Written by Hershey Grace

Citizens for Animal Protection
Cute tabby cat with red hatSocialization occurs during the early weeks of a cat’s life. During this period he learns to interact appropriately with other cats, people and other animals. Through numer-ous experiences in his world he will become used to all the sights, sounds and smells he will encounter as an adult. Kittens, like most young animals, can do this very easily until they reach a certain age. When they reach the end of their socialization period, usually 12 – 16 weeks, they are naturally wired to become much more suspicious of things they haven’t yet experienced. The open, fearless nature of a young kitten during the socialization period allows him to become comfortable with all of the everyday things that will be part of his adult life. The suspiciousness that begins after the socialization period ensures that he will react with a healthy dose of caution to new things in his envi-ronment that could be dangerous.If you have a young kitten, it is your job to take advantage of the sensitive socialization period by helping him learn to be comfortable as a companion animal living in a human world – a world that includes many diḀerent types of people, environments, sights, noises, smells, sensations, cats and other animals.
A kitten is very receptive to socialization. If he is handled by people, enjoys lots of pleasant interaction with other pets and has many new experiences during this period, he is more likely to remain friendly toward humans and other animals as he matures and will be less stressed by new experiences. Kittens need to be introduced to new things at an early age so it will become an adventure not a traumatic experi-ence. The younger you start working with your kitten, the friendlier he is likely to become. A cat that is not socialized can be timid, distrustful, scared and aggressive. A well-socialized cat is more likely to be loving, trusting, aḀectionate, well-behaved and you will be rewarded with a housemate who enriches your life in ways you never expected.TOXIC TO CATS: