Did you know that cats go through a sensitive period? This period is important for introducing cats to the human world so they don’t see it as a scary place. This is also called the Socialization Period. Cat’s socialization period happens around 3-7 weeks old up to 14 weeks old. During this time, a startled kitten recovers more quickly than older cats. Once this window of socialization is closed, fear of new things becomes the norm. So, set your kitten up for success by starting early!
Because the socialization period of cats is very early, many cats are thought to be aloof and mysterious whereas they most often are under-socialized and misunderstood by the time they are ready for adoption or purchase (~2-3 months old).
This course is suitable for kittens aged 7 weeks old up to 14 weeks old. If you are a foster care of orphaned kittens or a cat shelter attendant, you will learn how to help your kittens be more socialized and more adoptable. If you are a breeder, you have the responsibility of properly socializing your kittens before they are ready to be separated from the mother cat and into the hands of the new owners. If you are an owner of older kittens, you will still find this course useful for training and bonding, and for cat behavior knowledge.
What we will do in this course.
· Discuss the importance of socialization and how to socialize kittens during this sensitive period as well as feline body language to help you read your kitten’s response during socialization
· Learn how to condition your kitten to gentle handling and body manipulation using positive association that will help with grooming and some veterinary procedures
· Learn how to trim your cat’s claws without using stressful restraint
· Prevent pet carrier or crate stress for car rides or vet visit by training ahead
· Learn how to prevent stress in future vet visits by always making a visit fun and positive for the kitten
· Discuss common behavior problems in kittens and ways to prevent them
· Learn to analyze common behavior issues using applied behavior analysis
· Learn basic training skills that can help you bond with your kitten and increase their level of responsiveness to cues
Skills we will cover:
· Clicker training
· Stationing/place training
· Name recognition
· Crate or pet carrier
· Gentle and positive handling
· Intro to walking on a harness
In this course, we will learn basic training skills, behavior problem solving and prevention. This kitten class is designed to help with socialization, address normal kitten behaviors, and prevent the development of behavior problems. This course is not designed to treat serious behavior problems (such as aggression, anxiety, or extreme fear or phobias).
Weekly breakdown of skills and lecture topic:
Week 1: Clicker training & name recognition, kitten socialization
Week 2: Targeting & recall, preventing litter box issue
Week 3: Stationing & pet carrier training, preventing destructive scratching
Week 4: Gentle and positive handling, proper playtime
Week 5: Cat harness conditioning, positive nail trim
Week 6: Leash walking