Friday, November 28, 2014

Kitten Kindergarten

We've all heard about obedience school and training classes for puppies and dogs, but have you ever heard of school for kittens?  Kitten kindergarten is education, training, and socialization program for kittens and their humans.  Dr. Kersti Seksel, an Australian veterinary behaviorist, created the concept less than a decade ago.  Many veterinary clinics, SPCAs, Humane Societies, and animal behaviorists across North America now offer the program.

Most kitten kindergartens work with kittens aged eight to 13 weeks and their humans because a kitten's development is so much faster than a puppy's.  According to Westgate Pet Clinic, it is easier to train a kitten younger than 14 weeks of age because kittens become more fearful when they turn 14 weeks old, making them more likely to experience new situations negatively.  Kitten kindergarten is designed to take advantage of the time kittens are most impressionable and open to bonding, training, and teaching.

Before attending class, you need to have your kitten examined by a veterinarian and get his first round of vaccines.  You cat will also need a health certificate in order to pariticpate in class.

During class, kittens will have a chance to play and interact with other kittens and people in a controlled setting.  There may even be games to help young kitties learn to play appropriately with one another.  Toys and scratching posts may also be present in the classroom.  The social aspect of the class is very important, especially for cats who may have been separated from their littermates too early and never had the opportunity to learn bite inhibition.

Owners learn how to train their kitties to enjoy the carrier and practice grooming skills, like nail clipping.  Cat owners also learn about typical kitten and cat behavior and positive training strategies, such as clicker training.  Experts typically lead the classes, which gives owners the opportunity to ask questions about behavior, diet, and training.

As you can see, kitten kindergarten classes are beneficial for kittens and their humans.  If you are interested in participating in this program, please check out your local SPCA, animal shelters, and veterinary clinics to see if there are any kitten kindergarten classes near you.

Have you ever attended kitten kindergarten?  If so, please tell us about your experience in the comments section!

21 comments:

  1. We never attended kitten kindergarten, but the mom says we probably should have!

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  2. We didn't attend kitten kindergarten as were rescued by the RSPCA from a house with over 100 cats living there when we were about 6 months old.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

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  4. We didn't attend kitten kindergarten as were rescued by the RSPCA from a house with over 100 cats living there when we were about 6 months old.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

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  5. Well there are a few here that might have benefited from kindergarten class, but I won't say who!

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  6. Laila would definitely have benefited from kitten kindergarten class.

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  7. My breeder handles her kittens right from the start, which is why Sparkle and I were so well behaved already when we came home. Binga wasn't, which is one of the reasons why she was a holy terror! (Also, being a tortie.) I think kitten kindergarten is an AWESOME idea every young cat should go through.

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  8. What a great idea! Kitten school!

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  9. None of us have ever attended Kitten Kindergarten but baby sister Viola attended Quint's Charm School and came out with nothing but gold stars!

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  10. That sounds like a great idea!
    We nevfur heard of that befur. Maybe meowmy will check it out if's she brings home another kitten.

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  11. Well, we kinda attended kitten kindergarten. See, in that, we learned real fast what Mumsy means when she says "NO" in the big voice.
    :-) Hugs!

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  12. That's a pawsome idea for kitten and humans ! We never heard of it before ! Purrs

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  13. What a great idea. I have never taken a kitten there. Almost every cat I have ever had was adopted as an adult.

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  14. that's a fabulous idea! They should maybe have one session where puppies are present for those cat owners who may have dogs

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  15. What a great idea, this would have been good for Scylla as she didn't learn learn bite inhibition as a kitten.

    We also agree with Caren maybe have one session where they introduce the cat to dogs, so they will knows how to act around them. Even if their people don't currently have a dog that might get one one day.

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  16. Kindergarten, Are you sure it wasn't Kittergarten? Wow, that would have been fun....

    Noodle and crew

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  17. Mom has heard of these. Since our house kind of does that for fosters, it works. But we don't have a good way to expose them to more people. Love the idea and mom has thought about trying to do one.

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  18. OMC, I would have loved to have had this opportunity with several of our kitties. They probably would get along much better with their furbish. Thanks for letting us know about it. Ho, ho, ho, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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