Experiences during the few months of a cat’s life will make the difference to his future temperament and character. Socialisation covers a variety of key learning experiences including meeting and socialising with your family enabling them to develop social skills, as well as familiarisation with everyday activities such as vacuum cleaners, other pets and a wide range of people including children. The more a cat is handled, the more approachable and friendly it is likely to be.
The best time to socialise cats is within the first few weeks of a kitten’s life when they’re more receptive to new experiences.
Here are some top tips on socialising your kitten:
- Ensure that all your kitten’s experiences are positive, as nasty ones can make them fearful for life
- Introduce your pet to your friends and family and people that commonly visit your home. Cats should be used to a variety of people handling them
- Some cats prefer to be play with toys at the same time as interacting with their owner
- Take things slowly and monitor your kitten’s reactions to these new experiences. It’s a lot for a kitten to take in and you don’t want to overwhelm him
Your local veterinary practice should be able to provide you with handling hints and tips.
It is important to train your cat to use a litter tray. Even if your cat is not an indoor cat, there may come a time when it is necessary to keep him indoors. For example, when you move house or if your pet becomes ill.
To train a cat to use a litter tray, place them in the litter tray several times a day, usually after a meal. Cats are naturally very clean and particular animals and they quickly learn to use it as a toilet. It is important to keep a litter tray clean; if they feel that it is too dirty they will soon look for somewhere else to use.
Never scold your pet for toileting in the wrong place, tell them ‘no’ and place them in the litter tray. If you frighten them they are likely to become fearful and may continue to use the wrong areas.