The first eight weeks of a socializing cats existence are crucial in shaping its personality. Here are some things you can do to support your foster kittens’ best possible behavioral development while leaving health-related concerns to the doctor.
The provision of healthy diet is your first crucial job. Let mother cats to gain weight prior to giving birth because they can lose it during feeding. To gain the extra calories per bite, some foster caregivers switch their pregnant foster cats back to kitten food. According to studies, starving cats are less attentive mothers to their young and are more angry with them. As a result, their kittens will have developmental delays and take longer to walk, play, and open their eyes. As they become older, these kittens become less intelligent, more fearful and aggressive, and more antisocial toward other cats.
None Better than Home
Avoid the empty room/sterile box setup when setting up a foster kitten nursery, especially for kittens between the ages of two and eight weeks. When compared to kittens raised in unstimulating environments, those raised in more complex environments for their first two months of life are less anxious as adults. Enough sensory stimulation should be provided. Sometimes, a radio or television might left on in the space. Newspapers, use towels, a carpet square, linoleum tiles, and even a piece of AstroturfTM can use as flooring. Once the kittens are mobile, a small cardboard box with a hole cut out in the side can use as a den. However, avoid using fresh vegetable crates as they can treated with severe pesticides.
As soon as you can, start handling things gently. Precocious development occurs from early human contact. To assist the kittens learn to trust all people, expand the circle of handlers to three or four persons each day when they are two to three weeks old. However, avoid letting adult male socializing cats into the nursery since the queen will view them as predators and get unnecessarily stress.
What do you require About Socializing Cats?
Patience: Socializing cats takes a lot of patience. Regardless of age, each cat will approach people at their own speed, however typically younger cats socialize more quickly. You must follow the cat at their own pace and refrain from having unrealistic expectations.
Routine: Try to interact with the socializing cats at the same time every day if you can to help him get accustom to your presence. When their environment can be predict, cats feel more safe.
When things go awry, they get uneasy and are consequently more prone to act violently.
Frequent visit: Two five-minute sessions per day, twice, will work wonders. It would be nice if the cat could see and hear people most of the time. For instance, a cage in a home’s living room is preferable to a seclud bedroom where the cat is infrequently expose to people. Put T-shirts with your scent in the cage and have a talk radio station playing if the cat is in a quiet area.
Locking up in a cage: Tiny location with few hiding places will speed up the taming process significantly. A cat tree can be install in a small space to allow the cat to rise off the floor. Because you can’t start interactions if the cat can fully withdraw, block off hiding spots such beneath a bed. Provide a cardboard box on its side or a partially enclosed bed, such as a kitty cube, so the cat can feel safe.
Isolation: It’s crucial to keep the cat separate from other cats because wild cats frequently form close bonds with other cats, which makes them less dependent on humans for comfort. They will still show affection for other cats when you reintroduce them if you can keep them apart for a few weeks. It’s crucial that the cat learns to associate humans with food, comfort, and love.
An actionable strategy
Day 1: Relocating Kitty
Once the socializing cats has moved into your house, confine it in a very small space, such a bathroom, as a huge space will stress and terrify the cat. Ensure that this space is calm and quiet, and that no young children or other animals are present.
First, merely attend to the cat’s requirements, such as food, water, and a litterbox, while you visit. Get the cat use to the idea that you are the one taking care of his requirements because food is once again a very powerful motivator for feral animals. Be free to speak to the cat gently and quietly while you are taking care of it; this will help the cat get acclimate to you and your voice. Around the cat, move slowly at all times.
Week 1: Starting to Establish Trust
Try spending a few hours a day with the cat once he seems at ease in your presence. Until then, just sit close to the cat and converse with him. You can also try to go closer to the cat every time you visit, but be careful to watch out for his cues. Keep in mind to socializing cats cues to leave whenever you see one. Do not press. Let the cat decide the speed of the situation.
