Kittens have the demeanor of extreme shyness when they come across strangers. Some grow to adopt the aggressiveness of a Labrador Retriever while others retain their withdrawn behavior. Failing to socialize kittens to humans will result in behavioral qualities that will be impossible to shift.
Why do some cats have unfriendly behaviors? The answer is not a blanket, one that will explain the behavior of all domestic felines. They have individual personas and reactions that differentiate how they interact with the world. Cats that had a loving and playful home as kittens will have well-adjusted personalities, while feral and abused cats will be closed-off and ill-disposed.
Cats are naturally curious. They probe about their surroundings, inclusive of their human owners. Kittens will loosen up around humans that their minds register to be of marital influence. It is essential to understand the behavior of cats to nurture harmonious living.
Signs that your kitten needs socialization skills
Cats, which did not undergo the right behavioral orientation, will exhibit the following behaviors:
- Anxiety while meeting new people, animals, and events in life
- Hostility to the world, inclusive of other cats
- Slow learning abilities
- Poor sleep quality
- Inability to make proper use of the litter box
- Unable or afraid to find food for themselves in a natural environment with plenty of cat food sources
Aggressiveness in kittens
Cats that adopt aggressiveness to deal with lack of socialization will have defensiveness that exceeds that of a normal one. The ordinary house will not be completely docile no matter how much you tame the instinct. Kittens that lack the crucial nurturing stage will be in a constant attack mode. They will begin showing the following
- Dilated pupils
- Stiff body posture
Shyness in kittens
Young cats that hide behind their owner or around the house will fall into the other category of improper behavior – reclusiveness. It is important to note that a kitten who is calm and friendly for a long time should not gain the label that they are shy. Withdrawn kittens are easy to spot, as they will also exhibit a few signs of cowardice.
What conditions instigate social awkwardness in kittens?
The fear to interact with humans reasonably may not be evident to kittens as it is to us. While age plays a bit part in how the feline will interact with you, kittens that remain skittish around people may have more underlying issues. A bad experience is only one part of why kittens choose to act defensively or timidly. Here are a few other causative conditions:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Lead poisoning
- Liver disorders
- Fungal and bacterial infections
- Nervous system problems
- Metabolic and hormonal imbalances
- A new pet in the household may cause the pet to withdraw from everyone and retreat to a comfort zone.
- Improper treatment by intention or accident. Feral kittens will have post-traumatic stress disorder. All these painful conditions require extra care to realign the problem.
- Changes in the environment may cause aggressiveness.
Your kitten is cute, furry, and cuddly to hold. Do not, however, assume that this mild sweetness means your kitten will not grow into an apex predator. These instincts lie deep inside and prompt them to interpret their environment as accurately as possible.
Felines understand that humans are at the top of the animal food chain. We have a massive appetite to control our environment with all possible means. Your cat knows when they should go into hermit mode while in the presence of fiercer creatures. They will not hesitate to show their claws when backed up against the wall.
Our position as the most powerful animal in the chain gives us both destructive and proper leadership qualities. We have the intellectual capability, and tangible resources to make the animals around us fit in a little better. One way of adjusting kittens with unfriendly manners to adopt a playful and sweet persona is to incorporate socialization strategies.
What is socialization?
It is the process of exposing a kitten to friendlier and socially acceptable experiences. The exposure will include sights, sounds, and people. The goal of the process is to shift a cat’s behavior from shyness to confidence, friendly from fearful state and playful from rigid aggressiveness. The kitten will have better preparation for dealing with the world when they grow into their fullness.
They will adapt to new pets, people, and conditions with ease and joy. Science states that kittens are much easier to change than older pets. This biological setup means that socialization is a requires informed decision-making and application.
When should you start socializing kittens to humans?
Few people realize that animals undergo a sensitive stage, just like human beings. In 1979, Bateson defined a vulnerable age as the bracket at which animals, inclusive of us, have the most impressionable mind. Events that occur at this stage will have a long-lasting effect. This moment will define how the animal will respond to stimuli.
It is naturally essential for kittens to honor these reactionary habits. According to them, ignoring these biologically, the alarming situation is a fatal risk. They have exposure to larger predators and events when they cannot rescue themselves in time. It is therefore vital for kittens to develop a healthy socialization period that will form the single most significant period in their life.
The main window for incorporating adaptive habits is between the second and the seventh week. It is not realistic for all kittens to fit into this weekend. Most kittens get home from the shelter during the seventh or eighth week. Observations state that the socialization window extends up to fourteen weeks.
As humans, we revolve our lives around leveling up in all areas of life. We get better money-making schemes to afford a better car and go back to school to widen our job opportunities. You must choose a breeder or training program that will give your kitten the best shot in life.
