In the wild, big cat rely completely on themselves for survival. So does your little kitten. Their natural instinct is to act alone and ignore what others want or demand from them.
For this reason, your kitten’s view of social structure and co-operation is very different from your own. If you want your kitten to learn, then you need to understand their motivations. While their independent spirit means you can’t train them like a dog, you can still teach them to respect certain areas of your house – and to understand that there are some things you don’t like them doing!
Rewarding your kitten
Pay attention to your kitten to see what gets them motivated. Perhaps it’s a tasty new treat. Perhaps it’s lots of affection and “lap-time”. Or perhaps it’s just a good old play session together. You can use whatever your kitten enjoys as a reward for the behaviour you want to encourage. But remember – cats get bored quickly, so varying their rewards will also help your kitten learn things more quickly.
Timing their rewards
A reward will only work if you give it as soon as your kitten is doing what you want them to do. Getting this timing right can be tricky, so you’ll need to be patient. As you probably know, you can’t manipulate your cute little kitten into doing anything they don’t want to do!
If you find your kitten on your kitchen worktop and you don't want them to be there, gently lift them down and walk away. Save your praise for when you find them on the ground. Another way to discourage unwanted behaviour is by distracting them– but remember to follow the distraction with a reward when they behave in the way you want them to.
If you help your kitten learn these things early, they'll soon become a happy, contented and well-mannered cat!