|Socialize your Kitten|
Socializing and Playing
The first few weeks in a kitten's life are the most important ones in terms of socializing and bonding with a human, and should be treated as a very precious time in your relationship. This is the time for cuddling and holding, playing gently, and talking to your kitten.
Properly handled, he will associate these happy times with you, dear human, and be a friend to you for life. Like clay in your hands, you can mold his personality, while at the same time, strengthening your own commitment to him to cherish him and care for him the rest of his life.
Kittens in their early weeks will play with almost anything. You may be tempted to buy a bunch of toys, but remember, their attention spans are much like those of children, and they might be just as happy playing with a crumpled up ball of paper as with a motorized mouse.
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One important caution at this age: don't let your kitten start to associate your hands with a play toy. Doing so can develop into bad habits of scratching and biting fingers. Hands are for holding, stroking and gentle hugs; toys are for rough play.
Bond with a Kitten
Handling an unruly cat can sometimes be difficult, but by training him from kittenhood to be handled, you'll be able to groom, clip toenails, and examine him routinely with his full cooperation.
1. These steps should take about five minutes per session. Start with one session per day, and add more as needed, depending on the kitten's tolerance for handling.
2. As with all other forms of training, don't make it an adversarial experience. When kitty gets tired, or if he's just having a bad day, give him a hug and gently put him down. You can always try again tomorrow.
3. As your kitten grows older, inspect him at least once a week. You can combine the inspection with his grooming session.
Maximize your bond while improving his health and well-being
You enjoy playing with your cat, or you wouldn't be reading this article. Interactive playing with cats is not only fun, but it provides valuable exercise for cats of all ages; just as important, it strengthens the feline-human bond, which is all-important to genuine cat lovers.
Kittens will play with anything. Just keep dangerous items like string, plastic bags, small ingestibles, and just about everything else away from the insatiable Mr. Kitten if you're not supervising him. Many kitten owners will tell you that the only thing known to mankind that can keep up with a kitten is…another kitten. You'll enjoy playing with him with interactive toys, but be aware that he should learn early-on that your hands are not toys. Ignore this advice, and you may learn to regret it when he grows up and develops full-sized teeth and claws.
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How to Play
Keep a rotating array of toys on hand.
Afterwards, lots of praise and treats all around. Good times to quit the play session are:
1. After you've gone for 10-15 minutes and your cat has just scored a decisive victory.
2. You've tried for a few minutes to engage your cat in a play session, but he's just not into it right now.
In both scenarios, give your cat some nice praise just for showing up. In the first case, make the victory a little sweeter with a nice treat. Tell him what a good hunter he is.