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Kitten training and behaviour

Advice on bringing up your kitten:

Toilet training your kitten

Cats are naturally very clean and, chances are, your kitten will already have learned how to use the litter tray from her mum. All you'll need to do is buy a plastic litter tray big enough for your kitten to move around in and fill it with enough litter to cover the bottom of the tray (if you can use the same one used at the breeder's house, your kitten will appreciate the familiar smell and texture).

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Meeting the housemates

If you already have a cat at home, she's likely to become territorial when your new kitten arrives. It's only natural that you'll want your new pet to be accepted by your cat. But it's also natural that she might need some persuasion to accept what she may see as a rival.

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Helping your kitten become a sociable cat

You'll want your kitten to grow up into a cat who gets on well with people and becomes a friend and companion. To achieve this, you need to bear in mind that cats have a very short socialisation phase. So the first four to 16 weeks of her life is a critical time for behavioural and social development.

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Kitten psychology

It's worth trying to understand the way your kitten is thinking, and why she behaves how she does. That way, you'll be able to build an even closer bond with her. Plus, it will help you to train her out of destructive behaviour, so she'll become a cat you love to share your home with.

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Playtime with children

When it comes to playtime, your kitten is a natural; and will turn anything into a game. A piece of paper or foil screwed up into a ball, a pen cap, or any small object suspended by a piece of string; kittens simply can't resist the temptation to play.

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Are cats trainable?

To train your new kitten, you need an understanding of how she thinks and behaves. Cats are not like dogs. Dogs are pack animals who want to please their 'leader' (you).

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Understanding your kitten

Cats are good at letting you know what they want, either vocally or with their bodies. It won't be long before you understand what your kitten is trying to tell you. Meows You'll hear fewer little 'mews' from your kitten as she grows up, but instead you'll learn to understand her more grown-up, distinctive 'meows'.

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Why your kitten scratches

As your kitten grows, so will her claws! And to keep them in trim, she'll scratch. Scratching is a natural way of marking territory and a great way to have a good stretch.

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What's your kittens idea of a nice break?

Everyone loves a holiday. Or do they? Many cats really don't like travelling, but if they get used to it from an early age it's not normally a problem.

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Travelling with your kitten

If you want to take your kitten away with you, or you need to take her out of the home for any reason, you'll need to transport her in a secure cat carrier. Most cats don't really like carriers and will run away as soon as they see it coming out of the cupboard! To prevent this fear from developing in your kitten, it's a good idea to leave the carrier in an accessible place from the word go, with the door open.

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Can cats see in the dark?

Now that you have a kitten all the things you've heard about cats over the years suddenly seem more relevant. But the myths and old wives tales that you've grown up with can be hard to fathom. This list will help you separate fact from fiction.

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Catnip frenzy

Catnip is hugely fascinating to cats and cat lovers alike. There are about 250 different species of Nepeta cataria and it is variously referred to as catnip or catmint.

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Keeping your kitten close to home

Cats with access to the great outdoors enjoy lots of fun experiences but they also face risks too: traffic, dogs, other cats, picking up fleas or contracting nasty diseases…the list is endless. Understandably it can be a nerve racking experience to finally allow your cat to step into the wide world. Luckily, there are things you can do to help keep your cat safe. Kittens should not be allowed outside to mix with other cats until they are vaccinated.

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Is your kitten becoming a fussy eater?

Change is an inevitable fact of life, even for cats. Take the first birthday for example. That's a real a milestone for a cat, marking the transition from kitten to adulthood.

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Catching Mice

Cats love to catch mice. And as natural hunters, they're very good at it.

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Seasonal Advice

The changing seasons bring new adventures for your kitten, but also certain hazards. Follow the steps below, and she'll be able to enjoy the highlights of your calendar as much as you do.

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