You are much more likely to be given information on taking care of a dog than taking care of a new cat. Cats tend to have a reputation for being particularly aloof and independent. However, this attitude is often a result of the cat not having enough socialization. When you take the steps to socialize a kitten, you’ll often have a far better companion. Cats are great pets and can be incredibly affectionate when given the chance. Here are a few tips to help you socialize a kitten.
When to Socialize a Kitten
The ideal socialization time for a kitten is generally between 3 and 9 weeks of age. However, they should generally stay with their mom during this period of time. When you adopt a kitten, it is highly likely that you have adopted them outside of this ideal socialization period. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t still be socialized. Older kittens and even adult cats can be socialized properly. In fact, socialization should be a continuous effort that you engage in throughout their lives.
Positive reinforcement is often the ideal way to help socialize a kitten. Punishing them for bad behavior will not help them to become socialized properly. Provide them with fun experiences and treats periodically to provide this positive reinforcement. Take them on short trips to fun places, rather than only putting them in a carrier for vet visits. This will help them to get used to traveling and reduce their resistance to their carrier. It is often beneficial to leave their carrier open in their space, so that they get more used to it.
Give your kitten treats whenever people come over to visit. This will enable you to make a connection between treats and company. Then, they will start to have positive feelings toward people coming over to visit.
Throw a Party
Throwing a party can be a great way to socialize your kitten. When you have many guests over to your home, your kitten will quickly get over any anxiety they have around strangers. Having a party can help to ensure that your kitten gets used to having people over.
Start with Small Spaces
When you move your kitten to a new home, it can often be incredibly overwhelming for them. Start by keeping your kitten in a small space, like a single room, before you provide them with access to the entire area. This can prevent them from getting overwhelmed.
Spend Time Playing with Them
Playing with your kitten is a great way to help them build trust with you. Spend time playing with your kitten every day. This can also help with potential behavior problems, because it will enable them to work out excess energy.
Provide a Safe Environment
It is important to ensure that you keep your kitten safe. Take some time to review the environment and “kitten-proof” it so that you can provide them with a safe environment. Protecting your kitten and keeping them safe will build their trust and help them to be socialized properly.
When you socialize a kitten, you will generally be able to obtain a friendlier, affectionate companion. These tips can help you to socialize your kitten. You may also want to consider taking them to the veterinarian’s office occasionally without requiring them to have an uncomfortable experience to help reduce their anxiety. Give them lots of treats and affection. For more information about how to socialize a kitten, contact us at Borrett Animal Hospital today!