What’s the best way to train my new kitten?

Posted on: September 09, 2013

Training Your Kitten

Training, including obedience and litter training, should take place in your kitten’s first year, when she’s growing and maturing rapidly. The earlier you teach her good habits, the better.

Communicating with your Kitten

Once you’ve chosen a name for your kitten, call her only by that name until she learns to respond. Unless she’s misbehaving, you should talk to her gently and quietly. Pet the little newcomer often to help her become a loving member of the family.

Handling Bad Behavior

When your kitten does misbehave, it often means she’s bored and wants to play. If you can’t play with her, provide diversions like cat toys or a scratching post to keep her occupied. Since your kitten is sensitive to your tone of voice, sometimes all it takes is an emphatic “NO!” to get her to stop misbehaving. You can also try clapping your hands to get her attention more quickly.

Claws and Scratching 

Your kitten will surely act on her urge to scratch — it’s an instinct. But this doesn’t mean your floors and furniture have to suffer. Provide your kitten with a scratching post where she can stretch and scratch her nails.  Encourage her to use the post by attaching a toy or rubbing some catnip on it. You can further protect your furniture by applying lemon-scented furniture polish — it contains an odor that’s usually offensive (though harmless) to cats.

The Kitten’s Litter Box

Most kittens will understand how to use the litter box if they spent the first few weeks of life with their mother and litter-mates. You can help her understand what is expected by placing her in the litter box once every hour at first. Although she may scurry out, praise her when she uses the box. Kittens do not need a full-size litter box and might do better in a box with lower sides (about 1 inch) for easy access.

Training Her to Use the Litter Box

Watch your kitten closely. When she begins nosing in corners or squatting, it's time to place her in the litter box. Gently scratch your kitten's front paws in the filler. This way, she will learn to deposit and bury her waste there.

Maintaining the Box

It’s important to remove her solid waste daily. You'll also want to choose the appropriate cat box filler for your cat. Purina® brand cat box fillers are easy to clean and come in several different varieties.

Accidents

If your kitten has an accident, wipe it up with a paper towel and place the paper towel in the litter box. Then place the kitten in the box and repeat the process of scratching with her front paws.

We hope these tips help you in training your new kitten and ensure an easy transition.

  1. How should I feed my new kitten?
  2. Next Article

Feed, train and socialize your new kitten. We’ll help you with expert advice.