Post # 1
So I have two kittens that are 12 weeks old. Someone dropped them at my house about six weeks ago and I decided to keep the two of them and move out of my parents house. Start my own little family, if you will. The first few weeks they stayed in the bathroom and then the room in the basement and now I’m on business travel for the month before I move and they’re actually staying with me.
I’ve suddenly realized I have no idea how to teach a cat to do anything! They know they’re names and will come when I call them (most of the time) but I’m having trouble keepinig them off of stuff or chewing up anything that’s left out. My mom had a good laugh at me last night because I don’t have a mean bone in my body and couldn’t get them to stay out of the wires behind the entertainment stand.
I trained my dogs when I was younger, I’m good with that but I am at a loss as to how to start training these kittens. Any ideas? I feel kinda stupid typing training cats into the google bar…
Post # 3
Just to clarify I’m not trying to train them to sit or stay I’d just like them to have some boundries or stop doing something when I say ‘NO!” instead of just looking at me and going back to what they’re doing.
Post # 4
- Wedding: October 2010 - Ladder 15 Restaurant
Haha I’m not a cat owner, but maybe keep a squirt bottle of water around and spray them when they do something bad? Or is it just in the movies where cats don’t like to be wet? Hmm… lol
Sorry I can’t be more help, but I did think that this was funny! Good luck!
Post # 5
Be consistent. Use a spray bottle and sternly say “No!” when they do something wrong. Also, praise them when they do something right! All kittens are a bit bitey, so just teach them that biting isn’t okay. Don’t pull away if they bite or try to scratch you (you’ll get more scratched and they’ll also think it’s a game). Keep your hand where it is and say “NO”. You could tap them on the nose or something. My kitten is nearly a year now, and she’s ALL teeth, but when she bites I keep my hand where it is and say “What’s nice???” and she stops and licks me. I don’t know how we got her to do that. Probably by saying “Nice girl” when she licks rather than bites.
Consistency is key for us. If they hop up on the counter, tell them “No!” and take them down or shoo them away. I’ve never trained a dog, but cats aren’t really the same. One of my cats knows how to sit, but never in a million years could I get one of them to stay. They’re very independently minded creatures but they can be taught. At our old apartment, the cats were allowed on the kitchen counter (as a stepping stone to hopping up onto the top of the fridge, and then on top of the cabinets) but here at the house, no counters, no exceptions. They rarely do it, and the only one that does it’s because he wants to look out the window there, not to prove a point. Be patient. Use the word no. Use a spray bottle. Use google 😉 Good luck!
Post # 6
First congrats on your new little family! I have three kitties myself and although training them can be difficult if you are persistant and patient it pays off.
Two words: spray bottle. If you catch them getting into things they’re not supposed to/scratching things etc. Just give them a few quick sprays, say “no!” and they’ll quickly retreat. You have to be persistant and make sure you try to correct them everytime you see it happening. They’ll quickly connect the dots and stop the bad behaviour.
Post # 7
Spraying water works very well for us – but you have to be quick to get them while they’re doing something wrong…
Eventually, they’ll stop what they’re doing/planning to do as soon as they see you reach for the bottle.
Post # 8
I had only had dogs before we got our cat, so I was at a loss to as to how to train kittens also!
Our vet recommended when they do a behavior you don’t like (especially if it’s like biting/clawing you) to clap your hands once (loudly) and say “NO”. Cats are smart, and even though they are not pack animals like dogs, they understand when they are doing something that makes you mad. She also recommended getting a spray bottle and spraying them once with water if they were doing something you don’t want them to do, like clawing your sofa. I never have used the spray-bottle method, but I know lots of people have. It doesn’t hurt them, just surprises them.
Make sure you give them plenty of kitten-approved scratching areas, and when ours was little and went to scratch the sofa, I would pick her up and put her right next to her scratching post (which we kept by the sofa, so it was easy to do).
