A Guide to Socializing Shy or Feral Kittens

Kittens under 8 weeks of age can usually also be socialized very quickly by following the guidelines below. Kittens over 8 weeks of age who have had no positive contact with humans often spend much of their time socializing. But, with consistent effort and additional sessions, these same guidelines can be very effective in socializing kittens up to 6 months of age.


Food is the most important tool to facilitate the socialization process. Growing kittens have an insatiable appetite that will give them the courage to approach and touch you while they would normally never let you near them. It takes away any incentive to welcome you into their world. The guidelines below are not hard, fast rules. You may find that kittens move onto advanced stages very quickly or you may find that they follow a sequence of their own design.

preparation for lifting

When they are comfortable with petting and touching around the head and shoulders, move on to petting the back and scratching the base of the tail. After this try to touch the lower part of the stomach. This area is usually sensitive and requires desensitizing it in order to expose it. Try while they are busy eating. walking on the ground

Moving on the Ground

Also try pushing them from side to side when they are busy eating around a dish on the ground. Simply placing your hands around them and gently pushing them around is an important preparation for being picked up. Place two pots a foot apart and gently lift/scoot a kitten a short distance from one pot to the other, very close to the ground. If the kitten is engrossed in thought, it will not mind being picked up for a while if it is done easily. If they run away, lure me back with a special treat, come back and start again. If they’re hungry enough, it works.

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