Are you a new kitten owner? Congratulations on your newest addition! Kittens are tiny, meowing bundles of endless cuteness, curiosity, courage, and energy – a delightful but potentially dangerous combination. It’s probably safe to say that your furry little friend will waste no time in melting your heart … and wrapping you around her tiny paws. While adopting a kitten can definitely make for a very joyous occasion, owning a kitten isn’t all about cuddles or laughing at your pet’s adorable antics. That charming toddler stage is crucial for your pet’s physical, mental, and emotional development. Therefore, it’s essential to start teaching your furry companion good behavior early on. In this article from All About Animals, your Carrollton, GA veterinarian, serving the Villa Rica area, a nearby veterinarian provides some helpful tips for doing just that.
Why Does My Kitten Keep Biting And Scratching Me?
Your tiny lion isn’t trying to hurt you: she’s just trying to get the hang of using all of those claws and teeth. While it is fun for her to practice her murder skills on you, batting that catnip mouse around isn’t just about play for your little pet. The instinct to pounce and scratch on things is much deeper than mere entertainment. In the wild, cats are prey as well as predators. They come pre-programmed with both hunting instincts and a desire to explore and find safe spaces. (Many scientists are beginning to suspect Fluffy is the purrfect predator, but that’s another topic).
Playing with your kitten is important, but you should use toys that you can control remotely. Letting her attack your hands or feet just teaches her that it’s fine to use you as a cat toy! Laser pointers, string toys, remote controlled toys, and even balls that you can roll toward her are all good options.
What Can I Do To Make My Kitten Feel Safe?
Kittens may think of themselves as lions, but they also crave feeling loved and safe. A gentle touch and friendly demeanor are key to making your kitty feel safe. Talking to Fluffy can also help you bond. Just remember to use a sweet tone of voice when talking to your cat. (Go ahead and use that baby-talk voice: many of our feline pals seem to respond well to it.)
Don’t forget that cats crave affection. Many love cuddling up with their humans. Simply letting little Fluffy snuggle up on you for a nap can go a long way. In fact, when you cuddle with your feline friend, the hormone oxytocin, also known as the Cuddle Hormone, is released in both of you. Consequently, you will both feel secure, loved, and happy.
There are some don’ts to keep in mind. Little Fluffy can be quite rambunctious, but she can also get frightened quite easily. Do not force attention on her. You’ll probably end up doing more harm than good if you try to force your furry pal to accept being petted or held when she doesn’t want it. Always let her decide when snuggle time ends.
What Is The Best Way To Teach My Kitten Good Manners?
It may seem cute when your cat bites or scratches you or pounces on your shoelaces, but this behavior is not appropriate for an adult cat. In fact, it can eventually become quite dangerous.
You’ll want to guide your tiny pet toward more appropriate behavior.
When your pet bites or scratches, you should gently reprimand her verbally. You don’t have to yell at her: just use a stern tone that disapproves. You can say ‘No’, ‘Play nice’, ‘Don’t bite’, or‘Put Your Claws Away.’ Just make sure that you use the same words or phrases every time.
After that, walk away and ignore your little pal for a while. She may look insulted and affronted, but her little wheels will be turning. Sooner or later, she’ll figure it out.
If you don’t get results, try doing something that annoys your furry friend but doesn’t hurt or scare her. You can spray water on her or blow in her face. Loud noises also work well, such as clapping your hands or rattling a change jar.
What Are the Signs That My Kitten Is Happy?
Your Carrollton, GA veterinarian should be the ultimate authority on this. Little Fluffy’s mental and emotional health will be greatly affected by her physical health. If she feels sick, uncomfortable, or hurt, she won’t be happy.
Start by making sure your little buddy is getting proper veterinary care. Your tiny friend will have to go to the vet a few times this year: microchipping, spay/neuter surgery, vaccines, and parasite control are all on the agenda. If your pet’s doctor gives you the thumbs-up after examining her, you’re doing great!
You can also learn a lot about your pet from their body language. If little Fluffy feels safe enough to sprawl out on the floor, it is a good sign. While some kittens are braver than others, little Fluffy may act quite bold and curious if she feels cheerful and safe. (That’s why petproofing is so important.)
Happy cats also often seek attention from their humans. If you talk to your adorable little buddy, she may follow you around, hop into your lap, and/or meow back at you. Your cat’s facial expression can also reveal quite a bit. Happy cats sometimes get that smug, adorable look of contentment we all love. Ask your Carrollton, GA veterinarians for more information.
How Do I Take Care Of A Kitten?
Taking good care of your pet starts with providing good food, clean litter, fresh water, and a safe environment. Fluffy also needs toys, beds, and at least one or two things to climb or explore. Ask your Carrollton, GA vet for specific tips.
Is It Possible To Raise A Kitten To Be Cuddly?
While breed plays a role here, the way little Fluffy is raised also makes a huge difference. Some cats love to cuddle, while others prefer to be more aloof. Socialization and bonding are both very important.
Let your kitten snuggle on your lap or in your arms as she relaxes. Stroke her gently while she is relaxing and she will probably start her motor.
Is There A Reason Why My Kitten Keeps Kneading Me?
This is a cute, if slightly painful, way of expressing affection. Kittens knead while nursing, which stimulates milk flow. They also tend to purr while nursing. It is possible that cats began purring to communicate between moms and babies. While kittens can’t meow while eating, their soothing rumble lets their momma and littermates know they are content. (Cats also purr to soothe themselves, but that’s another topic.)
The more biscuits Fluffy makes, the more she sees you as her parent. If those claws hurt, grab a pillow, blanket, or even a sweater before settling in. Love hurts!
In conclusion, raising a polite kitten does take thought, love, time, and patience. However, don’t think of this as a chore. It’s part of the fun of having a kitten! Encourage good behavior, and gently guide your cute pet away from bad habits.
If you have any questions about kitten care, please contact us at All About Animals, your Carrollton, GA veterinarian, serving the Villa Rica area. We are always happy to help!