Learn how to get your cat off your laptop while you’re trying to use it.
By Justyne Yuen-Lee
Kittens, like all baby animals, are all sorts of fun as they discover the world and explore everything, including your fingertips. They are innocent and full of gentle wonder, just like human children. Things can change when they grow up – I’ve encountered some adult cats that immediately hiss at me and swat at my face. On the other hand, I’ve met cats that saunter over and start rubbing their body against my leg.
So, what is it that makes a kitty friendly when they grow up? According to Claire Bessant, the CEO of International Cat Care, there are many ways to help shape a kitten into a well-balanced adult; it’s about stopping unwanted behaviors early. By doing so, you can even get them to stop using your furniture as an overpriced scratching post!
It’s adorable when kittens dangle off your finger…when they’re three pounds and have baby teeth. But once they start growing, it gets less cute and more painful. Bessant advises to use toys instead of fingers so that cats don’t see your hands and feet as playthings. If your cats nip when they start to get excited, settle them down by walking away so they learn not to get attention from biting.
If someone came to pick me up periodically in a black van and brought me to the dentist (or something equally unbearable), I would also dread the sight of the van. In the same way, if cats only see the cat carrier as a vet trip, they’ll know to hide in the very tight corners of your home. To prevent this, keep the carrier out regularly so your kitten knows what it is. Let your kitten play and eat in it too! This way the carrier will have your kitten’s scent in it.
Cats need to sharpen their claws and mark their territory and don’t give a rat’s –ahem- butt where they do. Bessant suggests introducing kittens to a sturdy scratching post as early as possible. Since kittens don’t start scratching until five or six months, you can use this time to help them mark their scent on the designated post. This way, they will gravitate toward it more than your expensive lounge chairs.