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HOW AND WHEN TO SOCIALIZE A CAT – PRACTICAL TIPS

The excitement that accompanies your cat’s arrival at home is a moment you will remember in time. However, it also entails specific difficulties that, if not correctly addressed, will end up affecting the behaviour and socialisation of the animal.

Likewise, the cat’s genetic predisposition, the temperament of its parent or the age at which we initiate this complex socialisation process will affect the result. However, you must not force your cat or obsess over the times, he will be the one who scores the rhythms, and you must learn to love it as it is.

Factors involved in the socialization of a cat

Apart from our work, certain factors are inherent in the cat’s constitution and life trajectory that will condition its socialisation. In this sense, the greater or lesser docility of his father or the diet received by his mother during pregnancy and lactation will affect the temperament of your pet.

It has been found that these facts are as decisive in the cat’s learning capacity, in its fears, in its aggressiveness and in the integration of its coexistence with humans as the stimulation itself received during the period of iron.

From the second to eighth week of life, what ethologists call the sensitive period of socialisation or iron occurs. In these weeks the cat’s central nervous system matures, and it is beneficial to expose it to the more stimuli and people to keep away fears and elusive behaviours.

Ideally, if you have the opportunity, you can pet and interact with your new pet while coexisting with your mother, as it also teaches her certain limits, such as regulating her aggressiveness. Cats that have their first contacts with humans in this period show greater interest in living with them.

When is it advisable to start with socialization?

Although weeding occurs at four weeks of the puppy’s life, it is recommended that you do not separate it from your mother and siblings until eight weeks. Once in his new home, you will have to reserve an entire space for him, according to his size and expand it as he grows.

It is not advisable that you just come home let you explore it in its entirety. Because of its territorial and curious character, it is preferable that you only have access to your space. He might run into unpleasant surprises that inhibit him from wanting to know more about the house.

Such space must have escaped but not with hiding places or holes in which it could get trapped. It should be a quiet and safe area, not far from contact with the family. In it, you must have everything you need to meet all your needs (feeder, drinker, sanitary tray, scraper, bed, toys and even transport).

How to proceed to socialize a cat

A cat’s character is consolidated quickly, so its socialisation should preferably take place since it is a puppy. If your mini is older, do not despair, with these guidelines, a lot of patience and all your affection you will get the best out of it:

  • Never go directly to him; it is more effective to do so by circling. It is advisable to keep a reasonable distance when you are with it. It would help if you always waited for him to come near you and not the other way around.
  • Don’t force or manipulate it if you haven’t become familiar with your smell yet. You can deposit items of yours in their area. When you feel it quietly next to you, you can caress his head to recognise your smell.
  • Modulate your voice when you speak to him. Remember that high-pitched voices inspire them more confidently. If you dare, you can gently meow to get close to it.
  • Pay close attention to your nonverbal communication. Their body movements are very revealing, and learning to interpret them will make this task much more manageable. Blinking slowly and removing the look on one side is another interesting tactic for engaging in a conversation between equals.
  • Use food as your ally. It will always be a productive excuse to stimulate their approach, but don’t be left alone in sourcing food. You must associate with a pleasant experience and do so, and you must observe and be creative.
  • If you lie near him, he’ll understand that you’re not a threat to him. Likewise, when you extend your arm do not stretch or raise your fingers, because the felines identify it with a gesture of hostility.
  • Don’t start stroking him if he’s not able to stay by your side. Keep in mind that this is a process with stages that you will have to overcome. As you gain confidence in yourself, the distance between you will be less. That will be the time to initiate manipulation. Make it brief but assiduous. Please take advantage of daily hygiene to implement it. You will satisfy a double objective, as the mother usually undertakes these tasks and, in this way, you will strengthen your bond.
  • Set up game routines. The feline needs to control everything and routines favour that it better accepts possible changes in the future. In turn, the game is decisive for your physical and mental development. Playing every day at the same time will allow you to exercise, learn and get to know you better. Try to foster the hunting instinct in games. You’ll enjoy it more.
  • If there are other pets in the home, you will need to guide their self-care progressively. First, they must be smelled to be aware of their existence, then they must be seen, and in the last stage, they must be able to have direct contact. It uses pheromones diffusers to contribute to the success of this process.
  • End all socialisation sessions with a prize or reward. Your favourite snack or treat will be a useful resource that will act as operating conditioning of positive refuelling. In other words, he will help him associate this experience with a positive memory and repeat it.

In short, socialising a cat is mutual learning that consists of small gestures and precautions that you will have to attend to make your pet enjoy more and more of your company every day. Ready to put it into practice?

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Written by Sophie Grey

I've loved cats ever since I was a young girl, and love to share my knowledge of them with the world! Thank you for reading ❤️ If you've got a question for me, don't hesitate to reach out.