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Socialising Kittens

1st July 2021

From two to seven weeks old, a kitten is in the “socialisation period”. The kitten’s brain and sensory system are still developing and the stimuli they encounter can influence how this development occurs. Things such as who they meet and different environments will teach them whether what is happening is threatening or not.

Negative experiences or no experience at all can cause a kitten to become fearful. This feeling is likely to last into adulthood.

Positive experiences however, with different people and environments, will teach them that these experiences are non-threatening.

How can you socialise your kitten?

There are a number of key things that your kitten should be gradually exposed to in the first few months of their life. They should experience:

Handling (including looking in their ears and handling their paws)

Sounds (sound socialisation is described below)


Different people (ideally four, including a male, female and child)

Litter trays and different types of litter

Sound socialisation

Kittens which don’t have frequent controlled exposure to common sounds such as the vacuum, are more likely to become stressed by certain noises in their life. Most feared noises are thunder, fireworks and the vacuum cleaner.

You can purchase online sound libraries or CDs to socialise your kitten to household noises. These include airplane noises, alarm clock, a baby crying, fireworks etc.