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How To Teach A Frisky Kitten Good Manners 

February 1 2024

Have you recently adopted a baby cat? Kittens are adorable, and they can be loads of fun. However, they are also a handful. Little Fluffy is basically a bundle of curiosity, boldness, and energy. This stage of your pet’s life is crucial to her development; not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. It’s important to teach your furry friend good manners now. A local Syracuse, UT vet offers some tips on how to do so here.

Why Is My Kitten Always Biting And Scratching Me?

Your cute little pet is a lion at heart. She’s going to be very focused on mastering how to use all those claws and teeth. This is fun for her, of course, but the instinct goes far deeper than a simple desire for entertainment. Cats are both predators and prey by nature. They come pre-programmed with hunting instincts and a desire to explore and find safe places. (Many scientists are beginning to suspect that Fluffy actually is the purrfect predator, but that’s another topic.)

In other words, you can probably expect your tiny ball of fur to want to practice her mouse-murdering skills on you. You’ll want to discourage rough play, but we’ll get to that later.

Should I Play With My Kitten?

Absolutely! Playing not only keeps your little buddy active and entertained, but it also helps with bonding. Just avoid playing with your cat using your hands or feet. That’s just teaching her that it’s fine to use you as a cat toy. 

Look for toys you can control remotely. There are a few good options, such as laser pointers, string toys, remote controls, and even balls. This will teach your pint-sized panther to take her frustration and zoomies out on her toys, rather than on you.

What Can I Do To Make My Kitten Feel Safe?

The most important thing here is to always handle your kitty with love and gentleness. Talking to Fluffy can help, and is also great for bonding! Be sure to use a friendly tone of voice.

Cats crave affection, and many of them enjoy snuggling up with their humans, so letting your pet curl up on you will go a long way. In fact, this is good for you both! When you snuggle with your cat, a specific hormone, oxytocin, also known as the Cuddle Hormone, is released in both of you. This reinforces feelings of being loved and safe. It’s also released in mothers and babies as they snuggle.

What Is The Best Way To Teach Good Manners To My Kitten?

Like human toddlers, kittens need to learn what is and is not appropriate. It may be cute if your pet bites you or scratches you, or pounces on your shoelaces, but it isn’t going to be cute when your cat is an adult. In fact, this can be dangerous. Those little claws are sharp!

If your pet does something naughty, such as biting or scratching, you should gently reprimand her. Then, guide her towards more appropriate behavior.

First, reproach her verbally immediately. Don’t shout at her: just use a stern, disapproving tone. It doesn’t matter what you say, as long as you use the same words or phrases every time. For example, you can tell little Fluffy ‘No,’ ‘Play nice,’ ‘Don’t bite,’ or ‘Put Your Claws Away’. Next, walk away from your tiny pal, and then ignore for a while. She may look offended and affronted, and perhaps even a little confused, but you’ll see those little wheels turning. 

If that doesn’t work, try something that will irritate your furry friend without really scaring her. You can spray water on her or blow in her face. Loud noises also work well. Clap your hands, sound your phone’s alarm, or jiggle a jar of change.

It’s also important to reward your kitten when she’s being nice. Pet her, praise her, and maybe even give her a treat. 

What Are Some Ways to Tell Whether My Kitten Is Happy?

A positive evaluation from your Syracuse, UT veterinary clinic is a good start. Little Fluffy’s physical health will have a huge impact on her mental and emotional well-being. She won’t be happy if she is sick, uncomfortable, or hurt!

You can also tell a lot by how your pet acts. Playfulness is a great sign. Your little buddy may also be relaxed and even a bit bold. If your new cat feels safe enough to sprawl out on the floor, that’s a good sign. 

A happy cat will also seek attention from its humans. You may also notice your pint-sized pal becoming interactive and affectionate. When you talk to your pet, she may follow you around, hop into your lap, rub against your legs, and meow back at you. There is also that adorable look of contentment happy cats get, which will never cease to delight us.

How Do I Care For My Kitten? 

Be sure to provide good food, clean litter, fresh water, and a comfy, fun environment. Proper veterinary care is also crucial. Your little pal will need to visit us a few times during that critical first year. Microchipping, spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, and parasite control are all on the agenda. 

Keeping your pet entertained is also important. Offer lots of toys and beds. Kitty furniture is also beneficial: little Fluffy needs at least one or two things to climb or explore. Don’t forget the petproofing! Ask your Syracuse, UT veterinarian for suggestions on this.

Of course, you’ll also need to make sure your little buddy feels loved. Pay lots of attention to her! 

Is It Possible To Raise A Kitten To Be Cuddly?

Our feline pals all have very distinct personalities. While breed does play a role here, the way little Fluffy is raised also plays a huge role.

Spend lots of quality time with your kitten. If she wants to snuggle on your lap or in your arms, let her. Stroke your kitten gently as she relaxes. This helps her feel loved and safe. Cats think of us as their second parents. (Fluffy thinks we are her cook, maid, and butler, but that’s beside the point.)

Never force attention on her, and never hold her if she doesn’t want it. Little Fluffy can be quite rambunctious, but she can also get frightened quite easily. Let your kitten decide when snuggle time stops and starts. If you try to force your furry pal to accept being petted or held when she doesn’t want to, you’ll end up doing more harm than good!

Why Does My New Kitten Always Knead?

This is a cute, if slightly painful, way of expressing affection. Kittens knead while nursing, as it stimulates milk flow. In fact, cats may have started purring as a way mamas and babies could communicate. The soothing rumble lets momma and littermates know that the kitten is happy while eating. (Cats also purr to soothe themselves, but that’s another topic.)

Little Fluffy making biscuits is a sign that she sees you as a parent. If those claws are hurting, grab a pillow, blanket, or sweater before settling down.

In Conclusion: With love, care, patience, and a bit of tact, you can nip your kitten’s bad habits in the bud and help her grow into a friendly, polite adult.

If you have any questions about kitten care, please contact us, your local Syracuse, UT veterinary clinic. We love watching our feline friends grow from tiny balls of fur to happy, healthy adults! 

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