The joys of kittenhood: Socialization tips for you and your kitten
Our new online tool, Shelter Health Pro, has a wealth of information on all kinds of things – including kitten socialization! We’re going to highlight here a few key tips you can use. For more great information, visit our website!
The following has been adapted from material on the ASPCApro website.
To ensure that kittens in your care are friendly and well-adjusted:
- Socialize the kitten with both people and other animals.
- Introduce the kitten to a wide range of events, environments and situations.
- All animals, including cats, have a window of opportunity at the start of their lives during which they learn to accept things around them so they are not afraid of them later in life.
When to start socialization
Kittens have a prime socialization window which occurs at 2-7 weeks of age but can extend up to 14 weeks. During this time, the kitten is most receptive to new experiences. You can help boost confidence and reduce the development of fears and phobias by providing kittens with a variety of experiences during these early weeks.
After the window closes, unfamiliar people, objects and experiences are approached with caution, and the kitten may become fearful. In fact, the most common cause of fear and aggression is lack of socialization.
Keep these interactions short and frequent so as not to overtire the kitten.
Create a socialization schedule:
- Combine a variety of situations with positive reinforcement and rewards.
- Have the kitten become accustomed to handling by different people during its stay.
- Ensure the kitten is touched in different places such as the ears, paws, mouth and belly.
- Provide a wide variety of opportunities to explore.
- Expose them to different sights, sounds and smells.
- Ensure that socialization experiences are positive and that the kitten does not display signs of fear or anxiety in every situation.
Visit Shelter Health Pro for a list of important things to remember when socializing kittens.
For helpful tips on kitten nutrition, and how much to feed your kitten, visit Royal Canin’s website!
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