The selection of a kitten as a new pet is in itself an acceptance that unlike the dog the cat will not be as controllable nor impressed by our wishes as sometimes we would like. Cats by definition follow their feline instincts to the full. Before you obtain a kitten do read up on their behaviour and needs before making the final decision to purchase. If there is any behaviour in their make up that you don’t care for – get another animal that fits in more with your idea of a pet.
I do not believe that one should get a kitten unless it will eventually have access to the outside world. So high rise flats are out. Its essential not to let the kitten out until its fully established in your home which may be a month or more depending on your location, traffic and other geography factors including neighbours cats.
Breeds vary immensely and different breeders will explain individual feline traits. I personally like moggies, strong robust and full of fun. Cats are solitary creatures and though many people have more than one cat, this is quite alien to the species design and instinct. They are not pack animals like dogs. Two kittens can be habituated to get on though if its two you want get them at the same age. Older cats do not take to new interlopers as well as we would often wish.
Kittens are released by breeders at different ages though about 12 weeks seems to be common. I again like to obtain kitten slightly younger so as to improve their temperament and habituation to their new world – the home. It is critical to good temperament formation (socialisation) that kittens are handled from 2 weeks of age by the breeders and several times daily as this produces the best handler friendly cats and less fearful which is good for their future owner.
Cat House Training
Litter training Kittens is not a difficult job and their natural instinct to dig and secrete their droppings is easily manipulated and redirected to the litter tray. I use garden soil as substrate but many manufactured types are available. Using renewable types like recycled paper is a must.
Cats are arboreal and love playing
Kittens are amazingly, playful and avid little hunters. Your trouser leg, paper balls and the plethora of toys on the market make it easy to fulfil the kittens hunting and prey catching behaviours whilst it develops into a model family cat.
Cat Destruction Scratching
Behaviourally kittens can damage your home as they explore. This is an innocent act initiated by the pets’ inquisitiveness. Therefore, its incumbent upon your to provide safe toys, a cat gym or scratching post. This equipment will direct your kitten to practice its hunting, clawing and other acrobatics on the kitten equipment and not your home – some people learn the expensive way – think cat and all will be well.
My cat Lilly has fields and plenty of rodent life to catch and eat. However, for most cat owners prepared foods are preferred to dead animals. Half eaten birds and rodents strewn about the kitchen floor is not everybody’s idea of pet keeping though a fact of life for the cat. Food and water are to be provided and I would always try and use wet cat foods from tins or sachets – check for chemical additives, – the fewer the better for the cat’s health and longevity.
Natural Food for Cats Raw is Best
My cats’ teeth have never been brushed as this dental effort is not generally cherished by cats. Of course Lilly’s teeth are lovely and white due to the tearing action of her wild life food supply. Modern foods including dry foods do not clean cats teeth as tearing actions of flesh do so beware of such claims on packets of foods. I always recommend Natural Instinct raw food for health and the real diet a cat should eat. No dry food is it’s equal.
Training kittens where they can go and can’t go is quite a challenge to say the least. It can be difficult as cats unlike dogs are great climbers, using the word no and placing the cat on the floor when repeated can have a good effect.
However, where you prepare food knowing what cats paws stand in (litter tray) cat can learn where not to climb by the judicious surprise of a jet of water from pistol consistently without you the perpetrator having anything to do with the wet shower – well so the kitten should think. However, cats will be cats and they do like laying a high on chairs and such places they are truly arboreal and feel safe on high. Sometimes I allow my cats certain high positions which they learn they can occupy with my approval. Its a case of perseverance.
Some Kitten facts
- Socialisation period begins at 2 weeks
- Play begins at 3 weeks
- Play is a rehearsal for future hunting
- Kittens can learn by observation
- Kittens hunt by instinct
- Kittens play with prey to numb it not torture it