Whether your fluffball just had a litter or you brought home a young thing from the pound, socialization is key for a happy, healthy kitten. Socialization helps your newest addition interact with you, vets and other animals with fewer issues, and it’s easy to do during both playtime and naptime. Properly introducing your kitten to day-to-day routines will make life less stressful for everyone involved.
Prepping Your Pet for the Vet
Cats tend to be individual animals who want things to happen on their own terms, which can make vet visits and general health maintenance a pain. Getting your kitten used to being handled in uncomfortable ways makes these things far easier later in life. Catster recommends regular handling sessions with a new cat. Touch all of the potential problem areas of your new baby while she is relaxed. Look at her teeth, touch her tail, open her claws and introduce baths in case of future emergencies. This is also a great time to introduce your kitten to nail clipping to prevent shredded upholstery later on. If your cat seems stressed, stop the handling session and start it again when she seems open to it.
Introducing Your Kitty to Other Animals
Similarly, look at your kitten’s reactions when introducing her to other pets, and separate them when interactions get tense. The Humane Society emphasizes scents when introducing animals. While not all animals will like each other, slowly introducing them to one another’s smell makes the transition less stressful and more healthy. Keep the new kitty separated from other animals for a time while letting your newbie and original pets smell toys and blankets infused with each other’s scents.
Introduce them only under careful supervision to prevent fights, and never rush. If you’re worried about getting your dog and kittens together, just remember Peggy, a dog who developed a great relationship with the kittens her humans were fostering. Even foster and adoptive kittens can become loving, cuddly additions to your family when socialized properly.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →