bonding with your new kitten

calvin stretch2Are you worried about bonding with your new kitten?  Let me begin by mentioning that when bonding with a new kitten, you need to respect your new kitty’s needs for safety. There are boundaries that you shouldn’t cross until you’ve reached a mutual comfort level. When you do respect your kitten’s boundaries, bonding with you will come naturally.

Here is what you can do to help the bonding process with your new kitten.

Give your kitty space – When you bring your new kitten home, try to keep your kitten in the same room as you as often as you can. This doesn’t mean you need to be showering the kitty with attention all the time but rather, watch TV, read a book, just let her get used to your presence. Invite her to be near you, but don’t force yourself upon her. This is a new situation and she has to begin to figure out her new surroundings and her relationship with you. You have to earn her trust, especially if she has had bad experiences in the past. By keeping her in the same room as you she will learn that you live with her, that you mean her no harm, and eventually that you are her family.

Introduce touch slowly and respectfully- don’t just grab at the new kitten, first begin by practicing gentle petting and brushing. Coax your kitten over with treats then engage her with light, gentle petting or brushing. Speak in a soft soothing tone.  Avoid loud noises and sudden movements. Once again, you want to be slow with this. Can you imagine being taken to a strange home, picked up, and sat on someone’s lap? Kind of creepy, right? Take it easy with her, let her get comfortable with you and learn that you will not hurt her. Let her know that she is safe with you, that your touch is safe, and make sure she only associates it with positives (hence the treats).

Play Games – Kittens love to play, just like children, so bond with kitty by playing. You can dangle a feather on a string over her head so she can practice jumping, running, and balancing. Play with a laser pointer so kitty can experience the excitement of hunting and pouncing. When you finish a play session give your kitty a treat. Once again, you want your new kitten to associate everything in her new surroundings, including you, with happy feelings. This means that she will recognize you as a friend, not a predator, and she will learn to associate you with treats, play, and happiness.

A new home is a completely new situation for a kitten. It can be absolutely overwhelming to find yourself living in an unfamiliar space with unfamiliar faces. It will take time for both of you to get used to each other, but, if you are patient and loving, it will all be worth it.

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