Next 2-3 weeks: Touching
You can attempt to pet the cat once he appears at ease with you nearby. Just in case you get bitten or scratch, you might wish to put on a long shirt or gloves. Always begin by cautiously advancing your hand toward the cat and allowing the animal to sniff your hand before making contact. You can try to give the cat a gentle pet if it appears to be calm enough. Don’t rush things, once more. Start out small, then gradually increase the amount of time you spend petting the cat. If the cat ever exhibits signs of anger or fear, cease immediately. Also, keep in mind that most cats dislike having their paws and backs or tails stroked, so try to avoid those areas at first.
In order to get the cat to trust you, try feeding it some tuna or chicken baby food on a spoon before handling it. You may also wrap a sock or an article of clothing of yours (with your scent on it) to a stick and use it to “pet” the cat from a distance. Be patient; this interaction is a huge step.
Socializing cats who aren’t ready for contact: To begin with, try petting the cat with a feather wand (available as cat toys) or a stick with a piece of plush flannel wrapped around the end.
To further calm the cat, apply Feliway to the feathers or material. Start by softly moving the stick in the direction of the cat’s neck. Start by gently massaging your head and neck.
Rub the top of your head, not the sides or other ticklish parts. After the cat relaxes over the course of a few days, move your hand down the stick every time you use it until your hand is finally just beside the cat when you are softly rubbing. You can now begin petting the cat with your own hand.
While you wrap your hand around behind the cat’s head to touch him, distract the cat with a toy or some food. Instead of reaching for the cat’s face, try sneaking your hand behind him so that he thinks it’s still the stick. Don’t touch any other regions yet; just rub the back of your head and neck. You will be well on your way whenever the socializing cats starts to appear to love this!
4th week: Holding
You can try to hold the cat once he or she can maintain sustained lengthy interactions and appears at ease with your touch. Begin by briefly cuddling the cat and work your way up to lengthier “hugs” and placing the cat on your lap.
You could want to try showing the cat other areas of the house or other animals if he or she permits this and appears at ease with you and the room. Perhaps you should try to entice the cat to play.
Avoid high-pitched noises, speak softly, move calmly, and avoid making prolonged direct eye contact; instead, glance down and to the side.
- Pay attention to the cat’s body language for warning signs, such as growling, spitting, or waving its tail, and move back if necessary.
- When approaching the cat, keep your fingers and fist together since wide fingers resemble unsheathed claws, which cats interpret as an aggressive sign.
- Some Socializing Cats can be won over by giving them treats. Others can act hostile and try to “scare” you into eating by lunging at you or spitting at you. In that scenario, avoid using goodies because not all cats respond well to them.
- Start by setting out small pieces of tuna, prepared deli meat, or kibble at the front of the cage. After the cat feels comfortable eating in your presence, attempt to encourage her to do so while your hand is still there. If he accepts it, try massaging him with the stick while he is enjoying the reward. If not, try rubbing with your fingers.
A Family Thing
As kittens learn by observing how an adult cat behaves, it’s crucial to keep the litter with the mother until they’re at least eight weeks old, which conveniently corresponds with when most kittens finish weaning. They learn how to use the litter box, whether or not to cover waste, how to hunt (although this behavior is somewhat genetically set), what foods are safe to consume, and who is appropriate as a friend through observational learning.
Since Mama Cat controls the “milk bar” and they don’t always get the chance to nurse until they are satisfied, kittens also learn how to deal with stress and dissatisfaction. Last but not least, until they are eight to ten weeks old, littermates should remain together.
During cooperative play, kittens develop self-control over their biting and clawing as well as an expansion of their acceptance of their littermates to other cats.
Single orphans who are raised by hand or those that are taken away from their moms before eight weeks sometimes turn out to be hyperactive kittens that are unable to control frustration. They often become afraid and hostile to humans and other socializing cats as adults. They are less capable of learning and are more likely to get a respiratory illness similar to asthma.
Orphans are frequently able to avoid this destiny by being include in another litter or, at the very least, by being foster in a home with other cats who may serve as role models.