Did you become a new kitten owner recently? Congratulations! Kittens are an endless source of entertainment and cuteness. However, they can also be quite a handful. Your new little furball is going to be full of curiosity, fearlessness, and energy, which can make for an equally endearing and dangerous mix. Raising a kitten requires more than just filling little Fluffy’s food bowl and watching her adorable antics. This time in your pet’s life is crucial for her growth and development – not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Therefore, it’s essential to start teaching your tiny buddy proper behavior now. A local Plano, IL veterinarian has some helpful tips on how to do just that in this informative article.
It’s important to understand that your little pet isn’t trying to hurt you. All of those claws and teeth are very, very important for Little Fluffy to master. Playing is fun for her, of course, but the instinct to pounce and scratch goes far beyond a simple desire for entertainment.
Because they are both predators and prey, cats come preprogrammed with both hunting instincts and a desire to explore and find safe spaces. (Many scientists are beginning to suspect Fluffy is actually the purrfect predator, but that’s another topic.)
Basically, you can probably expect your tiny ball of fur to want to practice her murder skills on you.
Though this may seem like bad behavior, it’s really just instinct. Therefore, it doesn’t call for punishment, but for gentle corrections. Avoid using your hands or feet when playing with your kitten. This will teach her that she can use you as a toy! Instead, use toys that you can control from a distance. Laser pointers, string toys, remote control toys, and even balls that you can roll towards her are some good options.
Like human children, kittens want to feel loved and safe. Talking to Fluffy in a friendly tone of voice will go a long way toward making her feel safe. This will also help you bond with her.
Your pet will benefit from snuggling up with you for some of those naps. Cats crave affection, and many of them just enjoy cuddling up with their humans. Indulge those adorable requests for cuddle time! This will be good for you both. When you snuggle up with your feline friend, you’ll both feel happy and relaxed. A special hormone Oxytocin, also known as the Cuddle Hormone, is released when you do this. This hormone is associated with feelings of love.
Just don’t forget the golden rule: don’t force attention on your cat, and don’t hold her if she doesn’t want it.
Like a human toddler, kittens need to learn what is and is not appropriate behavior. It may be cute to have your pet bite, scratch, or pounce on your shoelaces, but this is not going to be cute in an adult cat.
You should gently reprimand your pet if she bites or scratches, and then guide her towards more appropriate behavior. Don’t punish her! It’s important to keep your pet from forming negative associations with you. Little Fluffy can be quite rambunctious, but she can also become frightened quite easily. You don’t want that!
If your feline pal bites or scratches, reproach her verbally. Don’t yell at her: just use a stern, disapproving tone. Use the same words or phrases every time. You can say ‘No’ or ‘Play nice’ or ‘Don’t bite’ or ‘Put Your Claws Away.’
Then, walk away and ignore your tiny pal for a while. She may look insulted and affronted, and perhaps a bit confused, but you may also see those little wheels turning.
No luck? Your next step is to incorporate something that annoys your pet without hurting or scaring her. You can spray her with water or blow in her face. You can also make loud noises like clapping your hands, sounding an alarm, or shaking a change jar.
Before your pet can be truly happy, she needs to be healthy. We all know that good food, clean litter, clean water, and proper veterinary care will cover the basics of your pet’s physical health.
Let’s start with the vet. Proper care is important! If Little Fluffy feels sick, uncomfortable, or hurt, it will affect her mental and emotional health.
Your tiny friend will need a few appointments with her vet times this year, for microchipping, spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, and parasite control. If your Plano, IL vet gives your pet the thumbs up after examining her, you’re doing good!
Your furry pal’s mental and emotional health are always important. Provide toys, beds, and at least two things for Fluffy to climb or explore.
Friskiness is also a good sign. While some kitties are braver than others, your tiny buddy will probably be more bold and curious if she feels safe. (This is why petproofing is so important.)
Little Fluffy’s body language can also tell you a lot. If your pet feels safe enough to sprawl out on the floor, it’s a good sign. Happy cats also often seek attention from their humans. When you talk to your adorable little buddy, she might follow you around, jump into your lap, and meow back at you. (She may also ignore you or try to pounce on your shoelaces, but that’s another topic.)
Although breed does play a part here, the way little Fluffy is raised also makes a big difference. Some cats are cuddle bugs, while others are more aloof. Socialization is also crucial at this stage. The more you pet and interact with your furball, the more affectionate and interactive she’ll become!
Our feline pals think of us as their second parents. (Fluffy also thinks of us as her cook, maid, and butler, but that’s beside the point.) Whenever your kitten wants to snuggle, let her. Stroke her gently as she relaxes. Chances are, she’ll start her motor right away.
Always let your kitten decide when snuggle time ends. If you try to force your furry pal to accept being petted or held when she doesn’t want to, you’ll do more harm than good!
Is Little Fluffy making biscuits on your lap? This is a cute (if somewhat painful) sign that she sees you as a parent. A kitten’s kneading stimulates milk flow, so it’s a way of expressing affection.
If her claws are hurting, grab a pillow, blanket, or even a sweater.
In conclusion; it takes a little patience and a lot of love to raise a polite cat. Be gentle with your furry pal, pay lots of attention to her, and make her feel loved. Gently correct bad manners by guiding your pet toward more appropriate behavior.
Contact us, your local Plano, IL veterinary clinic, if you have any questions about kitten care. We are always happy to help!