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Teaching Your Kitten Good Petiquette

November 1, 2019
Have you recently adopted a kitten? Congratulations! We probably don’t have to tell you that the next few months will be filled with cute moments. However, being a kitten parent isn’t all about cuddles and purrs. You’ll need to teach your tiny ball of fur how to properly behave herself! Here, a local Ellicott City, MD vet discusses teaching a kitten good manners.


Socialization is very important for cats. If you want little Fluffy to grow up into a trusting, friendly adult, you’ll need to make sure she feels safe and comfortable being petted and held. What does that mean? Kitten snuggles! Pay lots of attention to your pet, and let her sleep on your lap.


Scratching is an instinctive behavior in cats. Fluffy is more or less hard-wired to keep those little claws sharp. If you want to keep your pet from scratching your furniture, now is the time to teach her proper manicure habits. Get her a good scratching post, and put catnip and toys around it to make it inviting.


Never yell at or strike your kitten. If little Fluffy is misbehaving, do something that will both startle and annoy her. Clap your hands, stamp your foot, squirt her with water, or bang two pans together. Sooner or later, your furball will form a bad association with the undesired behavior.


Cats are hunters by nature, so it’s no surprise that they love to pounce, jump, and bite. They also tend to practice these skills on their humans. Teach your feisty furball that your fingers and toes are not toys. If little Fluffy attacks you, tell her ‘No’ in a firm, gentle tone of voice. You can also say something like ‘Don’t bite’ or ‘Play nice.’ Just be consistent and say the same thing each time. Then, ignore your pet for a while.


The more you interact with your kitten, the more interactive she’ll become. Although Fluffy may not understand everything you say when you talk to her, she can figure out quite a bit just from your tone of voice. This is actually helpful, as when you say things like ‘Get off of that’ in a slightly disapproving tone, she’ll probably get the gist. She might even obey! Please contact us, your Ellicott City, MD vet clinic, for your kitten’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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