Apart from making moves to adjust the cognitive state of our kittens, we have to shield them from medical and environmental problems. The following guideline will give you a comprehensive insight into the minds of our kittens. We can use these tips to create the best socialization techniques.
How to socialize kittens to humans
Soften the orientation
Give your kittens at least two days to adjust to your home when you bring them in. They sensory habits have to shift from their old surroundings to the new. These include smells, sound, and feel. Do not rope them in straight into the use of a litter box, feeding on a centralized dish or a water bowl.
The best way of softening these kittens to your new home is by fitting them into a small and confined room with kitten proof installations. Add small playful toys across the room to trigger their curiosity. Do not underestimate a cat’s ability to fall in love with small spaces. Add comfortable resting spaces like carton boxes and cushioned sacs.
Confining kittens to small spaces will work to your advantage in several ways:
- You will be able to study the reactionary behavior
- The cat will not have enough room to hide when you incorporate more adaptive behavior
- You can manage a violent attack in a smaller place where you will calm the kitten down, unlike the bigger room where they can run off
Incorporate daily play games
Two hours of close body playfulness will ease your cat’s stiffness in the mind and body. You can subdivide the hours into chunks of thirty minutes throughout the day. An easy way of starting play games is initiating light cuddles after they have their favorite meal. Soon, they will associate mealtime with bonding time. This case is a win-win because of the experience of pleasure in two folds.
Afterward, you can introduce toys like wands and laser points. Add more energy-demanding games as the kittens grow, to keep up with their increasing energy.
Cats are the masters a perfect balance between grace and strength. They will cuddle up to your feet when they need something, and stay far away when you need them. Their language of love is soft, slow, and subtle. If cats were humans, they would probably show more respect than they tell. We have to adapt their way of love for fruitful exchange care.
Kittens will have mental and body ease when you keep a calm voice and gentle body language. Do not have drastic moves every that will alarm your pet. Speak to your family about maintaining a reasonable tone in the house until the new addition adopts to the home’s settings.
Changed instincts will not show up overnight. Furthermore, kittens will have personalized responses to socialization. Do not get despaired when they crawl back to their old pattern. They may hiss, hide, or spit as a way of showing their growing discomfort with the new routine. Leave them alone for a while until they can warm back to you. Rushing the process will cause gain increased retaliation.
Reward positive change
Pets find a lot of comfort in rewards. Use small snack rewards to reward a friendly gesture and obedience to a call. Do not use the period to reverse the pattern. Do not scold and punish the cat for not having the appropriate reaction.
As stated earlier, we are smarter and better equipped than pet animals. Use the setup to your advantage. Move the dish of food a bit closer to you every day, so the cat has a healthy relational behavior. The kitten will learn to trust your presence and eventually give up their aggressive defensiveness.
Expand their exploration zone
The ultimate goal of socialization is to wean the kitten from their comfort zone, the small room, and behind your skirt while you have guests. As kitten become braver, they will naturally want to explore more. Introduce them to your backyard, the balcony, and the patio.
Expose them to dirt, concrete, and grass that will not cause more harm. You can buy a carrier to take them around the neighborhood before permitting them to proceed to more significant grounds without supervision. Alternatively, skip using the car while making short visits to the store or a nearby vet clinic. They will have a better adaptation to new environments and situations.
Introduce new people
You can start by allowing the kitten to meet your child’s friends. They will get used to regular pets and new games. Invite friends over and have the cat stay in the same room once they show a little courage and interest.
How can you prevent problems during socialization to humans?
Habits to avoid
The first few weeks of your kitten’s stay in the home will be extremely delicate. Avoid the following practices:
- Loud noises such as loud music, yelling and heavy construction work
- Getting angry at the kitten
- Throwing things in the kitten’s presence
- Rushed and sudden movements
- Aggressive games with the kitten
- Rearranging the house too soon after they leave their small confinement
- Bombarding the kitten with the constant presence of guests
- Failing to buy useful toys
- Locking up the kitten in the house for extended periods
Include the entire household
Involve your family in the socialization process to ease the growth. Include all other pets in the house, because they will eventually be part of your kitten’s life. Barring the dog from making eye contact with the fragile kitten will only cause more problems in the future. A well-adjusted kitten will give you a comfortable time around the home.
Visit the vet
Your kitten could be refrain from active interactions because they are nursing an internal pain. The vet will examine the kitten’s anatomy to ensure that they are in optimum health. Additionally, they will advise on which diet changes will give life to your new addition. Vaccinations will make it safe for guests to pet the kitten without risks of allergies.