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Known for their tri-colored fur patterns, calico cats are not a breed of cat, they simply have a "calico" appearance. Calico cats are defined by their white, orange and non-orange patches caused by the shutting off of X-chromosomes in the cat's genetics. According to Absolutely Cats, the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA) has identified 16 breeds of cat that can be classified as calico, including Manx, Persian, Domestic Short-Hair, Maine Coon or Scottish Fold. In order to train a calico kitten, and classify its personality, you must discover the cat's feline lineage.
Identifying Your Calico's Breed
Identifying your kitten's breed is as simple as asking your breeder or animal rescue worker. If they are uncertain of your kitten's lineage, ask your veterinarian. If the cat is from a shelter or was once a stray, it can be difficult to pick a single breed of cat. The CFA recognizes 41 breeds of cats, while other cat associations believe there are over 70 breeds of cat. Once you identify your cat's breed, you can begin to understand his personality, which will assist you in the training process.
Your Kitten's Personality
Begin research on your kitten's personality by talking with your veterinarian. Feline personalities can vary from the sociable, intelligent and affectionate, to talkative or aggressive. Similarly to humans, identifying your kitten as one breed does not guarantee he will act in one way or the other. However, researching your kitten's general personality characteristics based on breed can help you adjust your training process and explain other general behaviors, especially if you have a calico.
General Kitten Personality
The general personality of a kitten is playful, social and energetic, but never in excess. Kittens are typically always active or dead asleep, with little in between (except for eating). If your kitten is less-than-social, or overly aggressive, adapt your training process by gauging your kitten's personality differences. The environment you provide for your kitten will be the greatest personality factor of all. According to Understanding Animals, your kitten's greatest socialization period is between 2 and 7 weeks, after which it is difficult for your cat to change their attitude and behavior to everyday events.
Kitten Litter Training
Litter training is essential in kittens and may begin as early as 4 weeks. Be sure to introduce kitten to litter as early as you can. Stir your kitten's paws in the litter 30 minutes after a meal or playtime, and you may be surprised as to how your kitten will self-train himself to use it. Be sure to never switch litter brands from the start for a change in scent or smell will leave your cat urinating in places outside the box.
Common in all kittens, biting can be a major problem to a new cat parent, especially if it matures with the cat itself. If a young kitten gets aggressive while playing and uses its claws or teeth, back off. If this does not work, be sure to make an audible "no" sound to alert the cat of its inappropriate behavior. Have plenty of cat toys at the ready if the problem continues. Establish that it is okay for the kitten to bite the feather or catnip toy, but not your hand, with a firm "no."
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