Kittens are adorable, playful, sweet, and energetic creatures. They’re energetic and full of personality at such a young age, they draw love and affection from humans of all ages. But what behaviors are normal for kittens to display and which ones aren’t? Indulge in your curiosity with this a guide to kitten behavior to help you understand what is normal and what isn’t in your cat’s behavior.
Normal Kitten Behaviors
A guide to kitten behavior is used to point out the good and the bad. If you’re a cat parent, you might be familiar with the list of normal kitten behaviors. They have a lot of energy and they can be unpredictable at times, so it’s essential to understand what normal kitten behaviors are so that you can distinguish them from dangerous ones.
Nibbling and Chewing
This world is brand new to your sweet kitten. Because of this, you’ll discover that kittens will chew and bite objects they shouldn’t such as wires, shoes, or fingers. This is because they do not know the difference between food and toys yet. A kitten’s smell is extremely intense, and once your little pet spends enough time smelling and exploring these forbidden items, the chewing and biting should subside. You can also take this opportunity to tell them “no” to some objects in hopes they will learn that some items, like electrical wires, are definitely off limits.
It can be a bit unnerving to hear kitten nails scratch on the floor and watch them tear up your couch. Don’t worry—it’s normal while they’re young. Kittens, while young, are not scratching things to inflict pain or create damage. They are simply exploring their bodies, which happen to include those sharp claws.
Giving your cat the right scratching post will help curb any unwanted scratching. Simply place it in their favorite spot, and they will view it as ‘their’ furniture.
Just like every other child, kittens are filled with energy. Although the cliche of the sleepy cat is true for older cats, kittens are just as hyper as any other child.
Playtime is an important part of your kitten’s growth, and will help them achieve their balance, dexterity, and hunting instincts. It’s also very normal for kittens to play-fight with other cats – so don’t worry if you see them tussling!
It is important to remember that kittens are not born knowing how to use their litter box. Sometimes, accidents can happen – and that’s okay! Being patient with your kitten while they learn where to do their business is helpful to you and them; eventually they will learn comfort with their little box.
Abnormal Kitten Behaviors
Aggressive Physical Reactions
Displaying signs of aggression such as hard biting, scratching that draws blood, and dangerous fighting with other kittens is abnormal. While slight scratching or nibbles are common, anything with seemingly malicious intent is not. This can be a cause of concern for other animals or yourself as your kitten grows.
Destroying Furniture/Excessive Scratching
It’s just natural for kittens to scratch, but when it goes out of control you know there’s an issue. It may be that your kitten has destroyed their old scratching post or that they just aren’t finding much for them to do in your home. Having a few scratching posts and allowing time for play can help get that energy out.
You may think that hissing is only a bad thing, but it can actually be a normal behavior for your cat. Some cats will hiss when they are displeased or annoyed. However, it’s best to take action if your kitten is constantly hissing. This could be a sign that there is something wrong with them and they need to see a vet. Kittens sometimes use hissing as a sign of pain, and it is important to make sure you pet is healthy.
Continuous Misuse of Litter Box
If your kitten is not using the litter box, this can be a serious problem. One or two accidents here and there can happen, but it’s definitely not normal for them to be continuously peeing or pooping outside of the litter box. This can be a sign that there is a bigger problem with their health. If you notice any unusual behavior when they’re in their box this could be a sign of a medical condition such as feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) or other health problems — consult your veterinarian if you see any odd behaviors.
Cats are well known for having quirky behaviors. But their actions aren’t always random — they can help tell you a lot about your cat’s health. While a guide to kitten behavior can be helpful, it may just be a starting point if issues are extreme. If your little kitten is experiencing any concerning behavior, it may be best to contact your vet with any issues you may have.