Animal Behavior Network
Error Free Kitten Raising Tips
by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Getting Started - Fear of People

There are many reasons why cats develop fears. Cats that are handled frequently and regularly during the first few weeks of life are generally more exploratory and more social. Without adequate, continuous and positive interactions with people and other animals as young kittens between 3 and 9 weeks of age, cats may develop fears.

Cats can also learn to respond fearfully as a result of just one experience that was intense or traumatic. This learning may then generalize to similar situations. For example, a bad experience with a small child could result in a cat that is fearful of all small children.

If a cat is punished or some other disturbing event happens in the presence of a particular person or other animal, the cat may begin to pair the stimulus (the person or other animal) with the unpleasant consequence (punishment).

Genetics are another contributing factor to the development of fears. There are some cats that are inherently timid and fearful. These cats may never become outgoing and highly sociable.

Poor nutrition during early development can also affect the kitten's healthy emotional development.

Error-Free Kitten Raising Tips™ and Positive Cat Parenting™ for your kitten.

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Library topics
Fearfulness- Q&A
Pet Fears and Phobias People

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