Wait, what? Do I need to socialize my kitten?
Well, yes, you need to! You might not have thought of socializing your kitten ever, and might not even know that there are methods to do so – but the fact is – yes, you should socialize them.
Undoubtedly, cats are adorable and lovely. But they need to be socialized too, just like dogs. When you adopt a dog, you train them and take care of them. However, when people bring cats to their homes, all they bring is a box to contain them, and that’s it.
This is what needs to change, and can be modified when you socialize your kitten. Socialization helps cats and kittens interact with other pets. It builds confidence in them and makes them feel secure.
So how can you socialize a kitten? Let’s find out.
Find the Best Time
Quite predictably, the first few weeks of a kitten’s life are sensitive. You cannot just grab one and show her around your home.
According to experts, the best time to socialize a kitten is when she is three to nine weeks old. However, do not separate the kitten from her mother yet. It is during this phase that cats identify their social partners and begin developing bonds with other cats and pets.
If you want to socialize your cat with non-cats, wait till she is at least five weeks old.
However, if you have adopted a cat who is older than five weeks or who is an older feline, don’t think that you have missed the ideal window. You can still get started with the process, and socialize your kitten/cat.
How to Socialize your Kitten
If you want to socialize your kitten and are wondering how to do that, here are a few tips that you must follow:
Introduce a cat carrier in a positive and non-threatening way. Put some treats inside, or her favorite toy and let her enter and exit on her own several times.
It just doesn’t make sense to put your cat in a cat carrier against her will. In other words, let your kitten realize that if she goes into the carrier, you will treat her, and let her play with her favorite toys.
If your cat is scared of vaccines and exams, eliminate this fear by taking her to the vet’s office just for fun. This will ease her up, and her subsequent examinations will go smoothly.
Similar to dogs, you can also reward your cat with treats. Just place a box full of treats at your front door. Next, whenever people come over to your place, whether they be a postman, Amazon delivery man, or whomever – ask them to treat your kitty.
This way, she will start relating people with treats and will love meeting people rather than hiding herself.
Being a shy and introverted animal, cats prefer to keep themselves restricted unless encouraged. Thus, if you don’t want to spend the next 10 years looking for your cat under the bed – socialization is necessary. Encourage interaction with your other pets and family members, but always keep the energy calm and low key.
Praise and treat! Cats can’t be disciplined the same way dogs can. Simply ignore undesirable behavior, and reward good behavior! Be consistent and over time, your new furry friend will learn interaction is a good thing!
The Next Steps
Once your kitten is comfortable at home, and comfortable going in and out of her carrier, you can start taking her to new places. The vet’s office, friends houses, etc. If you plan to travel with your kitty, getting her out of the house early on is the best way to encourage a sense of adventure in her. Soon you’ll have a travel buddy who is up for anything!
How did you socialize your new kitten? What techniques did you use to socialize an older/adult cat? Any tips or tricks you can offer our readers? Leave a comment below!
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