Let’s know our kittens better…
The population of cat lovers in India is increasing and people are welcoming the felines both in their hearts and homes. Here are a few kitten basics one should know to enjoy their companionship to the maximum:
- Bring the kitten home after she has been weaned from her mother.
- The socialization period of cat begins at about two weeks of age and ends at about eight weeks.
- Socialization can be achieved with about 30 to 60 minutes of human interaction per day when your kitty is two to eight weeks old.
- For most kittens, the optimum type of interaction is being stroked and talked to simultaneously, but this can vary depending on the personality ofthe kitten.
- It is essential that the kitten should interact with several people, since kittens, who are handled by one person only during the socialization period, tend to be fearful of unfamiliar people.
- It is also preferable that a range of people should be encountered, children as well as adults of both sexes, to build up a general image of the characteristics of the human race.
- Kittens who have received no human contact up to eight weeks old are difficult to handle. Socialize them right away but it will take more time and effort to achieve the same degree of friendliness.
- Kittens grown up with mothers who are reared at home are much easier to manage since their upbringing in kittenhood is smooth as compared to stray/orphan kittens, whose lives are affected with fight for survival.
- Stray/orphan kittens are scared of human touch and may snarl or claw when touched. They may take time to gain confidence.
- Kittens also learn by imitating their mother’s behaviour.
(Dr. Hatekar is a practicing veterinary surgeon in Pune. He has been trained in Germany and France for small animal orthopaedic surgery. He is a member of World Small Animal Veterinary Association and can be contacted at: 020-25463352, 09823288110, email: email@example.com)