Kitten Training Tips for Beginners

Kitten training is possible if you set reasonable goals and approach training and kitten care with consistency and knowledge. The primary goals for training should include litter training kittens and training them to use a scratching post. This article will focus on potty training kittens using knowledge of how kittens learn and basic techniques for beginners in kitten care.

Learn About Your Kitten

If you know how your kitten learns, you can create more success in kitten training and gain the upper hand in potty training kittens. Kittens learn from association and experience. If they have a positive experience with the litter box, they will use it again. They will in turn avoid negative experience. If a kitten learns that bad behavior, i.e. not using the litter box, gets a desired result, i.e. having the area they've soiled immediately cleaned or getting picked up by the owner, they will likely repeat the behavior.

Stop Using Punishment

From years of research on behavioral conditioning, we know that rewarding desired behavior yields much better results than punishing unwanted behavior. Punishment for eliminating outside the box often teaches the kitten to fear the owner and to make sure to make the mistake only when the owner isn't around. Stop using punishment and reprimands during

Create a Positive Relationship with Your Kitten

Kittens that feel loved and attended to have less behavioral problems than cats that feel neglected, especially where the litter box is concerned. Keep your interactions with your kitten positive and playful. Spend at least 10 minutes a day playing with your kitten. Keep their water and food fresh and keep feeding times consistent. Keep all physical contact positive so that your kitten associates you with affection and love. Your cat will reward you with the behaviors you desire as well as with purring and sweetness.

Introduce the Litter Box

Before you bring your new kitten home, have a new litter box set up with clean litter inside it. The best place for a litter box is in an enclosed and quiet area away from high traffic areas of the home and away from carpets and furniture. For best results, choose a laundry room or bathroom, or perhaps an empty closet if at all possible. When you first bring the kitten home, show them the litter box and speak gently and positively to the kitten. Offer praise and a treat when the kitten sniffs the box or goes near it.

Reward Litter Box Use

In litter training kittens, make the use of the litter box immediately rewarding. Keep the litter box extremely clean. After your kitten eats or drinks, gently take him or her to the litter box area, go in with the kitten, and close the door. Whenever the kitten approaches the box, use a happy encouraging voice and say things like, "good kitty going to the box". Eventually, the kitten will naturally gravitate toward the litter box. When you do catch the kitten eliminating in the box, offer major praise and treats right afterwards.

Maintain consistency in feeding times and in keeping the litter box area clean and quiet. For the first 6 months with a young kitten or a previously non-house trained cat, enclose your pet in a room while away from the house. Have the clean litter box at one end of the room and fresh water and a soft bed at the other end of the room.