Looking After Kittens
Looking after kittens can be a daunting thought, however, instilling certain behavioural patterns and disciplines at the onset will make life so much easier for both you and your kitten. Kittens learn initially through mimicking their mother, but once your kitten has left her mum and is in your care, the job of teaching will be yours.
Once your kitten has settled into her new home you should start to introduce her to different people, allowing them to pick her up, give her cuddles and play with her. It is important that she gets used to people early to prevent her from becoming a timid nervous adult. You should also, where possible introduce her to other cats.
Kittens are playful by nature, so setting some time aside every day to play with her will help her to gain your trust. Ensure your kitten has plenty of toys to play with to prevent her from becoming bored, as boredom can often lead to destruction. Anything, providing it isn’t harmful to your kitten or could be easily swallowed, tied to a piece of string or wool will keep her entertained for hours. Role play such as mimicking hunting will keep her engaged.
An essential part of looking after your kitten will be to groom her daily. Giving her a brush every day has many benefits. Firstly it will help to gain her trust and get her used to being handled from an early age. It will also encourage your kitten to wash herself which would have initially been done by her mum. Continuous grooming throughout your cats life, will also reduce the risk of fur balls.
Your kitten should also have been taught by her mother, how to use the cat litter tray before she arrives in your home. If your kitten does however have an accident, pick her up and place her in the litter tray. Do not shout at her or reprimand her as she will, over time, associate using the litter tray with being told off and thus will not use it. Cats learn through association so by giving her lots of praise and attention when using the litter tray will encourage her to keep using it.
Kittens can be a handful and can adopt destructive behaviour patterns, such as scratching furniture, climbing curtains, scratching you if they aren’t disciplined from an early age. Always reward your kitten for good behaviour with lots of praise and attention. Never scold your kitten for bad behaviour, simply pick her up from whatever it is she is doing, place her down on the floor and walk away. Your kitten will soon learn what actions will give her praise and attention and what types of behaviour won’t.