Kitten Psychology: Understanding What Your Cat is Thinking
Understanding your kitten
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.
How your kitten becomes a clever cat
Kittens learn by experience; if it's a happy experience, your kitten will want to repeat it. If it's an unpleasant experience, she'll try to avoid it. When it comes to training your kitten, the most important thing to remember is that rewards work. Shouting most certainly does not; all that will do is frighten her.
To discourage your kitten from doing something you don't want her to do, create a positive environment around something she is allowed to do. For example, to stop her clawing your furniture, encourage her to use her scratching post instead. Try making it an exciting activity centre; put her toys and some catnip around it, and praise her when she uses it.
If the relationship with your kitten is fun and playful, and you spend time with her, as well as providing plenty of stimulating toys to occupy her, she won't even think about behaving badly. More often than not, naughty behaviour is simply the result of boredom.
Why on earth is she doing that?
So much for normal behaviour. But sometimes you'll spot your kitten doing things that seem a bit bizarre. Here are some explanations.
Why does my kitten suck on things?
Sometimes you might spot your kitten sucking on a blanket, or a toy; some people have even woken up to find their kitten sucking their ears! There is no clear explanation for this, but it's possible that kittens who have been weaned earlier are more likely to suck on things as a comfort. Or maybe out of boredom; try rotating your kitten's toys to keep her interested.
When cats eat non-food items it is called Pica. Pica can be dangerous if cats are eating things that could block digestion like fabric or string. Also, some houseplants can be toxic to cats. It's normal for cats to eat grass, so don't worry about that. In rare cases Pica can be associated with certain diseases, so if you're concerned don't hesitate to contact your vet.
Why is my kitten sleeping so much?
Most cats sleep between 13 to 18 hours a day, though it depends on their personality and their age. Your kitten is probably sleeping even longer. In fact, when they're first born, kittens sleep most of the time. This keeps them close to their mother and ensures they don't wander off and put themselves in danger.
Cats are nocturnal creatures, so they're likely to sleep during the day and be more active at night. This can be tricky, especially if you have young children who want to play with your kitten in the daytime, or if your kitten is prone to the 'night crazies'. If you play with your kitten during the day, and especially before bedtime, you have more chance of keeping her asleep at night.