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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My breeder does a very good job raising and socializing her kittens in her home, but when I bring him home it will be just me and him.

I'm looking for ideas to help him become comfortable around new people and surroundings that he may encounter either outside or in my house (I'd like him to be a take with kitty if he's comfortable)

I know the obvious things such as bringing him with in a carrier to places like Home Depot or Petsmart (probably to much yuck on the floor to let him walk around the pet store)

Any ideas I may be missing?
 

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I'm in the same boat, Hal, so I'll be interested in learning more.

I never thought to take him to Home Depot or Petsmart in a carrier!

Learn something new. :)

My mom often comes over...so she'll play with him... do you have any friends or family who can visit you by chance?
 

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Pet strollers are great for socializing. Often people stop and talk, and kids are really fascinated with a kitty in a stroller. It keeps them safe from being touched or petted too much, but at the same time people can get close to the kitty. Having friends drop over to your house often is another way.
 

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I'm reserved about taking my cats outdoors. What I do to socialize is have a few activites at my place. Small dinner parties, movie night, chili cook-off, wine tasting night, club meetings, book club, etc can bring in new people in that the cat can interact with. I'm an old mother hen when it comes to my cats and find taking them out with me exposes them to risks I'm not comfortable with. I have however, allowed my cats to come into the yard/garden with me while on a harness and lead. I would strongly suggest getting them use to a harness within the home first.
 

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Invite people over frequently. Use the excuse of a sports game on television, a tapas party, wine tasting, family dinner, or just to hang out and watch movies...but make sure your kitty is in the same room. Most people can't resist at least petting a kitty, and unless he has a very reserved personality naturally, his curiosity will get the better of him and he'll warm up to people.
 

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I don't think I'd take him in a carrier to a public place. It seems like unnecessary stress for him, plus I worry about what I'd be exposing him to.

I don't understand pet owners who bring their pets to PetSmart and let them wander around. For me, I'd worry about what my baby might get into or pick up. I'm not saying it's wrong to do so--I just wouldn't do it.
 

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Definitely see if you can get people to come over regularly. Just invite friends over for dinner now and then or something, so he gets used to strange people walking in the door.

I made the mistake of not doing this enough with Apollo and now he hides whenever anyone comes over. :( He's super social with us, so it's a shame that guests can't experience his friendliness because he's so skittish around strangers. And because we have such a quiet household, I think he never properly got used to loud noises, so he's very skittish about those too.

Getting him used to the carrier might be a good idea too. Apollo hates his carrier.

We got Athena at 4 months and she had spent her earlier kittenhood at a cat rescue, going to adoption fairs at PetCo every weekend, and she is extremely socially well-adjusted. She is very friendly to anyone new who comes over, is pretty good about carrier-travel, she's not even afraid of the vacuum.
 

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I agree with having guest over but start small just one or two people at a time at first.
Make it fun for kitty so that they see company coming over as a good thing instead of something to be afraid of.
 

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depending on your cat's personality, it might still hide when guests come if status quo is just you and your cat.
As a young kitten, taking him out in public is really a good idea. It's easier for him to adapt now and later when you need to, trips to the vet won't be near as hysterical if you take him to petco in a cat carrier once a week.
what really helped my cats get over their anxiety with strangers in our house is that this summer we had houseguests for 6 weeks including an 18 month old baby!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I don't think I'd take him in a carrier to a public place. It seems like unnecessary stress for him, plus I worry about what I'd be exposing him to.

I don't understand pet owners who bring their pets to PetSmart and let them wander around. For me, I'd worry about what my baby might get into or pick up. I'm not saying it's wrong to do so--I just wouldn't do it.
I don't disagree with you, per se. I wouldn't put undue stress on him. But I do know that you can get a cat to the point where they actually like car rides and being out. And if you can train him to talk walks down the street can you imagine what a treat that would be for him to explore rather than just watch the trees, leaves, bushes and stuff from the window

Most of the bad things a cat can catch need direct contact, biting, litter box sharing and such. As far as people who bring their pets to PetSmart and let them wander around (mostly dogs), that can't be as bad as daily walks outside where every diseased animal runs free. Or your backyard where all the possible disease ridden critters visit. And can you imagine all tge sick animals in the waiting area at the vet? - yuck.

I understand the health concerns, but I am convinced that cats will mostly only catch things from other cats, and I think a nearby sneezing cat is really the only health concern if your cat isn't running free
 

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Pretty much what Hal1 said.

I think how you socialize depends on the cat, as well. Ariel loves to explore and meet new people, so I will be training him for the harness to bring him places (mostly because he hates not being able to go up to stuff and examine it while in the carrier).

For a shyer cat, you might want to try a carrier for more quiet areas first (like a near-empty park, for instance), and then slowly move him up to more exciting things. That is, if you want to have him out and about. If not, then just inviting people over would be great, starting with smaller groups and moving it up.
 

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I agree having people over is a huge one-we didn't do this with Jack as a kitten and he is not very social with anyone besides hubby and I, where as Pepper who was born right here and around a ton of people greets anyone at the front door. As far as taking the kitty to public places this is my experience, first, please don't take the cat to Home Depot or any store that is not for pets, it's against their policy and inappropriate, yes people do it but they shouldn't. Second, Petsmart or the like can be very overwhelming for a cat. I did take my outdoor cat Ginger to Petsmart, actually in the winter we went every Sunday afternoon. However, Ginger was not your typical cat, she walked on a leash with harness (even went to the vet this way) and had no fear of dogs (or deer for that matter). She was also naturally sedate, a typical visit to Petsmart consisted of her walking in the front door (I carried her from the car) getting petted by the cashiers and then she would either walk or ride in the cart while we visited the fish, birds and small animals. We'd go to the cat dept and she would greet the cats up for adoption (again she was completely unbothered by other cats) she'd walk the toy aisle and cat tree aisle. By this point she was tired and she'd climb up on my shoulder and sleep while I shopped. The store manager always commented that she was the only cat they've ever had come in who was so okay with it, even the day that we stood in line to check out, she was sitting on the floor next to me and the person behind us had a huge lab who stood 18 inches from her and barked and barked in her face and she never flinched. She was something special, I would never consider taking any of my other cats there.

Leslie
 

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I made sure I had friends come over often when I first got him, so he'd be used to people being around. I don't make a point to have people over as often now, but whenever friends, or my parents or siblings come over, he's super friendly. I think that was just his personality to begin with, though.
 
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