It must be somewhat distressing to own a kitten that always cowers, hisses or even scratches your hand whenever you try to make a contact with her. Do not worry though. This issue is surely common among people seeking new companies out of new kittens; although in some cases you can find kittens that are so friendly from the first time they are adopted.
From the most cats’ perspective, especially kittens, encountering a big, tall creature may become horrifying in the first place (not to mention he/she starts mimicking cats’ language). Thus, it is natural for cats to become threatened they begin to defend themselves by attacking or running away. Despite that, the cause of cats’ reluctance to humans is not limited to just their depiction. Their fear of humans might possibly be shaped by the past experience where they received some disgraceful behavior. Mother cats also play the role in influencing what their offspring believe.
Creating mutual trust from cats is quite time-consuming, especially for those wandering in the wild for a long time. You may take months to only make them willing to touch your hand. After all, it all depends on each respective cats. Some of them are born into a shy, timid cat; some others may be running, chasing dogs.
Regardless of their background, it is relatively fast to attract kittens at the young age since they are still on the period of learning things. The better time for introducing yourself is around the age of four to six weeks when kittens are fully weaned and begin to live independently. While they still can accept your approach at the age of 8-12 weeks, it would be hard to befriend the kittens over the age of 12 weeks. Therefore, there are effective ways as listed below if you want to gain a kitten trust.
1. Provide safety for your kitten
If it is your first day taking a kitten home, you should immediately present her a place to hide from the things she fears. Since your kitten is still too young to experience many, different matters, she is delicate and prone to feeling stressed out and agitated.
To be all for being safe and protected, you can provide your kitten with a cage or cat carrier that spacious enough to give her much comfort. Added to that, you should equip the inner space with a blanket or towel for warmth. You may also cover the outer side with a sheet to prevent your kitten misinterprets it as a trap. Do not use it as a confinement by locking the door unless you want to bring her to a vet or other places.
If there are children, pets or other things in your house that can threaten or scare your kitten, it is best to separate her in one enclosed room. You should not confront your kitten with them if you want to gain her trust; otherwise, she would become frightened to anyone who comes near, including you. You may have to keep her in the room for quite a while until she can fully socialize with any member of your house.
2. Supply essential needs
Either you let your kitten free at home or lock her in one room, you should not forget to provide all the essential needs to sustain your kitten life. They include food, water and litter box. There is certain manner you should follow in serving these basic things.
In supplying food and water, make sure you locate each item separately. By doing so, you could stimulate the kitten’s instinct as a natural hunter, which is a good thing for her. Give the food adequately or serve it frequently in a small amount. Don’t make the food always available as it might become hazardous because of prolonged exposure in the open, or your kitten may become overweight after consuming too much food.
Avoid feeding the kitten in the plate resembling what you use for your own food. She may be disappointed after mistaking you for stealing her meal. Therefore, provide her with a container formed in a particular shape or you can simply buy a cat dish at the pet store. Be careful when choosing a dish. It may release a dangerous substance to your kitten’s food if being made from plastic or crumbly tin.
Besides food and water, pay attention to where you put the litter box. The ideal spot is a quiet, open area without the hindrance of other objects. It should not be located near the kitten’s food or water since cats are quite hygienic.
3. Avoid some common mistakes
In general, any fault you make, even the simple one, will put you one step away from achieving the skittish kitten’s trust. There are many usual mistakes that new owners do and most of them are apparently trivial.
Patting your kitten’ head from the front may startle her if you are still on the early period of interaction. Staring your kitten’s eyes for a long time may also cause a great discomfort for her. The reason is your kitten could perceive you as if you’re a hunter that is preying on her. Furthermore, picking or rubbing kittens in the stomach can make them upset because it is mostly their sensitive area.
If you want your kitten to accept you, begin avoiding these issues. In addition, recognize other mistakes that could annoy your kitten. If you are not sure, stop doing what you do to your kitten once she rejects you or shows any uneasy gesture. It is specifically applied when you’re making a loud, disturbing sound or posing an aggressive behavior.
4. Make the kitten recognize you
Whether you are ready to contact your kitten, it is your furry friend that determine that very decision. All you can do while waiting is getting the kitten acclimatize your presence. You just have to be the one who routinely changes her food and water as well as cleaning her place and litter box. After some observation, your shy kitten may emerge from its hiding place and begin to come closer. Thus, you could slowly approach her and try a gentle touch. If the kitten still refuses, you may try other alternatives, such as playing or offering her a treat, to improve the bonding process.
5. Play with your kitten
Giving frequent time to play with your kitten is an effective way to make her trust you. Similar to humans, kittens can also become excited every time they consume much energy to play. By swinging a string wand or jolting a laser pointer onto the wall, your kitten will response happily and so will you.
6. Entice the kitten with treats
Reward your kitten with palatable treats when she has accomplished some demanding activities. By giving the kitten treats after playing, brushing or other occasions that involving contact from both of concerned parties, she would relate you with a good thing and would eventually trust you.