Socializing Your Cat Is Important for You and Your Cat
19 November, 2013
If you’re bringing a new cat into your home or have adopted one who is aloof or shy, it can take some time for your kitty to be comfortable. However, if you try to socialize your cat early in his or her life, he or she will be more well-behaved and trusting. It’s also important to socialize your cat if you have other pets or young children so neither gets hurt during play time. Or maybe your cat is shy or fearful and you want your cat to just be happy and easy-going!
Cat socialization should not take a lot of time and it gives you and your kitty some bonding time. As mentioned above, the younger you socialize your cat, the easier it is to accomplish. However, there are many older cats who adjust to anything or any new environment with a little practice.
Pet your cat and find out what he or she likes
It’s important to start bonding with your cat by petting or stroking your kitty. Find out what are the safe zones for your kitty and/or areas your cat likes to be touched. Your kitty will let you know if she likes her belly rubbed or hates it. Try petting your cat first on the outside – stroke his or her fur, the side of your kitty’s face and your cat will most likely love it. If your cat becomes agitate or riled up, it’s time to end the session and leave your kitty alone.
Keep repeating what your cat likes and give your kitty praise
Each time, make your petting sessions a little longer by stroking and handling of the feet and toes, including extending the nails. Stroke her ears and rub her face. These exercises will help her win a loving praise and a treat later as she becomes used to socializing. Remember that if your cat misbehaves, never yell or scream at your cat as if will only exacerbate her anti-social behavior. Always approach and handle your cat calmly, and speak in a low soothing voice.
Play with your cat with his or her favorite toy
Learn what your cat’s favorite type of toy is by process of elimination and schedule playtimes several times daily. When you play with toys, your cat can use his predatory attacks on the toy and/or object of play and not you or anyone else. As with every interaction with your kitty, if your cat becomes too hyper or lashes out, end the session, walk away and your cat will know that he or she has misbehaved. Time out!
Introduce your cat to new people
Once you are comfortable with how your cat behaves, try introducing your kitty to new people and your friends. However, before you have other people play or pet your cat, make sure they know to keep their voices low and calm, at least until the cat is comfortable with them. Make sure that your cat comes to them and don’t force interaction. It may take a couple of visits before your cat is comfortable with people she doesn’t know. When your cat does come to them on his or her own volition, praise and a treat are in order.
Socializing your cat can take time
Socialization takes longer with some cats than others. Some cats will always be scared at some strangers and/or noise or might lash out with nips and scratches from time to time. That is just their inherent being. However, with time, practice, treats and continual loving behavior, you can turn the most unsocial cat into a sweet- loving kitty.
Read more articles on cat behavior on our pet social network, petpav.com, that is like Facebook for pets!