Kitten Kindergarten Helps Families Raise Well-Adjusted, Confident Cats

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on September 21, 2017

You’ve heard of puppy classes, but dogs aren’t the only pets to benefit from school. The San Diego Humane Society is getting a lot of praise after initiating a program they call Kitten Kindergarten. Similar to puppy school, Kitten Kindergarten is meant to teach youngsters all about the world they’re living in. But while you’re picturing trainers attempting to organize the chaos that is a group of kittens, a day in the life of a kitten kindergartner is a little different.


Overall, kitten class is a laid-back environment. Instead of focusing on obedience training and teaching commands, the first lesson in Kitten 101 is to help skittish kittens become confident companions. The three-week course exposes young cats to new environments, people, and situations. Cats that like to run away, claw their owners, and don’t get along well with strangers are always at risk of ending up at a shelter.

The world can be a scary place for a newborn cat, and lessons are taught to prepare students for anything that could potentially cause them stress in the future. Going to the vet, greeting guests, and welcoming other pets into the home are all lessons covered in class.

Advanced students have a chance to shine during the second week of the course. Allison Beaulieu, the head trainer in Kitten Kindergarten, stands by her belief that with the right amount of time and patience, cats can be trained to perform certain behaviors. She uses a reward-based training method to teach cats to willingly enter their carriers, wear harnesses, and perform a number of other actions to make life easier. Some star students even master the elusive “sit” command.

At the end of the three weeks, all participants celebrate a job well done with an official kitten graduation ceremony. Instructors play “Pomp and Circumstance” while the newly trained felines chew on their caps and bat their tassels. Instructors hope their graduates will go on to live comfortable lives with their new families. When a kitten is trained and properly socialized, their chances of staying with a forever family are greatly improved.

Featured Image Source: Facebook/San Diego Humane Society

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