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New kittens can be a source of joy for the entire family. Here are a few quick tips to ensure a well-trained and well-behaved kitten:

The most important thing to do with a new kitten is to confine her to a small room such as a bathroom. Place the food and the litter box at opposite sides of the room and spend as much time as possible in the room with the kitten. This can last from a few days to a couple weeks.

If you have other cats, make sure to very gradually extend the number of rooms available to the new kitten to avoid fights and behavioral problems.

Socialize your kitty early! Kittens are in a “sensitive stage” from 3 to 9 weeks—this is when their brains are primed for attachment. Kitten “gentling”—or daily gentle handling and cuddling for the first 10 weeks of life—is important to create a gentle, friendly adult cat.

Cats like things clean! Not cleaning the litter box satisfactorily will lead to a soiled house. Plan to clean the box frequently.

Never hit or physically punish a kitten—it can lead to an aggressive cat. Instead, you should be a source of clear and consistent control. Make sure to encourage and praise good behavior. Cats are generally very responsive to food rewards (although treats should never make up more than 10% of a cat’s diet).

Remember that what you teach your kitten now is how she will act later as a full-grown cat. If you don’t want her on counters later, don’t let her on counters now. Allowing things “sometimes” only confuses the cat. Be consistent with house rules!

Always provide one or more scratching posts and praise the kitten for using them. This necessary outlet for scratching will prevent the destruction of furniture!

Enroll in the Animal Behavior Network at, which sends daily emails for the first two weeks of the kitten’s life and weekly emails from then on out. The emails are filled with info regarding what to do to ensure a satisfying and well-behaved cat.

At the very least, your kitten will need food, a place to sleep, a scratching post or pad, and a litter box and litter. Of course, you won't be able to pass up a few toys. They will make the coming home experience a little easier on your new addition, especially since he'll be isolated from any other cats the first few days.

Comfy Bed

Although your new kitten may be perfectly comfortable in a cardboard box lined with clean, soft towels or a small blanket, consider giving him a real bed, just like the big guys. The best bets are beds that have high wall enabling them to snuggle in tight.

Kitten Food

The first year of a cat's life sets the pace for his future development,
health, and well-being. It is essential that he eats a quality food developed for kittens. For now, give him the same food he's been eating at before you brought him home, to avoid tummy upsets from sudden changes. Choosing a brand of your choice can come later.

Interactive Toys

You're going to spend a lot of time in the first weeks bonding with your new furkid - establishing a close relationship that will last a lifetime. One of the best ways to start this bond is by playing with kitten with an interactive toy. He will enjoy any of these listed, but don't forget another favorite game is "fetch" with a wadded-up piece of paper.

Scratching Post

Scratching posts are almost as essential to cats as food and water, as they provide needed exercise and stress relief for cats. It is very important that scratching posts are introduced as early in the kitten's life as possible in order to teach them the correct places to scratch.

Litter Box & Litter

There are many litter boxes on the market, but make sure the one you choose is shallow enough for easy entrance for your little guy. Many people use a small plastic storage box of appropriate size, for starters.The litter is the most important factor. You owe it to your kitten to read up on the different types of litter and the pros and cons of each.

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