Cats are an adorable pet. They are affectionate, loving and caring. But they are also predators by nature with the instinct to hunt and kill. If they aren’t socialized properly, they can be really difficult to handle. It is very important to teach your cat at an early age how to behave properly, otherwise they will turn into grumpy cat.
It’s best to socialize your cat when they are young. The main socialization period is between two and seven weeks old. This is the period where a kitten should experience as much as possible so that they are prepared and are able to cope later in life with change. This includes meeting different people, being handled and experiencing the different sights and sounds that occur in a normal home environment.
Some cats that miss out on these early experiences become very scared of human interaction and can take a long time to learn how to interact with humans. Some cats never get this socialization and can become feral.
You need to make sure your cat is socialized with both other cats and humans. This will take time and patience and should never be rushed. Each individual cat will take a different amount of time to become familiar around people and can take anywhere from several weeks to several months.
After the first few days, begin to increase the time you spend in the room with the cat. However, don’t try to force your cat to spend time with you or other humans. It need to be the cat’s choice to come out and see you. Begin by sitting quietly in the room, reading a book or gently talking to the cat. You can gradually increase the time you spend in the room and move closer to the cat each day.
After a while, the cat may become curious and come out to investigate who you are and what you are doing. If they do come out to investigate, try to avoid rushing to stroke the cat immediately as this may just reinforce the cat’s fear that people are scary. Your cat will let you know when it is ready to be stroked.
Try to find out what tasty treats your cat likes. These can then be offered to help you build up a bond. Begin by placing the tasty treat at the edge of the cats hiding place and moving your hand away so the cat feels safe to come forward to eat it. Eventually your cat should come forward as you go to place the treat at the entrance and may even take it from your hand.
If not done properly, it can result in your cat being suspicious and fearful. As cats can’t express themselves like humans, they communicate by raising their hair, then biting and scratching.
It’s very important to help them overcome this fear by providing them with a spot where they can feel safe and secure, somewhere they won’t be disturbed.
Do not roughhouse with your cat. Award your cats with toys and treats if they aren’t aggressive. Socialization takes longer with some cats than others. Continue to reinforce good behavior and discourage unwanted behavior. Sometimes it will take years to fully complete the process, but you’ll be rewarded at the end with a housemate who enriches your life in ways you never expected.
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