Before you get a new kitten or adopt an adult cat, make sure you complete your education about kitty education.
If you are already living with an untrained cat with existing problems, simply designate today as the first day at Kitty College for both of you. Kitten training techniques work perfectly well with adult cats.
Check that the kitten was raised indoors, around human companionship and influence. Ask the breeder how many strangers, especially including men and children, have handled and gentled the kittens.
Spend at least an hour observing, playing with, and hugging and handling (restraining and examining), your prospective kitten.
To get a representative feel for your kitten's overall demeanor, make sure that you observe her while she sleeps, when she plays, and when she is wild.
Check that the kitten already uses a litter box and plays with her scratching post.
Choosing an adult cat is a very personal choice: choose the one that likes all family members best, and choose the one you all like best. The secret to adopting the perfect cat is patience, patience, patience, and selection, selection, selection.
The perfect cat is waiting for you somewhere, and so take your time to choose with your head as well as your heart.
The first week your kitten or cat spends in your home is the most important week of her life.
From the very first day, start an errorless housetraining and scratching post training program so that you prevent any house soiling and destructive clawing or chewing problems.
When you are not at home, leave your kittycat in a long-term confinement area (cat playroom), which has a comfortable bed, fresh water, a litterbox, and a scratching post with several cat toys and chewtoys (stuffed with food) hanging from the top.
Long-term confinement prevents mistakes around the house and maximizes the likelihood your kittycat will learn to use her toilet and learn to play with her toys and scratching post.
When you are at home but cannot pay full attention to your kittycat, confine her to a small, short-term confinement area (cat carrying crate) with a couple of stuffed chewtoys and dangly
Confining your kittycat prevents any mistakes around the house, maximizes the likelihood she will learn to play with her toys, and allows you to predict when she would like to relieve herself. Knowing when your kittycat wants to go makes litterbox training easy, because all you have to do is show her where to go and reward her for going.
Closely confining a kittycat temporarily inhibits elimination.
Give her hourly access to the litterbox, and she will promptly pee (and sometimes poop). Then voice gentle appreciation and give her three liver treats as a reward.
Confinement is a temporary management and training measure.
Once your kittycat has learned where to eliminate and what to scratch, she may enjoy full-run of your house for the rest of her life.
Until she is trained, do not feed your kittycat from a food bowl.
Set aside some kibble to use for safety training, and stuff some of her food into hollow Kong chewtoys with the odd piece of freeze-dried liver. Moisten dry kibble, squish it into the Kong cavity, and place it in the freezer overnight. In the morning suspend the stuffed Kongs from the top of her scratching post.
Your kittycat will spend a long time eating, and in the process will be automatically rewarded for playing with her toys and scratching post.
When cats are scared, they run and hide, sometimes remaining in hiding for several days. Indoor cats are especially scared if they escape outdoors (usually when strangers visit the house).
Safety training is essential. You should teach your cat to come when called. The process is simple.
Before every mealtime, call your cat and have him follow you from room to room before putting his stuffed Kongs (and the following cat) in his confinement area. From time to time throughout the day, call your cat and handfeed a piece of kibble or freeze-dried liver when he comes. Back up and repeat the process several times.
If you like, you can use a silent dog whistle instead of calling your cat.
It's a fact! Indoor cats have a longer life-expectancy than indoor-outdoor cats.
First, neuter or spay your cat and he or she will be less likely to roam. (Circulating sex hormones fragment normal brain function.)
Second, make sure your home is cat-proof.
To learn more, read our cat Behavior Booklets, available from dogwise.com. To raise and train your cat, you will need a cat-carrying crate, a very comfortable cat bed, water bowl, litter box, scratching post, hollow chewtoys, catnip toys, and freeze-dried liver, all available from your local pet store or online at www.amazon.com.
AZ PET PRO'S has the author's and publisher's permission to duplicate and distribute this behavior blueprint.
BEHAVIOR BLUEPRINTS from www.jamesandkenneth.com. w w w . d o g s t a r d a i l y . c o m
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