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Why Are Kittens Sometimes Friendlier Than Adult Cats?

There is nothing more cheerful and precious than a bunch of purr balls who love to wander around and explore everything in the house. Most people prefer kittens rather than senior cats when it comes to choosing and adopting. Eventually, when your beloved and energetic kitten becomes an adult and they act calm, fearful, even grumpy and you wish they would be a friendly tiny kitten again. So what is the reason behind it? Does it mean we are bad human parents? Or because we chose the wrong breed that could be compatible with the household and our personas?

(h/t: iheartcats)

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According to Vet Street, kittenhood is the best time to teach a cat to socialize with the new environment by seeing, hearing, playing, etc. Socialization is a key for cats to accommodate the house as well as their humans.

“The main socialization window for kittens is from 2 to 7 weeks of age, but it can extend up to 14 weeks. During this time, your cat is most receptive to new experiences.”

Kitten’s conception of the world is always new and curious when they are still protected by the owner, exactly like a kid. However, as they are growing up in the window mentioned above, they might encounter some unexpected traumas: being pulled the tail by strangers, being held suddenly, or being teased. These bad experiences can affect their brain and their perspective of the world will be altered. They might find it offensive and skittish when a stranger comes in, a shout, loud music. This is normal to people but cats are more aware of it. Thus, compared to children when it comes to pain, a kid will cry but a cat is an expert at disguising the pain, turns out humans, especially beginners, will not know which action leads them to fear.

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Your behaviors toward cats are also the impact, try to create a social development while they are still young. If you bring a kitten home and leave them alone for hours, they absolutely will feel lonely and scared. Gradually, the bond is disconnected because of kittenhood trauma. In other words, your kitten loves human protection, interaction, and affection. You should introduce them to your friends, your family members so that they will be more open and be sociable at their best. If you have a dog, take advantage of the socialization window to increase the cat’s confidence by giving them playtime with a feline-friendly dog friend. For all those solutions will invite the cats to be more comfortable and safe.

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What if you are already having an always-frowning cat and want to help them overcome the traumas? This takes time and effort. Be patient and open with them, their brain is 90% like humans, so it’s pretty hard for them to forget overnight. Make sure you identify their rooted fear and find the right solution.

For example, if your cat usually hides when they hear the chattering noise of strange people, that is because when they were young you didn’t connect the bond between your cat and your friend. Let them know your friends have good intentions, ask your friends to give them treats, play with them, hold them gently. But once again, you need to be more perseverant and consistent with your will toward the cat. If your cat is aloof while you are home but is more comfortable without you when you are watching them through the hidden surveillance camera, surely when they were kitten, you didn’t provide enough affection for them. Invest some time to play, cuddle, and talk to them, they will feel more comfortable when they are loved.

You are not a bad parent, hoomans. Since you are reading this article, you still have a chance to better your cat. You can actually ask the vet or behaviorists for help if they tend to be aggressive. No matter what their trauma is, living safely with their human is all a cat needs. As long as they can see your presence, as long as you shower them with affection and treats, as long as you are patient with them, all is well.


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