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The key to the most effective taming of a cat is the appearance of a pet in its life while it is still small. The ideal situation is when the kitten spends the necessary time – at least 12 weeks – with its mother, but at the same time has regular, positive contact with the human. According to scientific research, a kitten that will get to know at least 5 different people during the period of socialization will most likely be able to generalize its trust in humans. If he only knows you, he may not be trusting of strangers.
Taming the cat – it’s best to start with the kitten
The socialization of a cat is a key period in its development. During this time, the animal learns the world, surrounding stimuli and behavior patterns in a manner appropriate for its species. Especially between the third and tenth week of life, the cat’s brain develops very rapidly. At the same time, the kitten learns how to be a cat, that is, how to treat other cats when biting is fun and when it is not. During this time, she should be with her mother and siblings.
However, in order to gain confidence in a human being, it should also get to know him in this critical period. Everything a little kitten learns will remain in his memory when he becomes an adult. Of course, you can break the distrust and change the learned patterns in an adult cat, but it’s not that easy.
Taming the cat from childhood
If a little kitten is in constant contact with people – it will be stroked, put on the hands, brought to the face – it is possible that it will quickly become tame. Such a wild cat at home will usually become an exemplary householder without any problems.
Taming a cat and contact with a kitten
Remember one very important thing – you cannot take a kitten from its mother until she is 12 weeks old. Otherwise, we expose him to behavioral disturbances related to incorrect socialization. Taking a litter from a cat is advisable only when the little ones are in danger. However, it is recommended to catch the whole family – mother with young.
How to domesticate a wild cat – the whole cat family
It is worth considering how to tame a cat that is with its mother and siblings. If the kitten is distrustful, try to get the kittens used to the human. If you succeed, they will be ready for adoption in due course. It is also worth trying to tame a kitten. However, it will take much longer to work on her than on her children. Unfortunately, it happens that animals remain so distrustful, timid or aggressive that after the castration procedure they have to be released back to their place of living.
Where to place a cat’s family during its first such close contacts with humans? If you have a separate room where mom and kittens can reside, this is an ideal situation (remember to put inside numerous hiding places to increase the feeling of security). A good solution, especially in the absence of a suitable room, is also a kennel cage. This is not a form of “enslavement” of the cat! In the new place, the cage will be a safe refuge for cats, which will separate them from stressful stimuli. This way, you will consider how to tame your cat in conditions that are comfortable for him.
The cage should contain the necessary cat accessories: bowls for food and water on one side, and on the other – a litter box. In addition, a bedding, preferably a hideout, that allows the cat to hide when you go to the cage and open it. A booth or an open transporter will work.
Kittens should be often handled and petted; do not neglect the fun and rewarding with treats. If you are raising and taming an orphaned litter, take particular care of the social and emotional needs of the kittens. If possible, allow other cats to join the kittens, adult and mild-mannered. They will take over the part of education that – as a human – you will not do. Such cat nannies will teach the little ones to be a cat instead of their mother. You will only be left with the question of how to tame cats with the company of humans.
How to tame an adult cat?
Taming an adult cat usually takes much longer than taming a kitten. Of course, among the cats “picked up” from the street, there will be both homeless cats that used to have a home and contact with humans, as well as “savages” who have been living on the street for generations. We need to convince the former to people again. When you discover how to tame a cat with this attitude, you can make a great pet! You should patiently feed such a cat, try to play at a distance, get it used to your sight and smell, but do not force contact.
If and how to domesticate a wild cat?
The wild cat, on the other hand, is a skittish cat that keeps a safe distance, and after crossing it by a human – moves away. These cats may have limited trust in people they know, e.g. feeders. And here a dilemma arises: should such cats get used to them and look for their homes, or leave them where they live? It is not that simple.
An opportunity to test whether a cat has the potential to become a pet is to catch it for castration. During convalescence, some cats already gain a certain amount of confidence in the people they meet. This is a good time to check out how to tame an adult cat in your care. During castration, such cats are dewormed, vaccinated, and often treated for other parasites or detected diseases. It is also time to try to tame the cat. Unfortunately, some cats that have been taken from a familiar place and locked in a strange room experience enormous stress. If it cannot be eliminated, the option of releasing the animal to its former habitat should be considered.
Wild cat at home – how to proceed?
If you want to give a chance – and a home – to such a savage, remember that it may take time and patience. How to domesticate a cat that has not lived at home before? The animal should have permanent access to hiding places; he must also stay in a small room, which he will first get to know well and consider as his asylum. Don’t be surprised if your cat only eats when you keep your distance. At the beginning, he will also spend a lot of time in hiding places. The first sign of success may be the desire to play, especially with a fishing rod or other distance toy. The cat plays when its stress level drops – and the game itself, which ends with catching the toy, increases the level of serotonin, and therefore has an anti-stress effect.
Regardless of the degree of taming, cats that are chronically ill, disabled, or carriers of feline leukemia viruses or FIV, are absolutely not eligible for release to their former place of residence. The latter pose a threat to other cats, and they themselves should receive medication and be under constant medical observation. In such a situation, think about how to tame your cat to a level that will allow him to live comfortably.
Do not release the cat when its habitat is dangerous. I am talking about the space near a busy street or the vicinity of people hostile to cats.
Cats that make progress in socialization during treatment and begin to trust humans are not allowed to be released. Even if the original intention was to castrate a cat and release it back, a cat that breaks the distance to humans may not be careful enough when dealing with people who pose a threat to it.
A timid cat – how to convince him?
You already know how to domesticate a wild cat. You must remember that this process often takes up to several months. If you take up this challenge, remember the following rules:
- limited space – one room, bathroom, kennel – is not a prison for a cat, but an asylum. In the first stage, try to simply spend time in the same room as the cat, engaging in non-animal activities – read, work, watch TV, etc. The cat will observe and get to know you;
- place the crate in the corner of the room; prepare curtains to cover the top and sides of the cage. Creating covers on all sides, except one, which is the “cat’s window to the world”, will strengthen the animal’s sense of security. The cat will not be afraid of being suddenly attacked by something. Additionally, in the center of the cage, place a hiding place;
- through the stomach to the heart! Remember that the cat associates your hand with giving food;
- first try to play with the cat, wait a certain distance until the pet comes to smell you, only then start stroking;
- as an aid, you can contact a diffuser with an analogue of feline buccal pheromones. This preparation helps some cats gain self-confidence and fight stress.
Wild cat at home – a chance to tame
It is rare that a cat cannot be domesticated at all. Often, however, how to tame a cat depends on the animal’s temperament or its experience with humans. Some cats will become accustomed to your presence, but they will never be a pet. When you start working with an animal, you must accept the possibility of such a scenario.