How to Entertain a Kitten

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Kittens can easily entertain themselves, but their idea of fun things to do might not jibe with yours. These often include swinging back and forth on the curtains, knocking objects off shelves or tables and digging through plants -- and that's just 10 minutes or less of a kitten good time. As with any young animal -- or human for that matter -- you want to entertain your tiny pet while also gently showing him proper behavior.

The More the Merrier

If you're thinking of adopting a kitten, give serious consideration to taking in two. Nothing entertains a kitten quite like another small feline. Together they can play, pretend to fight, explore and then fall down together in exhausted little kitten heaps. The presence of another tiny cat doesn't mean an individual kitten won't pay attention to you. They've got more than enough energy to go around. It also means they have companionship when you're at work.

The Right Kind of Play

It's fun to load up on toys at the pet store and introduce them to your kitten. Whether it's chasing string, batting a small ball around or trying to capture a laser light, your kitten can thoroughly enjoy himself. When he plays, he must learn that human fingers aren't for scratching or biting. If he does bite or scratch, don't punish him with anything other than a firm "No." Either distract him with a new toy or stop playing so he calms down. In quieter moments, socialize your kitten with gentle handling and petting. As he starts climbing into your lap of his own accord, start brushing his fur to get him used to grooming.

Kindergarten for Kittens

If you have a puppy, you probably intend to take him to puppy classes at your local obedience school. In recent years, kitten classes have sprung up, usually held at veterinary offices. These "kitten kindergarten" classes allow healthy felines to meet and greet other kittens, play with a variety of toys and generally have a good time. The true benefit of taking your kitten to supervised play at the vet's office is that he learns that getting into a carrier and going for a ride doesn't necessarily mean something terrible is going to happen. He could end up looking forward to a car ride as much as your puppy.

When You're Away

When you're out of the house, keep a radio or TV turned on to entertain your kitten. Of course, your kitten isn't actually watching a show, but quiet, soothing music or the sound of human voices help him feel safe and secure. Choose talk radio, classical or "easy listening" music on the radio rather than anything loud and possibly disturbing. Similarly, avoid TV shows with loud noises. Leaving these devices on especially helps shy kittens grow used to human voices.

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