How To Outsmart Your Cat (So It Doesn’t Sit On Your Laptop) – Cat Training Questions & Answers | Feline diet

Cats are by nature fiercely independent, stubborn and occasionally a bit rude. But then, that’s why we love them. What we don’t like so much is their tendency to shred furniture, deliver ‘gifts’ of garden prey to us, and throw a wobbly if we try to get them into their carrier. We asked Claire Bessant, Managing Director of International Cat Care, to answer your burning questions and explain how to grow your kitten into a cool (affectionate, even) cat.

How do I prevent my kitten from turning into a furniture-destroying machine?
When they scratch at your new designer rugs or wallpaper, cats aren’t telling you they hate you – they’re just sharpening their claws and marking their territory, and unfortunately they don’t really care what they’re using. to do it. The answer is to provide your kitten with a scratching post and get her used to it as soon as possible.

“Pick something your kitten will like — a sturdy post with horizontal and vertical scratchers high enough for her to stretch out while she scratches,” says Bessant. Kittens may not start scratching for five or six months, but when they do, they are more likely to use a post they are familiar with. “You can also gently press his paws on it to leave his scent behind,” suggests Bessant.

Try to familiarize your kitten with her scratching post early. Photography: Benjamin Torode/Getty Images

Hopefully, when her inner predator kicks in, she chooses to use her pole rather than your couch as a feline emery.

My kitten keeps chewing on my hands. That’s cute, but also… ouch.
When they’re small, it’s very tempting to let your kitten dangle from your fingers like a little monkey, or nibble your toes for fun. But small teeth quickly turn into big ones, so it’s best to nip bad habits in the bud.

“Use toys instead of your hands or feet, so you’re not the center of the play,” advises Bessant. “A wand with a string and a toy on the end will do – this also means it’s safe for children to play with your kitten. If they get excitable and start nipping, try distracting them, or put them down talk to them and walk away so they understand that this is no way to attract attention.

When the cat carrier comes out, my kitten goes crazy. How can I take them to the vet?
You’d probably be a little nervous if a family member came up to you with a cage and a fake smile too. The key to getting your kitten into the carrier without all the drama is getting them familiar with it well in advance.

“If he only comes out of the loft for a trip to the cattery or the vet, of course your kitten will be nervous around his crate,” says Bessant. “Don’t hide it – keep it somewhere they can get used to it and where they can transfer their scent to it. You can even feed them and play with them so they are totally used to coming inside.

Kitten in a transport cage
As with the scratching post, familiarity is key with the cat carrier. Photography: Carlina Teteris/Getty Images

I’m not looking forward to the day they bring me my first dead mouse. How to dissuade them?
Although each cat’s hunting habits vary – some just can’t be bothered – if they enjoy chasing birds and mice, there’s not much you can do to dissuade them.

“Cats are hunters by nature, so getting them to stop can be quite difficult,” says Bessant. “You can try to grab the prey from them and move it outside, and you can also satisfy their urge to work for their food by using a puzzle feeder. But basically, if you want a cat that doesn’t hunt, get a rabbit.

My kitten is so sweet. How do I keep them from becoming what is essentially a brooding teenager, but forever?
Cats like to spend some time with them. They are solitary animals rather than pack animals, and are designed to be on their own from six months old – which is why they can seem so completely uninterested in being showered with love and cuddles.

“Cats box be sociable, but unlike dogs, they are not have to be,” explains Bessant. “A lot of cats don’t like kisses and hugs because you take away their means of escape. All you can do is give them affection that they can walk away from and provide them with things they like, like a warm place when it’s cold outside, so be grateful when they choose to join us.

So why Is my cat is sitting on my laptop – and how can I curb his enthusiasm?
“It’s hot, and if they’re sitting there, they have your full attention,” Bessant said. “Provide them with a different warm spot and some treats, and you might persuade them to sit somewhere else instead.” Although, probably not…

You may not be able to control where they sit, but you can control what they eat – and young cats need food that’s right for them. Royal Canin kibbles for cats provide nutritionally complete, age- and breed-appropriate food for optimal feline health

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