A kitten that is born on the street to a feral mother can become feral by five weeks of age. If the mother is fearful of humans, she will teach her kittens at an early age to be fearful. It is important to be cautious with kittens, because out of fear they can inflict some painful bites and scratches.
Once you have trapped a kitten, it is important that you keep it in a small confined space. A cage is the best place because it will keep the kitten from injuring itself, and keep it accessible to you.
If you have more than one kitten from a litter, it is sometimes necessary to separate them. This is often difficult to do because our natural tendency is to want to keep them together. However, sibling kittens will bond with each other and what we want them to do is bond with a human. It will take a great deal of time and effort to socialize a feral kitten if it is kept with others. There is the possibility that a feral kitten will not be able to be socialized if it is not separated from other kittens.
Remember that the separation is temporary, and kittens can be reunited with their own kind once they are socialized.
Food will play an essential role in kitten socialization. Frequent approaching a kitten with a spoonful of baby food can be very effective.
Wrapping a frightened kitten in a towel while you pet it helps it to feel secure while getting used to being held and touched. Pet the kitten on the head with your hand coming at it from behind. Many kittens will flinch at a hand coming toward their face.
Most of the techniques used for adult ferals are applicable for kittens. Many of the factors that govern the rate of socialization for adults also apply to kittens.
Some kittens will socialize very quickly. Others will take much more time and patience on your part. However, the majority of kittens can be socialized and are good candidates for adoption.
A radio played low on an easy listening station will help the cat become familiar with human voices - both male and female.
A television with the sound turned low will accustom the cat to the sights and sounds of this box that is usually found in any home a cat could be placed in.
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