A newborn or juvenile cat is known as a kitten. Alike most juvenile pets, kittens need constant attention and familiarity with the outside world. Most kittens are prone to loneliness and many ailments related to isolation.
After being born, kittens are totally dependent on the mother cat for survival. After two weeks of birth, kittens start exploring the outside world and starting eating after three to four weeks. The time between 2-8 weeks is considered the best time for introducing kittens to socialization skills. Domestic kittens are highly social animals and usually enjoy human companionship.
Why kittens should be socialized?
- Socialization teaches a kitten how to be a cat.
- Proper feline manners and how to communicate with other felines help in bonding with other pets
- It also helps them to ascertain who their enemies are.
Three T's of Kitten Socialization
The most trainers focus on three T’s of socialization for cats. These are; Touching, Talking, and Timing.
Touching is the most essential part of any grooming or nurturing process. Mothers tend to care their newborn with their touch to provide the warmth and protection. Touching a kitten helps them realize that they shouldn’t fear humans. It offers them a chance to get close to their pet owners.
- Touching kittens help them remember your scent which helps to them to associate the memories spent with you and bring closeness.
- Petting is one of the first sensations newborns feel when they come in contact with mother cats. Petting gives them a wonderful safe experience.
- Comforting touch helps to reduce blood pressure, and improve heart rate and brainwave.
- While handling the kitten, be sure to touch its ears, tail, paws, and mouth so the experience is comforting and pleasing. Keep it as a routine.
Pets can very well interpret most basic words and gestures.
- Talking to the kitten teaches them to listen and pay attention to your voice. It brings familiarity between you and your pet.
- The often you speak to your cat, the better they will understand and react to you. This enhances and improves your relationship.
Timing is the third most important chapter on kitten grooming. Training them during the 2 weeks to 8 weeks of their life helps them grasp the skills better. Kittens won't know what's right and what's wrong unless you tell them at the right time.
Catching them during the act or mischief can help them disciplined. Timing also helps to offer rewards to kittens to follow the routine and become more dedicated.
Learn more about pet training and grooming.