|Purred: Thu Jul 25, '13 9:17am PST |
|Hello! It's that time of year again, and a stray cat has had kittens under our shed. They are about 6 1/2 weeks old, and I read this is the best time to socialize them, but also read that they are not yet old enough to leave mama. Mama is definitely not feral--very affectionate and loves to be petted. So I decided to bring the whole family in the house to work on socialization. Mama and two kittens are in the bathroom and have been there for about two days.
I have read lots on kitten socialization, but never done it before myself, so wanted to get some thoughts from the experts. So far I have been going in the room several times a day and just sitting on the floor. I put out canned food and bring in a toy on a string to entice the kittens to play. I've had pretty good success with one kitten--it will come out and eat, let me stroke its back, and play with the toy. But the other kitten is very shy and runs to hide as soon as I come in the room. It won't come out at all. Both kittens are still nursing, so I guess the food is not a big enough incentive.
Based on your knowledge and experience, what should I do to encourage the shy kitten to interact? I realize it's still early in the process, so should I:
--let it be and keep doing what I'm doing, hoping it will get brave enough to come out?
--put it in a cat carrier in the main part of the house so it can get used to being around people?
--take it to another room for one-on-one socialization?
--remove Mama altogether?
--any other ideas?
Thanks so much--I really appreciate your thoughts. Also, in your experience, when can you say the socialization process is "done?" What behaviors am I looking for?
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