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Cat socializing skills start in the heart

Help make me adoptable
Help make me adoptable
Karla Kirby

Many kittens are by nature afraid of people in the beginning, but if handled and well cared for in the first, crucial 16 weeks of life, they will develop trust in the people who care for them. To reduce the odds of a cat being unsocial or antagonistic towards humans, kittens should be socialized at a very early age.

Feral kittens from about four to eight weeks old can be socialized typically within a month of capture. The procedure is made easier if there is another socialized cat present but not of necessity in the same space as the feral. If the cat handler can get one kitten to eliminate in the litter box, then the others from the same litter will typically follow. First few contacts with thick gloves is highly suggested until a genuine trust is established, which is normally within the first week. Supplying toys and climbing posts helps to keep them occupied while they are being gradually socialized. It is a quite a challenge to socialize an adult, but it can and has been done many, many times. Socialized adult feral cats tend to trust only those people they have learned over a long period of time can be trusted, and still can be very apprehensive around strangers.

Cats can be tremendously friendly companions. The strength of the cat–human bond is mainly connected with how much consideration is given to the cat's feelings by his/her human companion.

Cats have an intrinsic distrust for predator species such as humans, and often seek to minimize any contact with people they do not distinguish as trustworthy and honorable. Feline timidity and hostility around people is often a consequence of lack of socialization, neglect or abuse. Cats need alone time...

Feline’s posses a tough escape instinct; endeavor to corner, capture or herd a cat can therefore provoke potent fear-based escape behavior. Socializing is a method of learning that many humans can be trusted. An unhurried gloved hand, gently extended towards a human cat allows the feline to take a sniff of introduction is a great way to start the process