Petiquette – How to Raise a Polite Kitty

Good manners are very important, not just for people, but for animals too! Just like people, cats develop many of their opinions and manners while they’re young. How Kitty is treated and taught to behave as a kitten will have a huge effect on how she acts as an adult. Therefore, for your kitten to grow up into a well-mannered cat, it’s very important to encourage good ‘petiquette’ while she’s little. In this article, your vet offers some pointers for raising a polite kitty.

Teach Proper Scratching Habits

Making sure your tiny furball learns proper scratching manners is crucial! If Fluffy grows up sharpening her claws on your sofa, it will be much harder convincing her to use a scratching post later.

In addition to providing scratching posts, it’s important to create a comfortable and stimulating environment for your kitten. Setting up a well-equipped birdcage can provide your little furball with a safe space to play, rest, and explore. Check out our article ‘Setting Up Your Birdcage‘ for tips on creating the perfect feline-friendly habitat.


Socialization is very important for little kitties! Cats that are properly socialized as youngsters tend to be much friendlier and well-behaved than those who weren’t. Having some friends come over to play and pet little Fluffy will help her feel friendly and relaxed around people.

Have Stimulating Conversation

Some kitties are more talkative than others, but kitties who are frequently spoken to are often the most interactive. Talk to your furball! Little Fluffy may not know – or even care – what you’re saying, but she’ll understand that you’re paying attention to her.

Discourage Play Attacks

This is a big one! Kittens are nothing if not playful, and it may be tempting to let your frisky baby furball pounce on your foot or attack your hand. If your furball thinks it’s ok to play rough, you’ll have a tough time changing her habits when she’s grown. Channel that playful energy towards kitty toys, and, if she pounces on you, say ‘No’, walk away, and ignore her for a while.

Draw The Line

Just like children, kitties need some boundaries. Don’t let your feline friend do anything now you don’t want her doing as an adult. Jumping on counters is one good example.

Positive Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement can confuse little Fluffy, and even make her anxious or scared of you. Never punish a kitten. If she misbehaves, just tell her ‘No’ in a firm voice. You can also discourage bad habits by using a squirt bottle or startling her with a loud noise.

Our Advice on Petiquette – How to Raise a Polite Kitty in 2024

What are some specific techniques for redirecting a kitten’s scratching behavior towards appropriate objects?

To redirect a kitten’s scratching behavior towards appropriate objects, introduce scratching posts or pads early on. Choose various types that appeal to different preferences, such as vertical and horizontal surfaces made from cardboard, sisal, or carpet. Place these scratching posts in areas where the kitten frequents and near where they sleep, as cats often like to scratch upon waking. Encourage use by sprinkling catnip on the posts or hanging toys near them to attract the kitten. Consistently praise and reward the kitten when they use the post to reinforce the behavior.

How can cat owners socialize their kittens if they don’t have frequent visitors?

Cat owners can socialize their kittens effectively even without frequent visitors by exposing them to a variety of experiences within the home. Play different types of music, expose the kitten to various sounds like those from kitchen appliances, and introduce a range of textures for them to walk on. Additionally, playing interactive games and handling the kitten regularly—gently touching their paws, ears, and mouth—will help them become comfortable with human contact. Utilizing socialization playlists and videos designed for cats can also simulate environmental stimuli and presence of people or other animals.

Are there any specific words, phrases, or tones of voice that are more effective for communicating with?

Effective communication with kittens and cats often involves using a gentle, calm, and consistent tone of voice. High-pitched, soft sounds tend to be more appealing and less threatening to cats. Specific words or phrases themselves are less important than how they are consistently used. For example, saying “No” firmly but not loudly can help teach boundaries. Using the kitten’s name frequently during positive interactions, like feeding or petting, helps them learn to respond. Consistency in the words and tone used for commands or corrections ensures better understanding and response from the cat.

What should cat owners do if their kitten continues to play aggressively despite their efforts to discourage this behavior?

If a kitten continues to play aggressively despite efforts to discourage such behavior, cat owners should first ensure they are providing ample playtime with appropriate toys that allow the kitten to express predatory behaviors safely. It’s crucial to avoid using hands or feet as play objects. If the behavior persists, consider increasing play sessions to expend more energy. Consistently redirecting the kitten to toys during aggressive play and immediately ceasing interaction if bitten or scratched can reinforce that aggressive play leads to no attention. If these methods fail, consulting a veterinarian or animal behaviorist is advisable.

Are there any specific toys or play activities that are particularly effective for channeling a kitten’s energy and promoting positive behavior?

To effectively channel a kitten’s energy and encourage positive behavior, interactive toys such as feather wands, laser pointers, and puzzle feeders are highly recommended. These toys mimic hunting behaviors and engage a kitten’s natural instincts, providing mental stimulation and physical exercise. Additionally, toys that encourage climbing, jumping, and scratching, like cat trees and scratching posts, help satisfy a kitten’s need for exploration and play. Regularly rotating toys to maintain novelty and ensuring supervised playtime can prevent boredom and promote a well-rounded play experience for kittens.

Does your kitten need veterinary care? Contact us, your local animal clinic in St. Lucie County, FL! We are here to serve all of your pet care needs. If you notice any concerning behaviors or health issues in your kitten, our Veterinary Diagnostics service can help identify the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

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