What are kitten parties?
party, similar to a kitten socialization class, is simply getting a group and
people and kittens together in a safe, indoor environment. Some veterinary
practices make their lobbies available after hours for this purpose. Ideally,
kittens are ages 6 weeks to about 12 weeks as the critical socialization and
social learning period for kittens ends at about 10 to 12 weeks of age.
Why participate in a
The goal of
a kitten party is provide the kitten positive experiences that help shape a
friendly, confident, loving, playful personality that is no fearful or
aggressive with people later in life. A kitten party
broadens the kitten's experience and socialization skills by introducing (under controlled circumstances) many friendly, positive people and other kittens. Ideally,
a kitten-friendly dog and adult cat would also be introduced. Introductions must
be controlled to assure a positive experience and coupled with treats and
At kitten parties, kittens learn how to play, to make friends and to build their confidence around other felines and people.
What activities are
provided in a kitten party?
important factor for a successful kitten party is to be sure the kittens are
hungry to give the treats more power to shape and reward desirable behaviors.
"Pass the Kitten"
starts by a group of people sitting in a
circle each holding a
kitten on a
lap, giving the kitten a treat. After one treat and friendly stroking and
praise, the kitten is gently handed to the person on the right who repeats the
treat, stroking and praise.
Never force your kitten to tolerate handling. Do
as much as the kitten can handle then release to an enclosed, safe, enriched
play area. For kittens or adult cats at home, after a brief time out, try
coaxing your feline back with the food treat.
2. "Kitten Cuddling" starts with the kitten gently lifted off the ground.
Offering treats and soft loving encouragement, gently manipulate the kitten's
body ending with a gentle but firm hug against your body, offering a treat for
relaxation. Kitten learn that humans are strong enough to control a cat's body.
However, by offering treats, praise and cuddling, kittens learn there is no threat or reason to fear humans.
3. "Teaching Sit" starts with a hungry kitten
standing with 100% attention on a treat inside of a closed hand. As you move
the hand VERY slowly up, the cat's nose follows. As you slowly move the hand
back (horizontal to the floor, just 1/4 inch above the by it for a food treat from other people. This experience teaches
your cat that all humans are trustworthy, friendly leader types.
your cat's kitten party before 4 months of age.
Kittens need early repetitive human contact to become IdealCats™. If kittens are too isolated before 7 weeks of age, they may become shy, reserved cats, and apprehensive around strangers.
Establishing trust with all humans can prevent unprovoked and out of context aggressive behaviors later in the cat's life.
Once kittens have reached 12 weeks of age they are less receptive and harder to influence and control. So, a few days after you bring
your cat or your next kitten home, it's party time!
Children and adults should come to
your cat's kitten party.
Schedule a party of friends (3 to 8 people) to come over to meet
your cat. The purpose for this is to exercise the kitten's social skills and to teach
your cat that children and adults alike give friendly hugs and cookies and are not to be feared.
If you have an older cat, these steps can still be taken but much slower with much slower progress. However, it is never too late to change your pet's perception nd behavior with professional help. If you would like a Veterinary Behavior Case Analysis and Custom Behavior Modification Program for you cat, please call us 1-800-372-3706 ext. 88 to get started.
From approximately two to
five months of age kitten
teeth emerge as sharp,
narrow teeth for play
consuming solid food .
Early rules of thumb
yell or hit your kitten for any
reason. Supervise all indoor
exploration for safety and to
gently remove the kitten from
unwanted areas or to interrupt
unwanted behaviors. Keeping your
kitten in a small room with a
variety of litterboxes - that
are easy to get into - and a
safe climbing and scratching
posts will help your kitten
develop good habits that last a
lifetime. Preventing bad habits
is easier than correcting
established behavior patterns.