How to Raise A Happy Cat
Here are four tips you can follow to help your new kitten grow into a confident, well-adjusted cat.
1. Make Carriers Stress Free
Getting your kitten used to being in a carrier means vet visits and travel will be much easier for you both.
- Set the carrier up somewhere your kitten likes to be. Make sure there’s some comfy bedding inside.
- Keep the carrier out all the time.
- Prop the door open and entice your kitten into the carrier with a treat or her food bowl at least once a day.
- Try getting your kitten to run in and out of the carrier during playtime.
2. Keep Playtime Fun—And Safe
Kittens have a lot of energy, and sometimes they can be over-exuberant, particularly if they don’t have another kitten to play with. This can be cute while they are little, but not as adults. Instill good play habits early:
- Don’t use your hands or feet as during play—always use toys or wands with something they can chase, like feathers.
- If your kitten tries to play with your hands, fold your arms and look away. Wait a few minutes before giving her any more attention. Try this for your feet, too.
- Keep play interesting by switching out the kinds of toys you use.
- Always allow the kitten to “catch” the toy a few times so she won’t get frustrated. End playtime with a yummy treat.
- Avoid catting or picking the kitten up during or directly after playtime so you don’t inadvertently encourage her to think hands are toys.
3. Trim Tiny Nails
One of the best ways to minimize scratching is to keep your kitten’s nails trimmed. If you can get your kitten used to nail trims now, it won’t be as difficult when she’s an adult.
- Start by touching one front paw, then offering a treat.
- Press the paw gently, extending the nail.
- If your kitten tolerates this well, go on to the next paw. If she tries to pull away, let her go.
- Slowly work up to clipping the nail. You can clip just one paw, or even just one nail. Do the second paw, then the third and fourth in later sessions.
4. Be Social!
Help your kitten learn that new people are not scary by taking things slowly.
- Give your kitten a favorite toy or treat when someone new visits. This works well if it’s mealtime!
- As the kitten starts to get comfortable, hand the treats or toys to the new person. Work up to having the new person cat the kitten.
- If your kitten seems afraid at any point, give her a break then go back a step. Remember, it is important that these early experiences are positive!
Keeping your cat healthy and happy is important to us! From routine to advanced care, we are proud to offer the very best in veterinary care!