Your kitten should preferably grow up to be a cat who has a good relationship with people and who is a friend and a comrade. To be successful, remember that cats have a very short socialization phase. Therefore, the first 4-16 weeks in the cat’s life at a critical juncture for the behavioral and social development.
The Kittens first experiences
Before your kitten comes and lives with you, it has had to deal with it’s mother, it’s siblings and other people.
Kittens must very early on, get used to being handled by humans, being around several people so that they do not only learn to accept one man. They must also become accustomed to seeing, smelling and hearing from the everyday-life that is happening around him.
Keep up the good work
The kitten will probably arrive to your home when it is about 12 weeks old. Assuming that it has already had plenty of contact with humans, it should not it be rather difficult for you to continue all the good work and help the kitten to become a happy and confident adult cat.
When you first come home with a kitten, remember that it may be a little overwhelming experience, for the kitten. So take your kitten into a quiet room and show it where the food-bowl and litter tray is. Give it lots of love, and pet it while you talk to it with a low, calm voice.
Playing with the kitten, is also a good way to create ties with the kitten, and it will not be long before you bond.
Children and kittens
Kittens should be socialized with children as early as possible. If it has not has been accustomed to children, as a kitten it may reject them or bite them later on.
If you have children, they will obviously be very excited to see the new kitten. You must teach them that the kitten is not a toy and should be treated cautiously. They should stop playing with it when the kitten has had enough. It is also a good idea to warn the children that your kitten can find to scratch or bite for fun during play.
People outside the family
It is a good idea to introduce the kitten to as many people as possible. That way you can probably avoid that it develops fear of strangers later.
Kitten and other animals
Of course it is not only humans, the kitten must learn to socialize. If you have other animals, it must also get used to them. A high fence of wire mesh can be a good thing when you present your kitten in the house to another cat or dog. The kitten will feel safe, while getting to know the other pets in the hous. Do not force them together, or let it be alone with another cat or dog until you are absolutely sure they accept each other.
Separation Anxiety and kittens
The good thing is that you have managed to accustom your kitten to getting along with people. Unfortunately, it has become so attached to you that it does not like to be away from you.
In the past, we thougt that separation anxiety was limited to dogs, but now we know that it also occurs in cats.
This indicates that the kitten may be suffering from separation anxiety if it seems really stressed when you leave it. It might make noise or pee in your home, when you are away, because it is scared.
You can handle separation anxiety by limiting the time you leave your kitten, as much as possible and try not to make a big deal out of leaving the house. For example, ten minutes of seraching for your keys not help it! If your kitten pees in the wrong places, do not punish it. Cats do not understand punishment, and when the behavior is caused by stress, you actually just exacerbates the problem.
Talk to your vet for further advice.