Cats learn a lot about how to be a cat when they are kittens. Between their 2nd and 7th week on this planet is a very important time in their lives called the socialization window. At this time, kittens are the most receptive to anything new introduced to them. If you want to have any hope of your cat to enjoy being around humans, it is best that they get to be around humans for at least one hour a day in this period.
Do young cats need humans
If it is a matter of need, kittens don’t really NEED humans at all. Cats are very independent creatures. However, if the kittens in question are eventually going to be adopted out, they will need to have to be ample time to be around humans.
When can kittens be handled by humans?
The handling of the kittens should be at a minimum within the first few days since birth. When the kittens are a little bit older (after 2 weeks), it’s best to expose them to human touch, scent, and affection on a daily basis.
As mentioned above, the best time for socialization for kittens is between their 2nd and 7th week. During this time, it’s best to socialize them not only with humans but with animals as well – including dogs. In fact, it’s best to socialize them with dogs so they won’t be afraid of dogs when they’re older.
When can I introduce my kitten to my dog?
The best way to introduce a kitten to a dog is when both the kitten and the dog is calm. Have the dog be on the leash for safety and gently rub the kitten’s body on the dog as a way to transfer scent. Throughout the whole thing, reaffirm your dog by giving them treats.
That way they will learn to associate the presence of this new kitten with good things happening.
Introducing a kitten to older cats
Introducing a kitten to a resident cat may be a bit trickier. Cats are much more sensitive to change than dogs. The key thing to do is the same, let your cat associate only good things (like food and playtime) happening with the new kitten. Feed them together in between a door so they can smell and hear each other while they’re eating, but not see each other. Once they’re comfortable with that setup, replace the door with a screen wall, and finally, remove the door entirely.
After the 7th week, all through their 6th month of life, they should continue being socialized and exposed to things they will be doing all throughout their lives – like being in their carriers and going on trips to the vet. If they will be living in a space where they will meet a lot of new people, expose them to new people at this time. This is the opportune moment to help them be comfortable with anything later in life. Just be sure that every interaction your kitten is going to have with people is gentle and positive.
When the cats human interaction is with kids
However, there is such a thing as over handling kittens. If you have children in your household, it is best that they are taught to be gentle with the little fur babies. If they are dropped, they can be injured. Please supervise your children when they are around your pets – especially kittens. Don’t let your kids play rough with the kittens.
You’ll know that a kitten is well socialized if they’re not hiding and showing fear. You don’t want them to be hyperactive either. The best bit is when they purr when they’re handled.
Video: Introducing a kitten to an adult cat
How much time should I spend with my kitten?
As much time as you can. Kittens require a lot of attention, especially when they are very young. They’re also notorious for being extremely energetic. They need to be this energetic and curious because this is how they learn about the world around them. If you have taken in a new kitten into your life, be sure to play with them for at least 20 minutes to tire them out before bed so you can have a restful night’s sleep.
Why is my kitten not purring?
This may sound really weird, but not all cats purr. Cats can be very different from each other. While other purr loudly at the lightest touch, while others may take a very long time before you can start to hear the faintest of purrs. This doesn’t mean they don’t love you though. Cats have a plethora of ways to communicate: vocalizations, facial expressions, and body language. They could be saying they appreciate how much you care for them in other ways except purring. However, if you see a big change in your cat’s behavior, please let your vet know.
What do you need for a new kitten?
Here’s a list of essential things that you should have on hand when you’re welcoming a new kitten into your life:
- Separate food and water bowls
- Litter box and litter
- Comfortable beds
- Scratching posts
- Grooming tools like flea combs and brushes – especially if you have a long haired cat
- Lots of toys.
Kittens need to be exposed to humans if they are to be raised to become pets when they are older. The earlier and more consistently they are exposed to being around humans and other pets, the better they will adjust to home life when they are older.
Do kittens imprint on humans?
Cats imprinting on humans can happen when they are newborn or young kittens. If bonding with the kitten ends with the kitten being imprinted on a human, this cat will look at the human as being his parent.