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# Don’t overload your kitten the first few days or weeks you bring them home. Introduce her one day at a time to the rooms in your house, making sure she always knows where her food, water and litter box is. This is important so your kitten doesn’t become too stressed while getting to know you and her new house.
# Keep your kitten separate from your other pets in the beginning. When you do introduce them, supervise them and be prepared to separate them if need be. Some experts recommend bathing pets right before you introduce them so they will smell alike.
# Set up a litter box for your kitten (her own if you have other cats) with a few inches of litter in it, away from her food source. Be prepared to scoop out any material twice a day. If your kitten is less than 3 months old, you should not use a clumping litter; clumping litters can cause problems in the digestive systems of kittens less than three months old.
To teach your kitten to use the litter box, put your kitten into the box and drag her paw through the litter. Most kittens figure out what to do from here, but just to make certain, place your kitten in the litter box after eating, in the morning, before bed and after your kitten sleeps. Most kittens learn how to use the litter box quickly, but if your kitten doesn’t, consider if the litter box is too close to the kitten’s food or not being kept clean enough. Never, ever hit or punish a kitten who misses the litter box, but give her treats and positive words for using it correctly.
# Give your kitten a scratching post and show her what do with it. You can make the scratching post more usable by rubbing catnip on it. If you catch your kitten scratching furniture or the floor, make the spot less desirable by covering it with aluminum foil, double-sided tape or putting a net or tulle over the top of it. Kittens rarely like the sound aluminum foil makes, they don’t like getting their paws stuck to tape and they hate getting their claws snagged as they would on netting or tulle.
# Use positive reinforcement. When you catch your kitten using the litter box or using the scratching post, be prepared with positive words, stroking and a quick treat.
# Teach your kitten how to play. While it’s very cute when kittens pounce on fingers and toes, kittens will continue this behavior when they’re cats (and it’s not so cute, but painful). Give your kitten toys she can play with such as a sock stuffed with catnip and sewed closed. If your kitten pounces on your fingers or toes, emit a high-pitched noise or tell her ‘NO’ firmly. Do not hit your kitten for inappropriate playing, but give her treats, positive words and pet her when she plays appropriately.
# If you decide to discipline your cat, many experts recommended using the squirt bottle method, sparingly. Give your kitten a quick squirt with a squirt bottle filled with water when she does something you don’t like such as scratching furniture or jumping onto counters or furniture. Many experts debate the efficacy of this method since cats tend to retaliate with poor behavior or continue to do the behavior anyways. If you combine this method with positive reinforcement (treats, stroking and positive words), you will likely see better results.
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