Now that you have this cute little bundle of fur, teeth, and claws known as a Ragdoll kitten, training him or her not to tear up your home is probably pretty high on your to-do list. Here are tips to help you break in this furry new member of your family.
It is important to teach your new Ragdoll kitten the rules of your home quickly, you don’t want you new kitty learning bad behaviors that will be difficult to correct later. Here are tips to help you discourage undesirable behaviors.
Exercise is Key
Kittens come with large amounts of excess energy. You can keep your Ragdoll out of trouble by burning off this energy. Provide your kitten a variety of toys for playtime; these toys do not include your arms, legs, or feet. You do not want to roughhouse with your kitten in this manner as it will encourage poor behaviors that will continue when your cat is an adult.
Litter Box Basics
Your new Ragdoll kitten should already understand the concept of the litter box. Kittens learn about the box very early from their mother and littermates. All that should be required is showing your kitten where the box is located and keeping it clean. Make sure your litter box is near, not too close, to where your kitten eats and sleeps. If you have trouble with your kitten going outside the box, consult your veterinarian to be sure there is not a medical reason for this behavior.
It is best to encourage your kitten to use scratching posts and mats rather than your furniture at an early age. Make sure you are providing several different types of scratching material. You may be able to encourage your kitten to use these scratching posts by rubbing them with catnip or mint. Be sure and reward your kitten with praise and treats to reinforce this behavior when you see it.
Praise and Deterrents
Positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise are the best way to encourage good behaviors. To discourage bad behaviors there are number of steps you can take; however, you should never hit or spank your kitten. A spray bottle or squirt gun filled with water and a touch of vinegar is an excellent deterrent for negative behaviors. You might try a metal can with coins in it if this is too extreme of a training method for you. Just as you should provide positive reinforcement in the form of praise you need to discourage bad behavior with a stern “No!”
Kittens mellow out somewhat with age; however, it could take a number of years before all of the kitten energy works its way out of your Ragdoll. A little patience goes a long way when it comes to training you new Ragdoll kitten.
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