to do before being adopted out.
Meeting Your Kitten - Ready for Training
Angel has just arrived to her new home. She is a lovely tortoiseshell kitten with a ginger, and tortoiseshell siblings and a tortoiseshell mother. It was sad to remove Angel from these other amazing animals but seven year old Amelia and her parents were excited about their new addition to the household.
Amelia's best friend Sam and her Mum Janice from next door popped in to meet Angel.
Janice said " Angel is soooo cute."
Amelia said "So were the others." Amelia showed Sam and Janice the photograph. " I was only allowed one kitten"
Here is Angels' Brother
Sam and Janice gave an 'I wish I could have look' but Amelia quickly said,
"We have this great book to help us."
Sam looked confused and asked,
"Why Will You Need To Be Training Your Kitten?"
Amelias Mum responded
" Everyone in the family has to comply with a set of guidelines so why should Angel be an exception. Angel needs guidance just like Amelia did as a baby, toddler and younger child. After all she will need our help to feed and water her and protect her from the elements. We want to carry on our calm, warm environment and training our kitten will ensure we have a loving cat that does not eat our furniture, pee on our houseplants and is protected from potential dangers. Angel needs to know what behaviour is acceptable and what behaviour is unacceptable, especially as there are some unacceptable behaviours that can also be dangerous.
It is important to realise that cats are wonderful creatures filled with curiosity and like humans, have different personalities. Some are snugly, affectionate , friendly and are content to nap on your lap. Some are standoffish and will only allow the occasional solemn head pat before regally stalking of to stretch and preen in the sunshine. And others are 'wild cats', hell bent on running straight up the walls in pursuit of invisible prey, knocking down all who dare get in their pathway. Although we wont be able to change the basic nature of Angel , we can try to change the more obnoxious behaviours - should they occur. We will have to try and remember to have patience - some cats take to training quite well, others take a little longer. We will get to know Angel.
Also cats do the things they do for various reasons and before training begins , it is important to have basic understanding of why?
Angel may misbehave due to:
~ growing from kitten to adult - see picture of an adult tortoiseshell cat
~ an impending or ongoing illness. It is best to rule out this one first. Maybe a health professional will be required to help out."
"Ok then," responds Janice
"To Use The Litter Box"
Amelias' Mum continues
"We need to give Angel clear, consistent guidelines so we have set a litterbox up in the porch and another one in the spare room. It is suggested for one cat to have two litterboxes. Cats are shy toileters and these places are quiet areas away from the business of the household.
We are using good absorbable litter ( hopefully Angel will like it ) and plan to replace it every 2 or 3 days rather than 1 time per week. The cleaner the litterbox the more likely it is to be used. And it is important for cats to toilet regularly to avoid health issues like urinary tract disease, which is very common and debilitating. To help with this we will always keep unlimited supplies of water for Angel, maybe a couple of bowls around the house. The idea is to encourage Angel to drink more and pee more to avaid health problems.
If Angel suddenly displays some bad behaviours like missing or avoiding the litterbox or toileting on your favourite chair then we will have to go through the checklist.
1. did we move the litter box?
2. is there any more traffic, eg guests to stay?
3. did we renovate the room?
4. did we change the box or the type of litter?
5. could it be a health related issue like urinary tract infection or kidney disease where they associate the pain with the litter box and stop using it?This will need to be checked.
Training your kitten to use the litter box should be as stressfree as possible. Hopefully Angel will adjust well to this."
"To Come When Called"
People like to have a kitten or cat come to them when called.
Take a look at the video to discover a technique to train your kitten to do this.
"To Display Acceptable Behaviours"
"Cats claw, scratch, bite and chew for many reasons. If they are doing these things to food items or their cat toys then that is great. But sometimes they do it on other things like your new duvan or electrical cord which not only destroys your property but is potentially dangerous or you. Do not tolerate rough play. If they are allowed to play aggressively with the wrong things then young cats will turn out to be an older, stronger, aggressive cat. You can stop playing with your cat if they start biting or scratching.
What could this cat scratch?
Would it be tolerated?
This cat could scratch your arm as seen is photo.
And would need some expert training to sort out. Something definitely not to be tolerated.
could have been provoked and would normally use a scratching alternative, as seen below.
~ instead of the human arm ~ ouch!!
The Scratching Mat
The Scratching Post
Using one of these options is MUCH MORE ACCEPTABLE than a human arm.
Angel is young and will be exploring her world , like human babies do, by mouthing and chewing on things. So we will give Angel substitutes and reward her for chewing and scratching on the right item.
You too can train your kitten to bite, chew and scratch on the right places.
View the video below for some hints.
Over Vocalisation can be another issue to deal with. Some cats rarely meow and some never seem to shut up. This constant crying and need for reassurance may be the one that is the most difficult to figure out. If Angel needs help here we may call in the professionals
And we wont forget to consult for some great advice.
"To Address Problems Like:"
1. Marking territory with urine or poo:
While this is fine outside it becomes a problem inside.
2. Grooming Problems:
Some cats groom themselves excessively to the point of losing fur and creating
3. Sickness problems:
If Angel displays any of these behaviours then she will need help.
Hopefully she will be content and groom like the very relaxed cat in the picture.
"To Do Tricks"
We are going to have fun training Angel to do all sorts of tricks including commands like :
to come, sit, beg, sit, stay, jumping up, twirling, climbing a ladder, wave, kiss and more.
I wonder if Angel will learn to climb a ladder like this cat."
"Wow, there certainly is a lot one can do in training your kitten. Hopefully Angel will settle in well" says Janice.
"How Will You Be Training Your Kitten?"
Amelia's Mum responded
1. Make a List:
...of everything which needs changing and start with the worst offender first. It is best to teach one behaviour at a time because too many changes will make the cat confused and potentially worst behaved than before.
2. Give Clear, Consistent Guidelines:
We will do this immediately as to what is and what is not acceptable in our home. We will have to remember not to change the rules from day to day, for example, if Angel climbs on the bench we should not tell her off on one day and then accept this on another day. We will have to organise consistency with all family members.
3. Treats and Rewards:
These can be effective with cats as long as they are given immediately after the behaviour.
Do not bother reprimanding your cat as it is often ineffective.
4. Clicker Technique:
This is when a loud noise from a clicker can be given to Angel should she misbehave. This intolerable noise will grab her attention and she will learn to avoid the undesired action and do an action that will give her a treat. It is not the treat that motivates her but the intolerance of the clicking sound.
see diagram for COLOURFUL CLICKERS
5. Cat Training Classes:
We will see how Angel behaves and use the appropriate techniques.
Janice mentions " Training your kitten looks an interesting process"
Training Your Kitten Conclusion
Amelia's Mum comments
"Yes, we hope Angel will settle in to our family life and that we can help guide her in the right direction. Training our kitten to use the litterbox, behave well, do various tricks, plus identifying problems which need fixing will be made much easier with our book to use as a reference guide.
We are going to enjoy are new extension to the family"