Handling your Kitten

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We cannot stress enough how important it is to handle your kitten gently and give it lots of love.

Most kittens like:

  • A scratching climbing post – saves on furniture and gives the kitten a place to aggressively scratch or bite without involving you!
  • An accessible window with a perch/ledge so they can watch what goes on outside – (preferably a sunny window) –  keeps the kitten from becoming bored
  • A snuggle bed is enjoyed by many cats, but some do not use them – kittens like a warm safe place to sleep
  • Safe Toys made for cats
  • Love and affection – kittens/cats love attention, to be petted and talked to & played with

If you raise your kitten correctly You should be able to handle your kitten in such a way that you can touch or pet the kitten anywhere on its body.  You should gently handle every part of the kittens body.  Be able to touch his toes, look in his ears, eyes, nose etc…  (This handling also makes it less traumatic for the cat when it needs to go to the vet).

Encourage your kitten to sit on your lap quietly while you pet it.  If the kitten wants to play and you don’t want to interact with a toy or string, then put the kitten down.

Kittens are like any other animal.  If you play or handle them roughly they will play rough back.  It may be fun to wrestle with a little kitten, but as the kitten matures its claws get longer and teeth get stronger and its little wrestling antics will hurt!!!  Incorrect rough handling will encourage aggressiveness.

Image of face of American Shorthair silver tabby kitten sound asleepThe correct way to handle a kitten is to always be gentle with it.  Give it plenty of toys to chase and roll and carry.  The pet stores, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Pet-Smart, Target or any other stores like that carry great cat toys.  A roll of crumpled up paper is fun for a kitten.  Never wrestle with your kitten!!  Always interact with your kitten in a gentle way.  Lifting it gently, petting it and rubbing it and snuggling with it.  Do not encourage rough play!!!

If you have made the mistake of rough housing with your kitten and now it scratches and bites you when playing, all is not lost.  Start handling your kitten only in a gentle way.  If it attacks your hands or legs in rough play, say No and gently remove it from your arm or ankle and set it down. You have to be consistent in your handling of the kitten.  Another option is to  get a toy that the kitten likes and interact with the kitten through the toy.  Play with the kitten with the toy.  Wal-Mart has a rope scratching post with a spinner toy at the top.  This toy will keep many a kitten occupied playing for half an hour at a time till the kitten is tired out.  That is a good time to gently pet and hold the kitten after he is played out and tired.  Hold him and stroke him till he falls asleep.  Always be gentle with the kitten and it will grow up to be a gentle cat.

We recommend that you have your kitten spayed or neutered around the age of 6 months or as early as your vet suggests.  Both males and females may start to mark their territory as early as that, especially if there are other cats in the home.  (Yes, female cats can spray as well).  Some people think that their kitten is not using the litter box, or has quit using the litter box when they find a wet spot somewhere else, when indeed the kitten is using the litter box, but it may also be spraying, or marking it’s territory in another corner of the house.  Unless you intend to raise kittens, there is no reason not to spay or neuter your cats especially if you don’t want them to spray/mark their territory in your home.