Young Cats, New Tricks: Kitty kindergarten creates adoptable, adorable cats

Cat Training posted on August 12 2016 by
Animal Sheltering Kitten Kindergarten

Sophia Yin

 

By Sophia Yin, D.V.M., M.S. 

Read the full article at The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Sheltering.

Behavioral issues are one of the most common reasons that cats are returned after adoption or relinquished to a shelter in the first place. “He’s spraying on the carpets,” “She’s aggressive to our other cat,” or “She’s scratching the furniture” are common complaints.

But other times, the behavioral issues are disguised behind other statements, such as, “We have to move, and we can’t take her,” or “She sheds too much.” Those are behavioral, too; they’re a sign that a bond has never really formed. These issues are typically tackled with one-on-one adoption counseling, in-shelter behavioral counseling, or outsourcing to a private behaviorist.

A fun, efficient and effective way to preempt these issues for the kittens who will be adopted out is through a Kitty Kindergarten Early Socialization Program, through which kittens are exposed to and make positive associations with unfamiliar people, animals, and handling procedures, and also learn tricks.

kitten with blocks croppedIn kitty kindergarten, the goal is to work on socializing young kittens (generally starting under 12 weeks of age) to people and other animals and situations they may come across later in life so they’ll understand that people, animals, and new environments are generally safe. In class, kittens should learn two things: to associate potentially scary situations with positive experiences; and to perform behaviors such as sit, come and “target” (touch a target with their nose or other body part), which can be used to replace inappropriate behaviors (including aggression) that may get them into trouble in a new home.

Kittens can easily be trained to enjoy the variety of situations they may encounter during their lifetime if we pair those people, pets and experiences with food and other experiences that the kittens like. That means we can train them to love being in a carrier, going for car rides, meeting new people, being around other kittens and cats, being handled and carried, receiving toenail trims and injections, and almost anything else that would typically scare a cat.

Read more about Kitty Kindergarten and why socialization is so important at Animal Sheltering.

 

The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Sheltering works to create a world where people and animals thrive, living happy, healthy lives together by focusing on key areas of impact: Addressing solvable behavior, pet care issues and housing-related problems to Keep Pets in Homes. Striving to Protect Cats by promoting innovative tools for managing cats wherever they live. To Reach Underserved Communities by increasing access to pet care and wellness services and information. And working to Increase Adoptions for pets already in shelters and rescue groups.

 

Subscribe to our newsletter
* indicates required



Do you own a Litter-Robot? *

Comment

Related Posts

Litter Box Training Kittens
Ah, the joys of litter box training… Adopting a new kitten may be one of the most delightful experiences a person can have—the sweet cuddles, the awkward playfulness, the spontaneous naps, the doe-eyed stares, their curiosity and wonder, and, oh, the joys of litter box training! What’s that? You’re not equally enamored with the idea
Food Puzzle Today, the Kitty Ivy League Tomorrow
The hot product in cat accessories these days is the food puzzle. Yes, it’s a toy and a feeding device. And not just any toy—it’s a toy your cat has to figure out in order to get a treat. Food puzzles make cats work for a snack while simultaneously building their brainpower. In short, the
Keeping the Peace in a Multi-Cat Household
  By Arna Cohen Read the full article at Animal Sheltering   For 11 years, everything was copacetic in Marrakech and Samsara’s world. Together from kittenhood, the sisters loved cuddling, playing with mousie toys, and “singing” in typical Siamese style. But two years ago, their lives changed dramatically when their owner committed a crime, at
The Purrrsuit of Happiness
  By Debbie Glovatsky This article originally appeared in Hamptons Pet magazine.   Falling in love with Waffles, the therapy cat in training. Late one night while browsing Petfinder.com, I immediately fell in love with a tiny, orange kitten. The next day, I could not get to the shelter fast enough to scoop up this
The Skittish Kitty: How to Help Your Shy or Fearful Cat
Hiding, scrambling, freezing in place. If you have a skittish kitty, you know how heartwrenching it can be; you think you’ve created a safe environment for your cat, but Kitty just won’t come out of her shell. Why is your cat so fearful,...
Why is my cat so aggressive?
When you first brought your cat home, she was probably a shy, playful little kitten. Play time with your pet was enjoyable and downright adorable. Your tiny kitty was infatuated with you and fascinated by the fluttering movements of your fingers and toes. Her pouncing was cute and playful. So small and innocent, you never
Copyright: © Automated Pet Care Products. All Rights Reserved