Proper play promotes socialization and a well-socialized kitten makes a great pet. Begin to socialize your kitten as soon as you bring him or her home, ideally at eight weeks of age. That’s the best time for kittens to bond with people. From eight to ten weeks kittens are impressionable and need to have as many positive experiences with people and other animals as possible. Ten to 16 weeks is the time for kittens to learn – as long as it’s fun. Your kitten should learn through positive reinforcement. Don’t use punishments, instead withhold rewards. Use your common sense and good judgment, just like you would with a child.
Socialization is learning to become adjusted or “adapting” to the world you live in. It’s getting familiar with people, places, other animals and all the things in your environment. Properly socialized kittens usually grow up to be well-adjusted happy cats.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
* It is important to realize that the primary socialization period or time kittens are most receptive to learning begins at 2 weeks of age; peaks at 4 to 5 weeks and ends when kittens are just 7 weeks old.
* Kittens need to be with their mom until they are 8 weeks old. After that the way kittens react and adjust to their new environment depends on a lot on you and varies with their (individual) personality. Most cats are social, shy or aggressive. Social cats are usually friendly and confident. Shy cats tend to be nervous. Aggressive cats tend to be bold.
KITTY PROOF YOUR HOME
* Before you bring home a new kitten, you will need to adjust your lifestyle. Expect inconvenience and plan to spend a lot of time together. Kitty proof your home; make your house and your yard as safe as possible. Kittens are a lot like toddlers – a lot of what they see goes into their mouth, especially while new teeth are coming in. Look at your house from a kitten’s perspective. Crawl around on your hands and knees if you need to look for temptations that could be dangerous like electric cords, strings, rubber bands and tinsel, as well as plants that might be toxic. Remove them, placing them up high out of paw reach to limit your cat’s access to them. Changing their texture so they become less desirable i.e. cover with double stick tape or sand paper is an option.
* To socialize your kitten: take her everywhere you go, introduce her to as many new people, pets, places, sights, sounds and smells as you can.
* Play plenty of games with her. Some experts recommend scheduling play periods. Keep playtimes brief; over stimulating very young kittens can promote aggressive tendencies. Most cats like games that stimulate their natural instincts. Chasing laser mice, toy birds and fish are favorites.
* TOYS provide a positive outlet for energetic, curious kittens. Many are educational and stimulate kittens mentally. They help prevent boredom, destruction and anxiety. Some toys are also a form of exercise, like laser mice, and many can be stuffed with treats like catnip. Get a variety of toys and rotate them every few days. Be cautious of glove type toys that fit over your hand and may inadvertently encourage biting.
HISTORY OF CATS EMOTIONS
Today, many of cat’s emotions and natural behaviors are related to their “ancestral survival instincts” which were necessary to survive in the wild. Unfortunately, their “emotions” are mostly negative and occur because of fear which perhaps developed because of their small size. Flower Remedies are often used to treat behavioral problems caused by emotional disorders in cats. They are all made of flowers; they are dilute, natural and harmless. They are chosen according to the emotion you are dealing with.
FACT: African wild cats are the ancestor of today’s house cats
* “Mimulus”- for fears, loud noise, people.
* “Holly”- for jealousy, suspicion.
* “Rock Rose”- for cat that is afraid to enter new home.
TO USE FLOWER REMEDIES
You can place four drops into the water bowl once a day, two to three drops into your cats mouth or food two to three times a day, or you can rub it on pulse points, which are located under the throat and behind the ears. Use every 20 minutes. Great in an emergency.