Kittens are cute and fuzzy with a gregarious nature. They are energetic and frisky, spending most of their waking hours scurrying around and playing with fellow kittens or cats. Are you worried that your kitten may not grow to be as affectionate as you want her to be? Read on for some great tips on how to raise an adorable and affectionate kitten.
How to raise a kitten to be affectionate?
Here are fool-proof ways on how to raise a kitten to be affectionate:
1. Taking good care of your kitten and not treating her like an adult.
If you have a new kitten at home you have to take care of her just as a mama cat would. Taking good care of her includes bottle-feeding, cuddling and nurturing her especially if she is younger than eight weeks old. Kittens need to be bottle-fed every three hours until they are ready to wean and can tolerate solid food.
Make sure to cuddle and keep your kitten warm and safe and if you have a very young one you may have to assist her when eliminating waste by stimulating her bowels.
2. Be sure to properly socialize your kitten.
Once your cat reaches beyond eight weeks of age, try to include and introduce her in social interactions with humans and other pets at home. Introduce her to other family members and your friends and frequent visitors at home. Start her young when introducing to other pets like dogs so she will get used to being with them around. Allow her to get used to loud music and other noises like the sound of the vacuum and car horns so she will get used to it
3. Hold your cat frequently.
Let your kitten become used to your touch and presence by handling and holding her frequently. This will allow your kitten to get used to being taken to the vet or the groomer. It will also help form a strong bond between you and your kitten and make her see you as her mother. As early as eight weeks old, it is okay to handle the kitten but take extra precaution because of her tiny body.
Always talk to her in a soft and reassuring voice. Also, be sure to groom her often and brush her coat regularly. Be patient and gradually she will get used to being held and handled.
4. Do not use violence and do not shout or chase your kitten.
Always be gentle and patient with your kitten despite the occasional mischievous behavior. Kittens are normally playful and sometimes they can run into trouble such as knocking off things and causing damage to furniture. However, you should never shout or chase your kitten.
Violence will only result in negative association and may destroy your relationship with her. Chasing your kitten may frighten her and she may feel threatened and may end up becoming aloof towards you.
5. Reward your kitten with treats when she exhibits good behavior.
After your play sessions always reward her with treats and affection especially if she behaved well. Each time she shows affection give her treats but just be sure to control the portions or your kitten may become overweight. Alternate treats with affection to be able to establish a positive association for your cat.
6. Always set aside some playtime with your kitten.
Your kitten will grow to become an affectionate cat if you allot time with her especially for playtime. It is an excellent way to get close and develop a strong bond with your kitten. Make sure to practice gentle play since kittens still have very delicate bodies. Utilize interactive toys for enjoyable playtime. It will also help drain their pent-up energy and allow them to become sleepy and snuggle with you. If you do this habitually your kitten will surely become cuddly and affectionate in no time.
7. See to it that your kitten is healthy and all her needs are met.
You can raise a kitten to be affectionate by ensuring that she is well-cared and all her needs are met. Provide her with the best nutrition for physical growth and development. See to it that she receives preventative veterinary care such as deworming and regular vaccinations. All these lets your kitten feel that she is important and cared for by you.
There are cat breeds that are known to be distinctly affectionate and cuddly to their humans. These include the Scottish Fold, Siamese, Birman, Maine Coon and Ragamuffin. However, this does not mean that you cannot raise an affectionate kitten regardless of her breed. Having a mother-like figure in her life who takes good care of her, spends time with her and treats her well enables a kitten to be well socialized and become affectionate as she grows.
Raising and caring for a kitten is challenging but all worth it especially if she grows to become very affectionate and cuddly. Attending to her basic needs and providing her with a loving home is essential. Proper socialization and playtime with her are also vital as well as rewarding her with treats and affection for good behavior.
Image: istockphoto.com / Nattakorn Maneerat