Early Socialization With Children and Pets

To raise a kitten that’s friendly and less afraid of strangers, it’s important to introduce her to other adults. Allow for a period of adjustment and observe her carefully. Teach friends the proper way to pick her up and hold her. Always treat her with gentleness when correcting her. To become a well-adjusted cat, she needs your personal attention and lots of love.

Introducing Your Kitten to Children

Meeting a brand new kitten is extra exciting for kids. Introduce your kitten to children, especially younger ones, gradually for short periods of time. Frequent handling and gentle playing are important, but children must understand that your kitten is a sensitive, living creature.

Teach them how to pick her up and hold her. Slip one hand under her chest, holding the front legs gently but firmly with your fingers. At the same time, cup the other hand under your kitten’s hindquarters. Never pick her up by the scruff of the neck or by her legs. Children must learn not to pull the kitten’s tail or ears, squeeze or poke her, make loud or threatening noises or move towards her too rapidly.

A good way for everyone to play with a kitten is to get down on the floor at her level. This will make her feel more secure. Remind children that even a small child can look like a giant to a kitten. And a gentle kitten may resort to scratching or biting to protect herself if she’s frightened.

Introducing Your Kitten to Other Pets

If there are other pets in the house, introduce them to your kitten with care and caution. An older cat, male or female, will usually accept a new kitten and eventually help take care of her. But do not leave them alone together until you are sure they are friends.

Most dogs and cats also get along, but this may take a little longer. There may be scuffles, hissing and barking, but there is every chance that before long they will be playing together. Again, it’s smart not to leave them together unattended until you are sure they are friendly.

Whether your other pet is a dog or a cat, remember to show them extra love and affection so that they won’t be jealous of the newcomer. And don’t force your older pet to accept your kitten immediately. Let them adjust at their own pace.