Bonding with Your New Kitten
You’ve brought home a new kitten, and you want it to grow into a loving, happy member of your family. Rolan Tripp answers questions on how to make it happen.
Q: What’s the best age to bring a kitten home?
A: The average age for people to get kittens is eight weeks. That age has
its pros and cons. If the breeder knows what they are doing and the kittens are
socialized correctly, that’s fine. But if the kittens don’t get that critical
socialization by seven weeks of age, the brain starts shutting down. The
kittens can still be socialized, but it will never be as good. So ask how much
the kitten was handled before you got it.
Q: If I get two kittens, will they become too attached to each other and
A: I recommend getting two kittens. Yes, they may be more focused on each
other than on you, but they also can take their energy out - biting,
scratching, fighting - on each other. Kittens have so much energy. If you don’t
give them something to do, they’re going to find something to do.
But if you get two kittens, separate them for periods of time each day so
they get used to it, especially for feeding and play sessions with you.
Q: Should I keep my kitten in a low-key, quiet environment for a while,
or thrust him into our everyday life?
A: Initially it’s good to bring a new kitten into one room. Put his food in
there, a scratching post, his bed and let him get used to that.
Then start introducing him to all the things that will be a part of his
life. But you have to learn to read the cat. If you introduce your kitten to
something and he’s acting fearful - moving away from you and twitching, with
tense muscle tone and hyper-alert, step back and take it slower. But if he’s
acting friendly and relaxed, you can keep going.
Q: Should I keep my kitten away from people, or let everyone who comes in
A: It’s good for a variety of people to handle a kitten, but it’s also
important that all the interactions are gentle and positive during this