Getting a new kitten is always so exciting from all the fun toys to the cute little sounds they make, but of course, they don’t stay that little and rambunctious forever. So hopefully these tips can help your kitten grow into a cat who is fun and still a kitten at heart no matter how old they get.
One big thing that sometimes gets lost as your kitten grows from just a little baby into an adult cat is their fearlessness and willingness to try new things. One way to help your kitten grown into a courageous and playful cat is to expose them to different things slowly when they are young so when they come across them as they get older they don’t get as nervous. For example many cats get nervous of strangers in their house. A great way to make this a positive experience is to reward the kitten when it is friendly and approaching the people you let into your home, this can be with treats if they are a food motivated kitty or even just some snuggles if that is what they love. The more positive outcomes they have with new people the more willing they will be to greet your guests as they get older. One thing to keep in mind is to continue the positivity even if they are seeming quite comfortable with having guests over, the more they are involved and praised the more they will want to hang out with everyone.
Exposing your kitten to different places is also very helpful, try to think of places that you may continue to bring your kitten as her or she ages such as your vet clinic. This can be a scary place for cats since there is generally a lot of noises, smells and people that they are not used to. Bringing your kitten to the vet on a regular basis is a great way to help them build confidence and get them comfortable with the environment and smells of their clinic. Of course, the vaccines that come along with the visit aren’t always well received that is why I recommend also just bringing the kitten in for a visit and a couple treats. This helps them to learn that when they come to the clinic it doesn’t always mean someone is going to trim their nails or give them a vaccine. Just bringing them into the main reception area in their carrier and positively reinforcing a curious behaviour will help them to welcome new experiences as they age. Just as I had mentioned above it is important that visits like this continue throughout their life to constantly reinforce their confidence in new places and their comfort in new situations.
The best thing to do for your new little friend is to always positively reinforce their natural curiosity and playfulness, they love to be included in as much of your life as possible and the more that you include them and show them things the stronger the bond between you will be. So play with them throughout their whole life and continue to keep them involved and they will be the greatest little friend you could ask for.
Written by Carlie Brown RVT