A kitten climbs out of its carrier.

Cats seem like they come perfectly skilled at living with humans, as if the learning curve to cohabitation doesn’t apply to them. While it’s true that cats are pretty savvy at picking up the routine of a new household, they do benefit from learning some basics from their owners. 

Luckily, kitten training is fairly straightforward. When they know what to do (and, perhaps more importantly, where to do it!), cats can enjoy lifelong health and happiness at home. 

The Importance of the Right Gear

An essential part of kitten training centers on providing them with the right stuff. It may be unrealistic to expect a kitten not to scratch up your furniture if they don’t have their own scratching post. In the same way, the following items must be a big part of your kitten’s day to day life:

  • Litter box, litter and scoop
  • Age-appropriate cat food and treats
  • Water and food bowls
  • Bedding
  • Cat tree or other climbing structure
  • Grooming supplies
  • Toothbrush and feline-formulated toothpaste 
  • Toys
  • Collar and ID tag
  • Carrier

Once they know what belongs to them, they’ll likely start to mark items with the scent glands located on and near their mouth. Encourage them to use and accept all the gear over time. Reward them with praise, scratches, cuddles, and maybe a healthy treat or two.

Crate Training Cats

Cats do not receive as much veterinary care as other pets. This can often be explained by the fact that cat owners give up on the struggle to get their cats into the travel crates. 

Ideally, crate training should be introduced to kittens as soon as they come home. Learning that their crate is happy, comfortable, and safe helps them accept it as a relaxing place to hang out. 

This process makes it easier to take your cat in for their yearly wellness exam, and reduces stress during an emergency.

Litter Box Action

Kitten training must involve an introduction to their litter box, and patience when things go awry. While many kittens are already potty trained before adoption, some little ones need help and positive reinforcement. 

Be sure that their litter box is small enough for them to access, and upgrade as they grow. Take them to their litter box directly after meals and react enthusiastically when they use it appropriately.

Other Elements of Kitten Training

If your kitten ever tries to scratch your furniture, carpeting or curtains, lovingly redirect them to their scratching post. You may have to apply double-sided tape or other deterrents until they get the hint. 

Similarly, kitten training might include keeping your cat away from plants, decor and the pantry. This effort is meant to keep your cat safe, of course, and might eventually result in full removal of items if they cannot stay away from them.

Smart and Agile

Keeping your kitten engaged and entertained helps reduce problematic behaviors. Aim for at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted play time every day, and add time if they give signs that they need to get the zoomies out. Many kittens can also be trained to perform tricks or run through agility courses. 

If you need help with socializing your kitten or teaching them the basics of kitten training, please let us know. As your partner in complete kitten and cat care, we can’t wait to help you build a strong foundation of feline health and happiness.