Kittens are adorable. Fluffy, squeaky and full of fun. There's so much to love about them. As cute as they are, kittens grow up into cats with unique personalities. Without proper socialization, these cats could end up being temperamental or aggressive. Just like dogs, it’s important to train or socialize your kitten right from the start.
Cats are notorious for having a “my way or the highway” personality. Though it’s true that many cats are strong willed, there are things you can do during the kitten stage to aid in socialization. Being consistent from the start will help you to raise a kitten to be loving, affectionate and blend easily into your life. See our tips below for information on how to raise a kitten to be nice.
How to Raise a Kitten
- Don’t roughhouse – it can be tempting to let your kitten bite and scratch you during play when they’re small. Your tiny predator’s bites are so cute, and they hardly hurt. But it’s best to discourage biting and scratching during play from the start. Allowing biting behaviour teaches a kitten that it is OK to bite and will likely cause problems in the future. Especially around children and others that the cat is not familiar with.
- Talk to them – talk to your kitten often and do so affectionately. Doing this helps to build trust and promotes positive interaction between you and your kitten. They will know your voice and understand the different intonations. Yelling or using a loud voice can make them scared of you and may lead to aggressive behaviour.
- Play lots – kittens have a lot of energy and need tons of attention and playtime. Be social with your kitten and get involved in active play. This will help to direct your kitten’s rough play at objects not people. Make sure to have the essentials like scratching posts and toys so they don’t scratch items in your home.
- Reward good behaviour – let your kitten know when they’ve done something good by giving them treats. If your cat uses their scratching post, snuggles in for a cuddle or is being friendly, reward them. But try not to over-do it as this can lead to weight management issues, especially for indoor cats.
Keep Your Lifestyle in Mind
The above tips will assist you as you learn how to raise a kitten. While you implement these tips, also consider your lifestyle and what activities you would like your kitten to become accustomed to. Determine if your cat will remain indoors, be allowed outdoors or maybe even become an adventurer like one of the many cats featured on Adventure Cats.
If you are going to take your cat on walks or car rides, introduce them early. Always support your cat if they are stressed and take it slow when introducing new environments. Make the first trips short and keep them positive by offering treats and affection. Also consider that this may not be suitable for every cat and you need to be mindful of their comfort and needs too. If you choose to take your cat for adventures, consider using a PawPad® in the car. It’s a necessity for cat lovers to use at home or on the go. Lightweight, waterproof, absorbent and machine washable it will keep your car’s back seat clear of fur and safe from any accidents your pet may have.
Always Be Gentle
Our tips are a great way to kickstart a loving relationship with your cat. Always remember, the best way to promote love and trust with your kitten is by emulating that behaviour yourself. With consistency and patience, your kitten will grow into a loyal companion to love for many years.