One of the most adorable things about kittens is the mischief they are capable of getting into – adorable in someone else’s home anyway!
In your own home, where it’s your stuff that the kitten is rolling around the floor, ripping to shreds, or chewing to death, it’s not always as funny. But what’s a kitty owner to do?
Well the first thing is more of a “what not to do” – don’t yell at the kitty! Count to 10 and calm down, and then firmly take hold of your kitten, say “No” in a firm clear voice and put the kitty either in his bed – or in his safe zone if you’ve created one and he’s still using it.
The next thing is to identify why your kitten has gotten into this particular mischief – is he bored, did it offer too much temptation, or is he pandering his hunter genes?
Usually it’s a mixture of boredom and practicing his hunting skills that gets a kitten into the most trouble around the house! The boredom leads him to find things like trailing plants, or apples that roll, and they tempt him to playful mischief. A cat loves to hunt however, and so occasionally he will “kill” the odd cushion!
Buying a few cat toys will help teach your kitten what is acceptable to play with and what’s not. A soft ball, not necessarily a small one either – some kitties are quite happy to push something that’s about half their size but not too heavy around the house – is a great toy. A ball made out of scrunched up newspaper is another good way of getting your kitten to play – but make sure that you scrunch it quietly because loud noises will probably scare him.
Any toy that has been filled with catnip – some kind of dried herb that cats go crazy over – is destined to keep him amused for hours, but often the most entertaining of all for kitty is a box with large holes cut into it that he can jump in and out of.
A kitten getting up to mischief can often be frustrating, but given the right toys, he’ll not only entertain himself, but he’ll also keep you entertained watching the antics he gets up too. Remember, he’s not intending to be mean when he does something he shouldn’t, he’s just bored, so find something to occupy his mind!