Kittens can be a handful at times. Having a young kitten around the home is not only incredibly fun and entertaining, but it can also be challenging.
You have a responsibility to train them too, so you can’t let them run riot non-stop. This means giving them a firm ‘no’ when they are doing something they shouldn’t be.
But doing this incorrectly can cause them some distress, and potentially change their personality for the worse.
Sudden loud noises like shouting or clapping your hands can be particularly stressful. Although it is a viable and useful tactic in training kittens.
You just need to know how loud to be, and when. Otherwise you could encourage some aggressive problems.
There are some things you should never do to a kitten, no matter how annoyed you are. This includes shouting loudly at them, or hitting and shaking them. These practices are unacceptable.
Instead, you’re going to need to be armed with a lot of patience, and a spray bottle with water in.
This is more than enough to straighten out their behavior, and help your kitten develop into a loving, fun cat.
You need to read the kitten’s body language and behavior too. They shouldn’t become scared of you.
A scared cat will grow up to be very nervous around humans and untrusting. This is unnatural behavior, and will make it difficult for them to live a healthy and enjoyable life.
Understanding Kitten Behavior and Body Language
Meowing and Vocalizing
A kitten develops the ability to meow at a very young age. It can range from low to high pitched noise, and is almost certainly used to gain you attention. They will make noise when they want feeding or fussing, so be attentive to this.
Interestingly cats developed such a wide range of vocal noises to interact with humans. They use very little noise with other cats, usually only when they are angry or stressed. So if your kitty meows, check out what it wants.
A Happy Kitty Purrs
Hearing your kitten purr for the first time is one of those animal-owner moments that should be enjoyed. Because it means that your kitten is extremely happy.
Animal behavioral experts have studied purring for some time and there are a few reasons for it. It’s true that cats also purr when they are stressed sometimes. But this is to help calm themselves.
They also purr when they want your attention. Or don’t want you to leave. Either way it’s usually a good sign that your kitten is settling in just fine and is very happy.
Reasons for Hissing and Growling
We have all seen cats hiss or growl, and we all know it’s not a good sign. If you do something that provokes this reaction from your kitten, stop doing it. It may even puff its fur out to try and look bigger, another defensive tactic.
It can happen when kittens are still discovering the world for the first time, so it’s not always when they are in danger. It will likely happen then they meet other animals for the first time. But kittens are usually quick to make friends with new animals.
Rubbing and Scenting
Kittens will start leaving their scents on things around the house, and this includes you. It’s a natural instinct for cats, and a way for them to ‘label’ their territory.
If they are labelling you by rubbing around your legs, be honored. It’s another sign that they are very happy and content with their living surroundings.
Stretching out and Rolling on Their Backs
Cats are always mindful of their position defensively if they feel threatened in any way. When a kitten rolls over onto its back it’s showing you that it doesn’t feel threatened in any way.
It looks funny too when cats are stretched out on their backs I’m sure you’ll agree. It’s also an invitation for a belly rub too, who wouldn’t enjoy that.
Reading the Signs behind Their Tail Motions
Kittens, and cats, give away a lot about how they are feeling through how they control their tails. If your kitten is happy and content, they will likely be holding their tail in an upright position.
However, a scared kitten will tuck its tail between its legs. The one to look out for is when a kitten or cat is swishing their tail around.
This is usually a sign that the cat is angry and ready to attack. You will also notice then when they have their sights set on a target while hunting.
Noticing Changes with Their Ears
Happy kitty’s have perk and upright ears. This means they are happy and taking in sounds from all around. However, if you see them with their ears folded flat onto their heads it means quite the opposite.
It’s best to leave them alone when they are in this mood. You’re likely to be met with some aggression if you try to give them some fussing.
Puffy Fur and Licking Lips
Two signs that a feline is in a high state of awareness and potentially about to be aggressive is seeing their fur standing on end, and continually licking their lips.
The puff their fur up to try and look bigger and intimidate other cats. While licking their lips is a sign of nervousness. Give your kitty some space if you see either of these actions.
Related Reading: Cats and Food
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that their diet should consist primarily of meat. However, some fruits and vegetables can be added to their diet as a source of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. It is important to note that not all human foods are safe for cats to eat.
For example, cats should not eat caramel popcorn or bologna as they contain ingredients that can be harmful to cats. While cats can eat some bones, like raw chicken bones, they should not be given cooked bones as they can splinter and cause internal damage. Stray and feral cats often rely on a diet of small animals like birds and rodents, but they may also eat human food scraps if available.
It is important to note that any new food introduced to your cat’s diet should be done so gradually and with the guidance of a veterinarian to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your cat’s individual needs. Additionally, while cats can consume small amounts of vanilla ice cream, it should not be a regular part of their diet as it contains high levels of sugar and fat (source).