Animal Behavior Network
Error Free Kitten Raising Tips
by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

Just minutes a day of learning gives you the best relationship possible with your cat!

Getting Started - Extinction Burst

Have you been ignoring your kitten's unwanted behavior for weeks hoping it would stop and there is no change? Be patient.

Behaviors that are well established and have been rewarded by your attention in the past will not phase out quickly or easily.


Beware: Behaviors that have "worked" to get your kitten what was wanted may increase before phasing out. This increase before a decrease is called an extinction burst.

For example, if every time your kitten meowed in the kitchen, you put down food, and one day you stop responding that way, your kitten is more likely to meow longer or louder before giving up.

Walk out of the kitchen when your cat is meowing. Do not feed your kitten unless a few minutes of quiet behavior have passed. Call your kitten to you and teach your kitten to sit.  Then, you can ask your kitten to do something for you before you do something (feed) for your kitten. This simple step will encourage good feline manners.


Late Socialization: 12 to 16 weeks old

·         May need a larger litterbox - minimum length 1.3 x cat's body length

·         Social conflict over status may emerge - if more than one cat - increase resources

·         Resources = food, water, toys, litterboxes, beds, scratching posts, playtime, attention.

·        Cats like vertical space. Provide vertical space with indoor cat trees.

Error-Free Kitten Raising Tips™ and Positive Cat Parenting™ for your kitten.


Learn to raise a happy, well-behaved cat and fabulous feline friend for life.

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