How to Calm a Kitten
Bringing a playful and energetic kitten into your home can be an exciting experience. However, every kitten has its unique temperament, and some can be particularly energetic or even aggressive. To ensure harmony in your home and your kitten’s well-being, it’s essential to know how to calm your furry friend down. In this guide, we’ll explore three steps to help you achieve just that.
Step 1: Calm a Kitten Through Play
Play is a kitten’s primary way of expressing itself and burning off excess energy. Through play, kittens hone their hunting skills, test their strength, and build their relationship with their human companions. While most kittens can manage their energy levels, some may struggle, especially if they were weaned before 2 to 2.5 months of age. To help your kitten calm down and redirect their energy:
- Engage in play sessions multiple times a day.
- Play for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time, allowing your kitten to rest afterward.
- Gradually slow down play sessions instead of abruptly stopping them.
- Provide your kitten with toys or objects like cardboard or paper to play with independently.
- Plan a longer play session before bedtime to ensure your kitten sleeps soundly through the night.
Remember, it’s crucial never to play directly with your kitten using your hands. Instead, use an intermediary like a string with a cork or a stick with a feather to prevent them from associating your hands with play bites.
Step 2: Calming a Kitten Who Becomes Too Aggressive
Sometimes kittens, especially those separated from their mothers too early, struggle to manage their emotions and can display aggressive behaviors like biting. To address such behaviors:
- Firmly say “no” and cease all contact with your kitten until they calm down.
- If your kitten becomes aggressive, gently pick them up by the scruff of their neck, place them down, and give them space.
- If aggression continues, isolate your kitten in a quiet room for a few minutes to help them settle down.
- Consider using pheromones, which can be diffused around the house to help calm your kitten.
- If aggressive behavior persists, consult your veterinarian for professional guidance.
Step 3: Adopt a Second Kitten
Adopting a second kitten can be a solution to alleviate some of the excess energy in your home. Two kittens can engage in play together, providing a healthy outlet for their energy. In some cases, the presence of a second kitten can even help a more boisterous one calm down. However, this isn’t a guaranteed solution, and cohabitation success depends on various factors.
For best results, consider adopting two kittens close in age and within a short timeframe of each other. Cohabitation may be more challenging with adult cats, and individual personalities play a significant role in their ability to get along.
When adopting a second kitten, there is no strict rule about choosing a male or female. Compatibility often depends on the individual animals’ personalities, so consult with your local animal shelter or rescue organization for guidance.
Additional Tips for a Happy Kitten
In addition to the steps mentioned earlier, here are some extra tips to ensure your kitten remains happy and well-behaved:
- Socialization: Expose your kitten to various people, environments, and situations from an early age. This helps them become more adaptable and less prone to anxiety.
- Proper Scratching Outlets: Provide appropriate scratching posts or pads to deter your kitten from scratching furniture.
- Regular Vet Visits: Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your kitten’s health and receive guidance on behavior management.
- Positive Reinforcement: Reward good behavior with treats or praise to encourage positive habits.
- Neutering/Spaying: Consider having your kitten neutered or spayed at the appropriate age to reduce certain undesirable behaviors.
By following these additional tips, you’ll be well on your way to raising a well-adjusted and contented kitten in your home.