Skip to main content

Cat handled during the first 8 weeks of life builds a confident cat

I think the title to this short post is actually common sense but it was one of the findings of a research study: Ontogeny of individuality in the domestic cat in the home environment by Sarah E. Lowe and John W. S. Bradshaw , Anthrozoology Institute, University of Southampton, UK.

Domestic cats have varying personalities and the factors that mold these personalities is the same sort of things that create our characters.

Ideally, domestic cats need to have rounded and confident characters if they are to be the best kind of cat companion. The more extrovert sociable cat interacts better with his or her human companion and mixes better with other cats and people. The frightened and/or shy cat is more likely to be defensive in nature and that can translate to aggression through fear.

What creates this boldness is correct handling during the first 8 weeks of life - in short excellent socialisation. These are the formative moments that are equivalent to the first 6 years of life of a person. Excellent socialization includes handling by people, interaction with other animals and other people.

The best cat breeders ensure that their cats are not only good looking but well socialised so that they do their job: be a fine companion to their human caretaker.

Incidentally, in feral cats boldness or a proactive character is beneficial as it improves the chances of having offspring (reproductive success) but a negative is that the bold feral cat is more likely to fall foul of the serious illness of feline aids. Overall natural selection seems to say that there is a benefit, however.


Michael Avatar

From to Home Page

Comments

Matt said…
On 4/28/10 a ferel queen I was feeding(friendly to me only)scratched on my front door in labor.I accompanied her in giving birth to 5 beautiful kittens.The next day I brought them in my house & gave them the entire upstairs;2 rooms and bathroom.
Matt said…
....anyways,9 months later the kittens treat me like a friendly loyal dog.They all dont mind me holding them.They even roll over like dogs on command & sit on my shoulder like a parot.So I can attest that handling cats from day 1 makes a huge difference...
Anonymous said…
Matt, you're a good person. Thanks for the comment.

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti