How, indeed can you train a little "piece of fur ball", that has a mind of its own and basically does whatever it wants to? Well, if you are planning to teach your kitten how to sit, stay, and heel, then it is best to just get a dog itself.
So instead of training your cat to behave like a dog, teach it skills like using a litter box rather than soiling your shoes and your closet. Before you can embark on the cat training process, you need to understand that you will have to invest ample amounts of time, supervision, and effort to train that ball of mischief, curiosity, and energy.
How to Train a Kitten to Use the Litter Box?
Cats eliminate in sand and soil and usually a kitten that has not been weaned away from its mother too early, will learn to identify this behavior observing the mother cat. So a kitten which is around three weeks old will already know how to use a litter box by that age.
The first step in the process is to get a litter tray and some cat litters. There are many commercial cat trays available in the market that gives your kitten plenty of room to move around in and also has low sides to climb into. In addition to this, you need to get the cat litter that is not scented and cannot be accidentally ingested by the kitten.
In the initial weeks, ensure that your untrained kitten does not have full run of the house. Instead, stick to a room where you have placed the litter box. When you see the cat fidgeting around and finding a place to eliminate, gently pick it up and put him in the litter box. Mostly, the kitten would try digging the floor or want to go off to a quiet corner.
Now take one of its paws gently but firmly and scratch the litter with it. This stimulation of the scratching and digging can help the cat associate the box with the place that it needs to go every time it wants to poop or pee. If the kitten defecates in the litter box, then praise it profusely.
Also, thoroughly clean the area in which the "accidents" have occurred so as to remove the all traces of the urine and feces. Please do not use punishment as a training tactic when dealing with pets.
How to Train a Kitten not to Scratch?
Although it may be quite problematic for you, remember that scratching is essential for your cat as it helps it work the muscles of the front quarters, clean its claws, and mark its territory. The only way to train a kitten not to scratch is by discouraging it from scratching things you don't want them ripping up, such as sofas, chairs, and your legs.
The first step is to get it a good scratching post that has a rough surface to shred and is tall enough for it to extend its body. Sisal scratching posts which are at least twenty five inches tall and extremely stable are the perfect choice for the cats. Place the post in an area used by the family, especially, in a place where the cat goes to scratch.
You can encourage the kitten to use the post by rubbing some catnip onto it or feeding and playing with it round the post. Each time the kitty uses the post, praise, and reward it profusely.
Also, cover up the areas where you do not want the kitten to scratch with things like aluminum foils or add some lemon-scented sprays to it to make it less agreeable for the cats.
In addition to teaching and training a kitten to use a litter box, you also have to understand that it is important to train a kitten to not bite. While a little kitten pouncing at your fingers may seem cute but this painful behavior may continue as they grow older.
If the kitten pounces on your finger, then use a sharp "No" and pat it lightly on the nose. A tap, only means a small little tap and not a smack on its nose. This will help the kitten associate the behavior with something bad and thus, stop it.
Rewarding the cat for the good behavior and being patient with the training helps the kitten learn faster. With a bit of patience, understanding, some compromise, and a big sense of humor, training your little ball of mischief is not all that difficult.