Cats are not small dogs, and as a result training a cat isn’t exactly the same as training a dog. Generally speaking, the process of training a cat is more challenging for people accustomed to training dogs or other animals because kittens are much more independent and less interested in the opinions of humans than other house pets. However, with the proper techniques and lots of patience, you can train your kitten to be a happy, healthy, and mostly obedient companion.
A kitten is born, its eyes and ears open, it gets teeth, and then weans from nursing to eating solid kitten food. There are a lot of changes that happen in just the first couple of months of a kitten’s life. But the next few months are also full of changes and new experiences for a growing kitten. Between three and six months of age, a kitten’s body shape will start to fill out. This means a kitten will start to get more muscular and evolve from a round-bellied baby to a lean and slender young adult.
Most kittens are sexually mature by the time they are about six months of age, but this can vary from cat to cat with some breeds developing more slowly or more quickly. Once a cat reaches sexual maturity, it may start to act differently due to the hormones that are now circulating within its body. Female kittens may go into a heat cycle and demonstrate behaviors such as crying and holding their tail up in the air while male kittens may become more aggressive.
Surgery to spay or neuter a kitten will eliminate the behaviors caused by the hormones circulating throughout its body.Spaying and neutering are very common surgical procedures, and by six month of age most kittens are having one of these procedures done to females get spayed and males get neutered, but both surgeries are removing the reproductive organs in a kitten.
With these organs removed, less sexual hormones are being produced, a cat is unable to reproduce, and the risk of many types of cancer are eliminated or greatly lowered.Kittens between the ages of three and six months should be eating an AAFCO-approved, formulated kitten food to receive all of their nutritional requirements. They will continue to eat this food until they are about nine to twelve months old. As a kitten approaches six months of age, you may have to regulate how much you feed it if it is gaining too much weight.
Every kitten food has a different amount of calories per cup of food, so you will need to follow the feeding.Your veterinarian will recommend the best time to spay or neuter your kitten and may also recommend preoperative blood screening be performed before the surgery. This blood screening will not only show whether or not your kitten is healthy enough for anesthesia, but it will also establish baseline normal values for your kitten. These baseline values will be useful to compare future blood work to as your cat ages.
Read also: How to train an 8 month old Husky
How to train a 6 month old cat
The period between three and six months of age is important for training a kitten on where it can and cannot go in the house, what items are acceptable to play with and even teaching it its name. You reinforce a good behavior with these:
- Verbal praise
- Petting should be used to reinforce good behaviors.
Litter box training should come naturally to a kitten but there are special litters designed to attract kittens if you are concerned about it not knowing where to potty. Make sure your kitten can get in and out of the litter box and knows where to find all of the boxes in the house. If you have one kitten you should have at least two litter boxes in separate locations, ideally on each floor of a multi-level home.
Many people think getting a cat to listen to commands is impossible. This is not the case. While cats can be more challenging to train than dogs, with time and patience you can get a cat to listen to you better. To start, establish a rewards system. Find a way to make your cat understand when it is behaving well. Train your cat daily, in short sessions, so it understands appropriate behavior. Correct poor behavior in the moment, but do so gently.