Importance of Kitten Socialization
Most kittens are going to be weaned around 7-8 weeks of age. By this time they are eating solid to semi-solid food and are no longer nursing. Weaning is one of the most stressful events that a cat undergoes during it's lifetime. It is the first time it is truly independent and providing a solid, nurturing environment at this time is critical for normal, social cat behavior for the rest of the kitten's life.
If you are introducing a kitten into a household that already has other cats, it is best to place the new kitten in a crate in the middle of a room that the other cats like to frequent. Let the resident cats approach the kitten, sniff it, and move away. Placing food and water near the kitten will encourage investigations. Once the resident cats seem unbothered by the kitten, allow them to interact, while being supervised, in several open rooms where there are numerous places for the resident cats to get away from the kitten if needed. Allow short periods of interactions until the resident cats accept the new kitten into the fold. Feeding the kitten on the floor and the adult cats on a table or perch, allows meal time to be non-threatening for all.
Introduce your new kitten to as many new things and people as possible in the first few months after bringing it home. Different food and water bowls and sources, different types of food, different noises and types of music, and different toys. Encourage activity and provide lots of mental stimulation (laser light tag, fishing pole toys, rotating toys) and sensory stimulation (perches looking out windows, catios, etc). If your cat will be indoor/outdoor, be sure that it's outside area is a safe one.
Be sure you have at least 1 more litter box than the number of cats in the home and place them in different rooms so they can have privacy when using them.
Being sure to provide this type of stimulation and socialization will help maintain a healthy lifestyle for your new friend.
Wilsonville Veterinary Clinic
9275 S.W. Barber St, Wilsonville, OR 97070