One thing I would definitely recommend is to get them used to being put in a harness/leash if they will be indoors only cats (which, I hope they will be!). Our cat doesn’t mind getting her harness on – in fact she just stands there and even “helps” to put it on – if you hold it out to her, she’ll put her paws in where they need to go to get strapped in. My parents are now trying to leash-train their 1.5 year cat, who is having NONE of it!
Also, start brushing them and clipping their nails while they are little too – I didn’t do this, and my cat HATES to be brushed now. She completely freaks out, so matter how I go about trying to brush her, and I wish I had gotten her used to being brushed when she was little.
Post # 9
I also find clapping really loudly/sharply helps. It scares them. One of my cats got used to the spray bottle and even though he didn’t love it, he’d just sit there looking grumpy with water spraying on his face, LOL!
Post # 10
It is very hard to train a cat. I am not a cat person at all, but this dear little kitten showed up on my doorstep one day and no one claimed her, so I kept her.
You won’t be able to keep them off of or out of everything, but you can teach them the word no or get down from there. Voice your command, and then move them off of or out of whatever it is that you are trying to get them off of or out of. Eventually they will listen. Mine only listens about 98% of the time. I still have to move her sometimes, and I know she gets into and onto things when I am not around. Make sure you move breakable away from anywhere you think they may be able to jump up to or on to. I have trained mine to go on a leash. I keep a harness on her, and when the weather is nice I take her outside and we walk to the end of the driveway. We have a semi=long driveway. I let her smell and explore the plants. She loves her leash and will sit where I have it hanging and meow/whine for me to take her out. I don’t let her go outside, unless I am with her. If you let yours outside without you, you can train them to let you know by hanging a bell on the door knob/latch for them to bat at. This works for the outside too, for them to let you know they want back in.
Don’t feel stupid for googling about training cats. I didn’t even think of that. I am just going by what I did when we had dogs.
Post # 11
another thing.. make sure to get them fixed at an early age. They heal faster and won’t get into any weird habits of going into heat or spraying.
Pick them up and hold them as much as possible, the younger they are the more easily they will learn to love attention instead of be annoyed by it.
I’ve also heard of people using hot sauce mixed with water or somesort of sour apple flavored spray on their wires and places where the cat shouldn’t go. I’ve never done this (never really needed to) but it might help them stay away from chewing wires when you aren’t around.
cats are easy once they know the rules of the house- just be consistent
Post # 12
I heartily agree with the spray bottle. Our cat now runs away when we pick up the bottle. A strong “NO” is good too.
Post # 13
I was thinking about the spray bottle but was wondering if it would cause a fear of water. I’ve been bathing them every two weeks to help with shedding and dander to keep the allergies in check. (I already take allergy medicine daily for other things.) So I’ve been a bit worried using a squirt bottle will make bathing harder.
Clapping loudy doesn’t seem to phase them I’m thinking they’ve grown used to loud noises like that because of the hotel room door. You know how they slam really loudly? I guess squirt bottle is the way to go.
@papercrane, already fixed! Had early spaying done for them (and the other kitten I found a home for) at 8 weeks. And started timming their nails last week. A learning experiance for all of us, it didn’t go so well.
Do you trim your kittens back nails? That’s about where things went wrong.
Post # 14
@mssocks: glad you found it amusing, my boy and mom find it to be pretty funny consider I have complete control over my family’s two dobermans.
Post # 15
If you don’t want them to do something, have a spray bottle full of water (the small ones in the cosmetics dept is as big as you need) and don’t be afraid to use it. One squirt and they will get the idea and learn what the bottle means when you pull it out.
Get a scratching post or a cardboard scratching pad and they will figure out on their own how to use it. Every cat has their preference though as some will not use the posts and others will not use the pads. This will save your furniture.
Do they know how to use a litter box at least?
Beyond those things, they are independent from birth and don’t train at all. Though if you can get a cat to come when you call them even once, you have captured a miracle.
Post # 16
You will definately need a small squirt bottle. I give my cats a little squirt (not in the face or eyes) when they go on the counter or are doing something they shouldn’t be doing, like eating my jewelery. That works quite well.