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Few living creatures exhibit joy and energy better than kittens do. They can go from energetic to full throttle at a certain life stage.
Tracie Hotchner, author of the book The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know, explains that between 4 and 16 weeks of age, kittens start to demonstrate the first of two types of play: social play. This is when kittens will chase and stalk their siblings, often biting and pouncing on them -- but nothing too serious. As Hotchner humorously writes, kittens during this period will often propel themselves “in a whirling dervish, only to collapse five minutes later and fall fast asleep.”
The other type of play that occurs at around this age: object play. Like the name suggests, object play is when your kitten bites, chases, catches, carries and bats almost anything it can grab with its mouth or little claws. This type of play promotes exercise and allows your cat to learn hunting behaviors. Social play, on the other hand, teaches your kitten how to get along with others while still retaining important survival skills.
After the 16-week period, your pet will still be energetic and playful, but it should gradually start to simmer down a bit. Some adult cats are kittens at heart, though, and will continue their high-energy ways. Hotchner advises that you praise your pet for good behavior and “clap your hands to startle her for doing something you don’t like.” Other than that, Hotchner says it’s best to “ignore the bad and reward the good.”
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