bad experience with a small child can bias the kitten against all small
children. Kittens generalize their learning which means they show fear in
situations that remind them of prior trauma or pain.
Punishing a kitten by hitting or spanking may result in kittens avoiding all
humans. Kittens flee, hide or assume telling body postures when feeling
scared. Fearful kittens crouch with ears back, tails tucked, eyes widened
and pupils dilated.
avoid being bitten or scratched, let fearful kittens lie. At most, turn
sideways and toss treats as a peace offering.
are handled frequently and regularly during the first few weeks
of life tend to be friendly and explore more.
When genetics are the cause of fear, kittens may always be timid
and shy. Poor nutrition during early
development also affects the kitten's healthy emotional
Whether the kitten fights or flees when fearful or shows defensive
aggression depends on both on a genetic predisposition and learned
Late Socialization: 9 to 16 weeks old
Vigorous exploration of the environment and climbing.
(2004). Feline Behavior Guidelines. Pg. 10