While your little kitten’s home is very different to what she’d experience in the wild, she still displays many of the same behaviours as her big cat cousins. Understanding her natural instincts will help you get to know your kitten as she forms her own new family with you.
Grooming isn’t just about getting clean. Cats also groom each other to strengthen their social bonds. Mimic this behaviour with regular grooming sessions. Not only will this satisfy her natural urges, she’ll love you for it too!
One way big cats leave scent is by rubbing against the legs. When your kitten rubs up against you at home, she’s marking you as part of her family. Scent marking also establishes and strengthens social bonds. Make sure you return her affection with lots of stroking and plenty of love.
If you introduce another cat into the house, or if a new baby arrives, your kitten may spray or urinate in places other than her litter tray. It isn’t unusual – it’s just a natural response to what your kitten sees as a threat to her territory.
A few things you can do to help your kitten through this period of change:
- Make sure you provide separate food and water bowls, beds and litter trays for each cat in the house.
- Provide your kitten with places she can climb up to – she’ll see these as expanding her territory.
- Give your kitten plenty of time to re-establish her territory.
- Reassure your kitten with lots of love and affection.
- Allow your kitten to be part of household routine as she learns them – wake up time, breakfast, chores etc. She’ll quickly become a sociable and confident member of your family.