Tagged with " psychology"

What Do Kittens Need?

May 12, 2012 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Tips & Advice

Kittens learn from each other and their Mom and need them to develop their normal behaviors. They need social and physical contact to gain confidence. As they grow older, they will need each other less but remain interested in social interaction. The presence of the Mom with the litter also increases confidence. Kittens feel safe clustered around their Mom and can show interest in novel people or situations. If the Mom is confident around people the kittens will quickly learn to be sociable with humans. If she is hostile, they will learn to be too.

The first important relationship with a kitten is with his Mom. They are entirely dependent upon her for their survival. Before two weeks of age, they don’t move around much, have not developed many abilities that they will later and have poor eye sight.  She anticipates everything they need from nutrition to cleaning to toileting. By licking their abdomen, she stimulates the passing of urine and feces that she can then consume.

All social contact is limited to the litter and Mom. The family is matriarchal and independent. Related females in a colony will help with child rearing. They may help with nursing or moving the kittens. There is a lot of safety in numbers. Related Moms will guard kittens remaining behind if they have to be moved. Alone, a mother cat exposes the kittens left behind to dangers as she moves them one by one.

As kittens get older, they begin to move around more and begin to develop more independent behavior. In the early stages of these changes, they remain very dependent upon Mom for all their needs. As they begin to play with each other, they learn to communicate effectively with other cats and begin to develop the predatory skills they will need as adults.

Dr Elizabeth Colleran

Diplomate ABVP Specialty in Feline Practice

Dr Colleran attained both her Masters (in Animals and Public Policy) and Doctorate from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. She opened Chico Hospital for Cats in 1998 and the Cat Hospital of Portland in 2003. In 2011, she became President of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

Dr Colleran is a member with: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association, and American Association of Feline Practitionesr.

Chico Hospital for Cats
548 W East Ave,
Chico, CA

Phone: 530-892-2287‎

Website: http://chicocats.com/
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Cat Hospital of Portland
8065 SE 13th Ave
Portland, OR 97202

Phone: 503-235-7005
Fax: 503-234-0042

Website: http://portlandcats.net/
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