WHAT IS CAT SOCIALIZATION?
Cat socialization is the process of creating trust in your cat and introducing her to new animals and people in the home environment. An unsocialized cat can be shy, distrustful, frightened or aggressive while on the other hand, a well – socialized cat is more likely to be affectionate, trustful, loving and courteous. Its extremely important to socialize your cat if you have a young child so that they won’t get bitten or scratched by your cat. The socialization period generally occurs during the very young age of cats. Kittens are more likely to become suspicious about such things which they haven’t experienced yet. During this age, he can easily learn to interact with other cats, animals and people. So if you have a young, adorable kitten then it is your job to help him in learning how to socialized with other people or animals.
WHAT AGE IS BEST FOR CAT SOCIALIZATION?
As I said above, socialization can be done best, during the young age of cat. But the question is how young? Well, kitten can learn socializing easily between the age of two weeks to seven weeks. If he is handled well by people and enjoys interaction with humans and other animals, then he will be more likely to friendly as he grows and also he will be less – stressed by the new experiences. While on the other hand, between the age of seven to nine weeks, if he has no social contact with humans then, most probably, he will remain fearful from humans for the rest of his life. Although environmental enrichment and early handling is beneficial for kittens, no doubt, but that does not mean that they should be separated from their loving mothers at very early age as their mothers passes their social skills to their children. Many cat experts recommended that adopting kittens with their mother would be a good idea and also litter for up to eleven or twelve weeks of age. If you are planning of getting a kitten from the litter which has not been handled by humans at all then it is recommended to bring the kitten of atleast six to seven weeks of age. Spending time with his mother and litter is good for him but learning proper socialization is very important for them if you want them to be happy and sociable companion for the rest of his life.
HOW TO SOCIALIZE YOUR KITTEN?
1. EASY HANDLING :- Studies show that if a kitten interacts more with humans during or before the age of seven weeks, the more he will remain friendly when he grows up. Easy handling is very important during socializing. By spending fifteen to twenty minutes per day can make your kitten to be less afraid and friendly to humans. If the kitten’s mother does not mind your presence then you can start handling him by picking him up in your lap. You should stick to a very short handling sessions as some mothers are quite protective for their new born kittens so, in this case, you should handle kittens for not very long time when the mother is out of the room. however you should continue the handling sessions daily, so that they can become friendly when you picked him up, touched and held.
2. PLAY WITH YOUR CAT :- We all know that they are predators by nature and they loves to hunt and kill which is instinct in them. First learn what type of toys they love to play and fix the schedule time daily, this can reduce their predatory behaviour and also it will help in creating a bond between you and your cat. You can also expose him to different walking surfaces including grass, carpet, concrete, gravel and linoleum. Kittens loves to explore new things so you can provide him some objects like card board, shopping bags, paper bags, and toys which will help them to investigate these new things by creating holes with their little paws. Petting them would be enough if you want him to develop socializing skills several times a day.
3. INTRODUCE YOUR CAT TO STRANGERS :- Before introducing him to other stranger people, make sure you have win his trust fully. Before letting other people to handle your kitten, make sure to tell them all the basic things such as, to keep their voice calm and low until the cat becomes comfortable with them. In this case, try not to force interaction, if the cat feels too much fear then it is recommended not to introduce them to strangers and wait for the right time when the kitten becomes comfortable. Your kitten can feel contented after two or three visits of the people who he does not know.
4. KITTEN KINDERGARTEN :- Pet owners shouls understand the importance of kitten kindergarten. In this place, your kitten will learn new tricks and will have a chance to interact new people and other kittens/cats. These classes will also help you ro understand the body language of your kitten. If you want your cat to become a therepy cat then this is the best option.