Socializing Your Kitten (and why it’s important)

Kitten laying on its back

Cats are often thought of as being aloof, independent, and sometimes even uncaring. But if you socialize your kitten properly, you can be sure your new pet will be well-adjusted, affectionate, and friendly to all. The period when your kitten is between two and eight weeks old is a special time in their development. It’s a window of opportunity when they are especially receptive to new experiences. If kittens have the right experiences at this time, they will be more comfortable with people and all the sounds and stimulations of their environment.

Touching

One of the first sensations a kitten feels is their mother licking and grooming them. Touching your kitten frequently is part of their socialization. Even if it’s just in passing, a gentle pet can do wonders. When handling your kitten, make sure you touch its ears, mouth, paws and tail making the experience is pleasant and routine.

Talking

Your kitten may not be able to understand what you say, but it will recognize when you’re feeling happy, angry, loving, sad, etc. Make sure your tone reflects the situation. Speak in a soft, affectionate voice while petting them. Use a bright, cheery voice during play.

Positive Trips

While people often bring their dogs places with them, most cats only travel outside of the house when visiting the veterinarian. That can lead to a lot of stress for your cat and difficulty getting them into their carrier. You can avoid this by taking your kitten on several non-veterinarian trips that end with fun experiences.

Treats from Visitors

Dogs aren’t the only ones that respond well to treats. Keep a bowl of something your kitten loves by the door. Each time someone comes (guests, the Amazon driver, etc.) have them give your kitten a treat. They’ll soon start running to greet anyone that visits your apartment.

Create a Crowd

While your cat is still a kitten, occasionally invite your friends over to watch TV, have a pizza party, etc. It quickly breaks down the anxiety that can come with a crowd later in your cat’s life.

 

Most behavioral issues stem from the unfamiliar. Something as simple as new furniture can be stressful for an adult cat. You can help your kitten become accustomed to change by intentionally creating change while they’re young. Move the furniture around, invite guests, take your kitten places, create a variety of sounds…all in a positive spirit…and they will grow up to be a well-adjusted cat.

 

Cats at Elmwood Manor
At Elmwood Manor, we allow cats because we believe they help enrich people’s lives; improving both their physical and emotional well-being. If you’re thinking about getting a cat, please contact the leasing office (585-271-8740 or email) for more information on our policies.