7 Vet-Approved Tips to Help You Train Your Kitten

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5. Litter Box Training Should Be Simple

Litter box training is fundamentally important…but in most cases, it proves not to be overly difficult for your kitten to master. Most kittens have natural instincts to bury their wastes and will know exactly what to do when they encounter the right litter and litter box in your home.

After your kitten eats, place her in the litter box. You can gently nudge her paws to scratch the litter to encourage your kitten to scratch her typical spot to eliminate. If your kitten uses the restroom, shower her with praise. If she does not go, there's no need to panic – simply repeat the process one-half hour later.

6. Communication is Key

One of the best ways to promote a healthy relationship is through clear communication. Having verbal communications that your kitten understands is extremely helpful and represents a positive, attainable goal.

While a kitten obviously isn't born with the innate ability to understand English, she does have a knack for comprehending tones, learning over time whether the human addressing her is happy and calm or angry and agitated. For this reason, most communication with your kitten should be in the form of neutral tones, with the remainder originating from the high, singsong praise category.

Individual words also will come to mean something to your kitten as she grows up. It's a good idea to use certain words to cue key behaviors. A kitten's vocabulary can be expanded over time until certain spoken words are useful in daily communication. Cats can learn many words but never really understand language, so don't expect too much of them in this respect. And when the spoken word leads to the requisite behavior, a reward should follow.

7. Addition is Not Always a Net Gain

Adding a kitten to a household with other cats? While there's certainly a chance the cats will flourish together and enjoy each other's company, the possibility also exists that the cats fight continuously and ultimately are unable to tolerate each other's existence.

Consequently, when attempting to pair a kitten with other felines within a single household, a trial marriage should always precede a permanent residency.

When two cats are apparently incompatible, it may be possible, working with a behaviorist, to defuse overt aggression and allow the pair to live together in mutual indifference, if not harmony. In many instances, even mutual indifference would be an acceptable conclusion to the owners.

More Resources for Training a Kitten

Want more useful advice regarding training your kitten? Check out these articles:

Your Guide to Kitten Behavior

How to Play with a Kitten

Why Do Kittens Bite?


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