Education and behavior of a kitten
6.1. A sensibility of a cat to education
Despite the quite deserved reputation of a freedom-loving and independent animal, the cat is perfectly trained, and from early age. It is enough to remember the history of a kitten which, being brought up together with puppies, urinated, having lifted up a foot! It is necessary to note, however, that it is possible to train a cat only with its natural forms of behavior, strengthening them or, on the contrary, weakening. And this is an art in which only rare circus actors achieve success. Their method of training consists in accentuation and fastening of original behavior of each of their animal then it is necessary to think about a scene where it looks most naturally and effectively. Motivations of behavior for a cat, perhaps, more important, than for a dog: the animal should be eager to behave definitely. In experiments with Pavlov's dogs delicacies were actively used, however they don't work with cats, much more effective motivations are attachment to the owner and taste to game. The use of concept "motivation" already serves as the proof of the fact that neurophysiologists rather highly estimate the cat's intelligence.
The successes reached lately in an explanation of mechanisms of cats` behavior have allowed to come to the decisive conclusion that psychomotor development of animals is the same as man's, it begins in mother's womb long before the birth. The mother's behavior therefore is of great importance for the future brood and its abilities to training.
The group of British researchers has found out also that the cat's sociability, its trust degree in relation to the person can be genetic and be inherited on father's line. That is the only influence of the father on posterity known for today as he at all isn't engaged in its education. The best time for training and education of kittens is during the period from their birth to 6-month's age. Nevertheless, as they say, it is never late to study, that is why it is quite possible to re-educate the adult animal, everything depends on the cat's character and pedagogical abilities of its owner.
Three factors that cause kitten's behavior:
• The direct training taking the central part in formation of its character,
• The role of mother, whose influence on all its further development is difficult to overestimate,
• Familiarizing with other animals, and also with people; the future adult life of the kitten will depend largely on how it will pass.
It is a question of kitten's communication uprise with world around and development of behavior models that are peculiar to an animal of cat's family. This process occurs very early with cats, especially in comparison with dogs, and it plays a pivotal role either in normal development of a young animal or in its mental health. The stage of intensive training begins from 2nd week after a birth and comes to an end by 7th week, sometimes a bit later. During this period it is extremely important to take care of creating "game conditions" indoors where the kittens live, according to ethologists` opinion, that is experts in animals` behavior, for the creation of various sources of kids` interest stimulation to social realm, and, hence, the developments of sagacity in them.
Dialogue of kittens with each other and games among themselves have extremely great value for their development till 8 weeks age. By 3 month the relation of an animal to other friendly beings is also set (the person, a dog, a rabbit etc.). The character of relations of a cat with the future owner and the degree of its attachment to it in many respects depends on how this adaptation to world around proceeded. To raise the level of communication of the animal, you should from the earliest age, actually in the first weeks of his life, acquaint it with a considerable quantity of different people: let it play with them, sit in their arms, in this case you will have the animal with a light, open temper. It will easily adapt to everybody and everything. The communication with one person, maximum with two, will transform a cat into the oncer extraordinary attached to the owner. It is better not to hesitate with acquainting the cat with the neighborhood of other live beings with which it should live under one roof afterwards, otherwise it will be more difficult. And first of all - to children who in the opinion of a cat are absolutely special representatives of mankind. These unpredictable creatures are able to make acute sounds, and the main thing, try, using an inattention of adults, to catch peacefully passing by kitty by whiskers, ears or tail. It is not worth talking that small children sometimes cause many troubles to cats. It is very important to acquaint them sooner with each other, especially if the animal sees them not very often, for example, when grandsons come to visit the grandmother and the grandfather.
Fur care, easing nature and feeding (besides breast milk) in some measure, are certainly inborn actions, but at the same time all these skills are quickly engrained to young one by their mother. The monthly kitten can eat the same food, as his mother does, thus it imitates its behavior and gets the same habits. Ability to drink fresh water is very different from drinking milk, and also it is got at this age. If you don't want to get the fastidious person and suffer with feeding, try to give your kitten a various food, both in taste, and in consistence (dry food, meat balls etc.).
6.2. The breeder is a second mother for a kitten
The breeder who deals with cats` breeding and is inevitable intermediary between an animal and its future owner, plays a basic role in education of a kitten, for which he is some kind of "standard" of the person.
Such a great honor imposes the certain obligations. The kitten should be prepared for the future concrete conditions of his life. If it is intended for a family with small children, it is desirable to give the chance to it at the age from 2 till 7 weeks to get acquainted either with those children with whom he should live in future or with children of the breeder himself or its acquaintances. For certain it can seem to someone as excessive trifling and energy, however it is the best way to receive an adapted for life kitten. The cats should be trained the same way for living with the dogs. It is good if the breeder has a dog, if he doesn't - he can ask the friends, acquaintances, the main thing - to find sociable and peaceful animals. The certain school is required to any kitten, at least the most simple, for the kitten not to grow up wild. For this purpose it is required to play with a kitten daily from 5 till 40 minutes, to take it in arms, to stroke it, to talk to it. The breeder will bring up the cat for the lonely person by himself. For education of a family animal it is necessary to join to work 2 - 3 more assistants, preferably of different gender. Certainly, they should behave in relation to a kitten and a cat-mother not less tender and careful. If a cat is timid, the breeder should be nearby at these moments.
