Just like our two-legged littlies, kittens can get bored very easily – so they need lots of playtime with their favourite pet-lover.
Oh toy, oh toy, oh toy.
Giving your baby cat a variety of toys to explore is a hole-in-onesie. Just remember not to put all of them out at once. Rotate the playthings, and watch your diminutive Dragon Li’s enjoyment when he gets one he hasn’t seen for a few days. You’ll also want to save some toys for when the two of you are playing together, particularly the ones that need careful supervision. When you’re finished, simply put them away, for safety’s sake.
The rules of the game, kitties.
Kittens like interaction. And although toys are a part of this, having a playmate (cough, you) will double their interest and the time they spend exercising – me-WOW. By all means, enjoy this time with your wee one. Just keep in mind a few simple rules:
- Don’t force your kitten to do an activity. It’s best to let him decide what he’d like to do, too.
- Don’t teach your kitten to bite your hands, as cute as his ‘tuff cat’ impression is. Keep your hands out of the rough-and-tumble games as well, and use a toy instead.
- Because you don’t want to teach your petite Punjabi aggression, never growl or smack him for biting you. Instead, redirect the play to a toy. Or, if you feel ol’ Cupcake is getting too wound up, just stop playing altogether.
- It’s best to play with your kitty before meals, rather than immediately after.
- While playing, use praise and petting to keep your shrimpy Shorthair interested, and have a wind-down period before you stop the game.
- If you’re at work a lot, and your kitten is going to be an indoor pet, you might consider getting two kittens. Having someone to play with at all times makes life more rewarding for your pet, and for you. Plus, it’s cuteness times two – what’s not to love?
Scratching posts. Clawfully great.
Scratching posts are one of the most important things you can give your kitten, paws down. Why? Because your pint-size pet needs to scratch in order to keep his claws healthy, and to mark his territory. Scratch marks and scent are your kitten’s way of saying ‘This is my home, buster.’ It’s best to get one shortly after you bring home your kitten, or your furniture may take the fall – or claw, that is.
How in cat’s name do we use a scratching post?
- Put the post where your kitten likes to be. Often, they don’t want to mark their territory in a forgotten corner of a spare room.
- If there’s a particular piece of furniture Sassy seems attracted to, try placing the post in front of it. This doesn’t have to be where it stays for nine lives – you can slowly move the post to where you want it, once the little guy’s learnt to use it.
- Make the post a fun place to be by playing with Peanut’s favourite toys, beside it. Be sure to praise him and offer treats.
- Praise your kitten verbally if he uses the post.
- You might find that one post isn’t enough, particularly if you own a big home or more than one kitten. We recommend more posts, in all your kitty’s/kitties’ hotspots. This is especially important if you’re having problems with the little dickens scratching furniture.
Finally, it’s best not to force a kitten’s paws onto the post to make him scratch. Often, this just scares them off.
Have fun, kittens and compadres!