Fostering Kittens & Tips for Kitten Training
Fostering kittens and cats includes socializing kittens to help them become wonderful pets. Love helps but isn’t enough. Nothing trumps kittens for furry love. But when kitten season rolls around, local animal shelters drown in a furry tide of cats of all ages that need adoption. Kittens can become pregnant as early as 4-5 months of age! Yes, babies having babies–that explains the bumper crop of kittens, right? Learn more about kitten development in this post.
Thank heavens for fostering kittens, dedicated shelter staff, and you–yes, YOU, one of the folks who volunteer, visit to help socialize the pets, donate your time or toys, or just SHARE this message to help give cats a paws up. Just spreading good information about care helps ensure kitties get the best chance for adoption. Y’all do the work of the angels.
KITTEN SOCIALIZATION & CAT TRAINING
Yes, kittens (and cats) CAN be trained! I know that I’m preaching to the choir. Never doubt that you can make a positive difference while fostering, helping the babies through proper socialization.
While we teach human kids the three Rs, kitten socialization involves learning the Three Ts.
Touch the baby all over gently with pets, handling the ears, paws, tummy and more. Being taught that touch is pleasant helps with bonding to people, and hearkens back to how Mom-Cat cared for her babies. A kitten that accepts and trusts handling will be less stressed by veterinary exams, and so get proper timely care as she grows up.
Kittens don’t use words to communicate but will need to pay attention to humans who do talk. She won’t understand all your words but certainly understand the emotion. You can teach kittens to pay attention to humans simply by responding to them with the same words and phrases each time. Try saying, “You’re beautiful.” or “I love you.” or “I’ll keep you safe, baby.” And mean it–and she’ll understand, and blossom and BECOME beautiful, and more confident.
Kittens and adult cats pay exquisite attention to the details of their life. They easily learn consequences when they make mistakes (or do something right) if you tell them THAT is what I like, or THAT is not acceptable. Since cats do NOT respond well to punishment, think about catching kittens and cats in the act of doing something RIGHT and rewarding the behavior with praise, toys, healthy treats, or praise. Give the reward immediately–timing is key–to ensure good communication.
I include socialization details (and more) in my award-winning COMPLETE KITTEN CARE book (hardcover now discounted in time for the holidays!).
Do you volunteer at your local shelter? Do you foster? How did you find your kitty-of-your dreams? Do tell! Read more tips here about adopting kittens.
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!