Your contribution to the foundations of your kitten’s learning is limited; but their education can be straightforward; as long as the goal is clear and the right behavior is rewarded at the right time.
To educate the cat it is better to have short sessions and at frequent intervals; away from other distractions, with a reward much appreciated by him and if the behavior that is being taught was not associated with a negative situation in the past.
How cats learn
Your kitten’s basic education takes place from birth to 6 months; with the main role of the mother and interaction with siblings. A kitten begins by imitating his mother’s actions, and then learns for himself; through experimentation. Therefore, your contribution to the fundamentals of your kitten’s education is limited, but you still have a responsibility to complete their socialization in the context of a new environment.
The role of the mother cat
It is recommended that you wait until your kitten is at least two months old before separating him from his mother and siblings. Cat mothers play a fundamental role in raising their kittens; as they teach them social and hygiene habits by example and through play; as well as feeding them, keeping them under control, comforting and protecting them.
Your kitten is also influenced by its environment. A kitten that has been in contact with different people and animals from a very young age will be a more balanced cat.
Tips for educating kittens
Tips for educating kittens
Principles of your kitten’s education
Although at first, the kitten will imitate the behavior of its mother; then it will begin to experiment on its own. Part of this experimentation is learning the consequences of their actions. Basically, if you like these consequences; you will tend to repeat the actions that lead to them.
Biting and scratching
The kitten should understand what is allowed and what is not as soon as possible; before his nails and teeth are fully developed. When playing with his siblings, the bites and scratches the kitten receives help him determine how aggressive he can be by using his teeth and nails without causing harm.
Use the sandbox
Around five or six weeks of age, the kitten will have learned to use its litter box. If not, place it in the sandbox often; especially after meals. He carefully takes his paws and digs a hole with them so that he gets used to covering his excrement. Repeating it once or twice should be enough.
You will only be able to educate your kitten to a certain level, but if you look closely at their body language; the sounds they emit and their facial expression, you will come to understand their behavior and be more prepared to ensure their well-being.
The cat is a nocturnal species, so, despite having been in contact with humans for millennia and having a life with a lot of daytime activity; it is not strange that the kitten can spend much of its “active” time during the night.
This can be torture when we want to sleep; so to get a kitten to sleep through the night you must keep it very active during the day; better if you play with it for a while before bedtime.
If during the night he wakes you up because he is active; do not pay attention to him if it is not strictly necessary, since he can interpret it as a game and with it you would encourage that behavior.
If the kitten does not stop crying, do not think of giving him something to eat so that he is silent or stop bothering; also so you encourage him to continue doing so. Of course, make sure that the cause of whining is not a disease by consulting with a veterinarian.
One of the basic behaviors of the kitten is play, with it they learn to relate to their siblings and develop skills that will enable them to hunt. It is this hunting impulse that leads the kitten to hold your hands with the claws and bite them; just as if it were a prey.
An attitude so natural and that does not cause any harm when it does it with its brothers, can be terrible for you with those nails and teeth so pointed; which are much worse because the kitten still does not control its strength.
Don’t use your hands to play. Since the kitten bites playing; your hands can end up battered if you use them to play with him. Also for this reason the kitten bites its feet.
Use cat toys. There is only one way for the kitten to stop nibbling on everything; making cat toys available to them, in addition; they will encourage exercise, which helps keep overweight at bay.
Patience and perseverance
It is not always easy to educate cats; in fact, about 15 percent of them resist socializing with people. If the kitten has been picked up from the street and has not been socialized with people it may be more difficult; but… not impossible! With some perseverance, any kitten can become a perfect companion.
However, be more or less socialized; when it comes to setting behaviors in your kitten you must be intransigent in the orders. With just once you allow him to do something you will ruin all the effort made.
Of course, although the learning of the cat requires a lot of patience and perseverance on your part; be sure that cats also learn, in their own way.