ALPENA, Mich.–Those looking for a feline friend may want to know what they’re getting into before adopting. I spoke with Kaitlyn tree of the Huron Humane Society to learn more.
According to Kaitlyn, one of the most important things to know about kittens is that they’re mischievous. They will find a way to get into trouble, but you have to treat them with patience and kindness. Physical punishment is less effective than positive reinforcement and a spray bottle. For behaviors like scratching, Kaitlyn recommends providing the kitten with an active outlet.
“You have to keep them occupied with scratch pads, scratch mats. There’s different kinds of posts, you can use cat nip on scratch pads. And it’s an easy diversion to make them have a resource to get that out as opposed to furniture.”
Kaitlyn also suggests adopting two kittens as an option. They would socialize and entertain each other, which could help lower misbehavior.
The most important thing, however, is keeping in mind that kittens are babies. They need to be guided gently and given a nudge, not a smack. Instead of scolding a kitten when they teethe your hand, redirect their attention with a toy.
Treat a cat with kindness, and you have a companion for life.