You are planning to bring a kitten into your home. Know that you start from a blank page because the little feline has everything to learn. 10 mistakes not to make with your kitten in order to write a long and beautiful love story.
1 - Adopting a kitten on a crush
Her adorable face makes you crush. It's decided, you adopt it! Don't stop at the physical characteristics of a kitten and mature your reflection because if all goes well, he will be with you for the next fifteen years. Before you get started, find out about the character and needs of the different breeds of cats so you can choose the one that best suits your lifestyle. A cat is independent but social: ask yourself if you can leave him alone at home. If he lacks solicitation in your absence, he may become depressed. Do you have outside? On the other hand, kittens must stay long enough with their mother to be better socialized. Do not adopt him before he is two months old, ideally three months.
2 - Neglecting the kitten's education
Unlike the dog, the cat is a territorial and solitary species that adopt a more independent and less hierarchical behavior within a group. As such, its education will be less easy and you cannot expect the same degree of obedience as with a doggie. This is why it is necessary to start his education as soon as he arrives at home and to create a solid bond to gain his confidence. What he will learn in the first years of his life will forge his character forever.
3 - Do not get your kitten used to be handled
It is strongly advised to start handling the kitten very early so that it gets used to the contact with people: first yourself and then the other members of the family. Caress him, take him on your lap. Gestures must be done gently: try to carry your cat with care. Avoid catching it like a child, by supporting it under the chest, both legs in front, and the rest of the body in the vacuum because this position is generally not appreciated by felines. Don't make the sessions take too long or make him feel harassed. One goal is to make handling pleasant (at worst acceptable), for example in anticipation of veterinary care.
4 - Do not set limits for your kitten
Teaching respect to your kitten aims to show her the limits not to cross, especially during her playtime. If she scratches or bites too hard, always reprimand her with the same sentence, but without shouting so as not to panic her: a "no" expressed in a firm tone should stop her in her tracks. Another piece of advice: Avoid amusing him with your hands or feet, because as he grows older he may develop this habit and hurt you more seriously. It is, therefore, better to teach him to play with a toy such as a feather or rope.
5 - Do not socialize your kitten
The kitten's socialization with other animals and people is a major step in its life learning process. If you have children, set precise rules with them: don't shout, don't run, don't make sudden movements, don't persist in handling or holding the kitten if the animal is not in the mood for cuddling. If you don't have children, try to socialize it as soon as possible with toddlers around you so that you won't be afraid of them afterward. You will also need to introduce him to other pets in the house under close supervision so that he doesn't become frightened. Invite your loved ones so that the kitten can get used to meeting other humans other than those in the family circle.
6 - Getting angry at your kitten
The kitten's mother immediately punishes painful bites, scratches, or violent games with a paw on the nose or a grip on the neck skin. When he will be at home, you will have to continue his learning with firmness. Be careful however not to confuse authority with nervousness. This may seem obvious but you must not shout at your little feline or hit him. Generally speaking, any direct physical contact (hand, foot) is not recommended to punish him. If the kitten has done something stupid or if he annoys you, try to scold him at the precise moment when he did his stupidity.
7 - Do not clean your kitten
In principle, the kitten learns to be clean from its mother during the first weeks of its life. However, this learning must be acquired again when he arrives at your home. Once the litter box has been installed, put your kitten in it and she should instinctively know how to use it. Shortly after each meal, take your kitten to the litter box so that she can associate this time of day with her vital needs. If your cat relieves himself in the house and you have seen him, place him in the litter box. Do not scold your cat unless you catch him in the act. If after several days your cat continues to sulk over the litter box, products that release artificial pheromones may dissuade him from marking his territory wherever he wants.
8 - Don't give your kitten time
If the cat is a fundamentally independent animal, don't imagine that you will have nothing to do and that it will take care of itself. Try to devote a moment of daily play to your cat so that it can grow and strengthen the bond with you. To entertain him without disturbing the neighbors, take a ping-pong ball, bounce it off the wall and let the kitten run after it. You can also hide a cuddly toy under a blanket and shake it to make it think it's a living creature. Choose several short play sessions a day, between five and fifteen minutes each.
9 - Do not decorate your environment
A bored cat can multiply the nonsense in your absence. Only a few weeks old, the kitten naturally starts hiding in strategic places and bickering with other cats. Then his hunting instinct awakens and he is driven by the desire to hunt and pounce on prey. To meet his needs, purchase a cat tree where he will find hiding places and scratching posts. The store is full of accessories, toys, and games for cats that will stimulate his agility and intelligence.
10 - Do not familiarize your kitten with the car
With rare exceptions, cats do not like to travel by car. Every trip generates noise, movement, and unusual odors that can stress the pet. This is why it is essential to get your kitten used to the car from a young age. Even if you don't plan to make long trips afterward, you will necessarily need to take her to the veterinarian. Beyond her vaccination and deworming, annual appointments are intended to check that everything is fine or to detect a possible illness. An eleventh mistake would be to neglect his health!
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