5 Training Tips for New Kitten Owners
People often assume that cats are untrainable, but this just isn't true; felines are highly intelligent and can easily be taught a variety of behaviors. Begin training your kitten as soon as you bring him home, in order to give him the best chance of fitting in with your family. Here are five foundational training steps to take with your kitten.
1. Teach Your Cat to Sit
The more an animal is rewarded for a behavior, the more likely the behavior is to occur in the future. To make problem behavior less likely, teach a base behavior, like sit, that is heavily rewarded from the very beginning. To teach sit, mark the moment your kitten sits and reward immediately. A clicker can be used, or you can use your voice with a "good" or "yes" as the kitten's bottom hits the floor. Immediately after marking the sit, bring in the food reward, such as tuna or canned cat food on a spoon. If your kitten reaches up with his paw or stands on his hind feet, move the treat out of reach until all his feet are on the floor. This will prevent you from rewarding unwanted behavior (pawing and standing on his hind feet) instead of the desired behavior (sitting). Finally, be sure your cat is hungry - and thus interested in the reward - by training during meal times.