6.3. Cats` "language"
As paradoxical it sounds, but the cat "walking by itself" is included into the number of the most sociable animals, and though quite often intentionally refuses some contacts (especially with similar), with the person under normal conditions it is capable to show original talents of dialogue. The nature has supplied it with surprisingly delicate and various means of communication allowing it to estimate an emotional condition of other animals quickly and truly so, decide depending on a situation, whether it is necessary to agree on meeting or it is better to refuse it. When the undesirable meeting with the tribesman seems inevitable, all ways of horrification are used among which a bluff takes far not last place.
A cat has a remarkable vision, for example, it is rather sensitive to brightness changes (her eye catches a difference in 10 - 12 %) and is capable to react to the slightest movements (for example, it is not a problem for it to make out the mouse, moving with a speed of 2-4 meters per minute). Color isn't the defining factor for it, and it distinguishes accurately only two - blue and green. Unlike the common opinion the cat doesn't see in total darkness, but - in comparison with the man - it needs 6 times less light to distinguish what is going on around. Therefore at night it much better, than we, sees objects and live beings.
On the other hand its whiskers supply very well the received information because by means of them it can define an essence of the object, thanks to a gradient (difference) of heat and turbulence which focus her nose and pupils under a more favorable corner.
One more, and considerable, cat's advantage is a fine smelling. On vomeronasal pass connecting a cavitas oris with a nasal one, comes a so-called Jacobson's organ covered with olfactory cells, directly contacting with the effectors of an olfactory bulb. This feature of the cat's anatomy, ability to catch a smell of the unique molecule while some hundreds of them are required for a man, and gives cats an ability to distinguish very precisely even emotions by means of smells.
It is considered that a cat has an ear for music and that it feels the difference in the decile of tune in treble and a quarter tone in middle. It is perfectly clear also that the cat perfectly distinguishes its nickname from names of other members of the family and nicknames of other cats.
Cat is perfectly able to discern somebody's mood, and tries to keep cool itself, however sometimes emotions nevertheless break through, either direct, or in marking with urine, faeces and transpiration.
6.4. "Game conditions"
By this term we specify simple, but very important condition of kittens` education: as various as possible environment both from physical, and emotional point of view should surround them. Researches prove obviously how useful it is for growing animals to receive at least for some minutes a day all possible objects (balls, packs from a thick paper, cardboard boxes etc.) to play with them, and also wooden constructions to jump on them and to climb. Big cardboard boxes are a great pleasure for cats: first, it is possible to hide there, and second, to find set of interesting things! It is necessary to think about the variety of sound backgrounds: TV, games and shouts of children, music etc. The kittens who have been grown up in such conditions, start to show rudiments of game activity before the usual time, that is even before the achievement of 5-week age. And their further development goes much faster and more effectively. So, the purpose of "game conditions" consists in creating the atmosphere that promotes harmonious development of behavioral models of animals so that they could adapt to any situations easily in future. Thus a strongly advanced research instinct is developed in kittens.
6.5. Games with a cat
It is the original pleasure to watch the game of a cat. It is necessary for kittens development to learn to play because they get important skills which will be necessary for them at adult age. After reaching approximately six-monthly age the cat loses playfulness a little. It prefers to keep the energy for more serious business - hunting.
You can make any game more attractive to your cat if you join it, but the best way to keep playfulness of a cat is to provide it with cat's partner. Pair of the animals who are brought up in the same house, will continue to play together and at adult age.
6.6. What toys do cats love?
1. A ball for a Ping-Pong game. A small ball is an ideal toy for your cat. Be ready to get it from behind the door and from under armchairs.
2. A mouse with a smell of the cat's mint. If your cat loves mint, it will purr in ecstasy from this toy .
3. The cat's pleasure. The wool ball is an all-time toy. The cat will enjoy, rolling it on the floor. Don't allow a cat to play with a ball without your control as it can swallow a piece of a thread or be entrapped in it, up to suffocation cases.
4. Hide-and-seek. The carton box is ideal for hide-and-seek. After sniffing each corner of the box the cat likes to hide there. When it is inside, it will be by all means attacked from outside by its cat's partner.
5. A mouse on a rope. The cat admires each object which is moving before its nose. The mouse on a rope will amuse your cat. Such toy also can't be used without your control.
1. Play with feathers. A feather is a good toy to tickle a cat and to amuse it, but watch its claws. If you don't put your hand aside very quickly, it can scratch you.
2. Catch "small fish". Trail a feather on a floor by means of a string so that the cat has pursued it. Slowly draw it before the cat's paws and wait, while it catches it with its claws, then slowly wind a string on the bobbin.
6.7. 10 golden rules of education of a cat
1. The kitten studies the cat's behavior from its mother, therefore it is better not to get the kitten who has not reached three-month age.
2. The cat should have toys. Things which it is afraid of should be taken away.
3. "A word warmly said gives comfort even to a cat" - remember this popular proverb and never shout at a cat.
4. In education of a cat it is necessary to show hardness: if you have decided to forbid something to your cat, never do exceptions of this rule.
5. Tenderly praise and stroke a cat if it has done something that you wanted.
6. Forbidding something to a cat, use always one and the same word (for example, "out!").
7. Say a nickname of your cat only with a tender intonation.
8. Never beat a cat.
9. Respect capricious character of your pupil and don't demand too much from your cat.
10. Love your cat, and it will answer you with the same!