Kitten social skills – how to grow a happier, less stressed adult cat


At Palmerstown veterinary hospital, we know only too well that bringing a little kitten into your home carries great responsibility – the health and emotional well being of your kitten as an adult will largely depend on how carefully and sensitively you care for them in the first few weeks of their lives.


They are not only growing physically from birth, they are also learning about the world around them and developing their own unique personalities. Between four and 14 weeks of age a kitten’s personality is shaped by their experiences. During this time, a kitten’s brain is like a sponge. If they are socialised they will be self-assured and sociable when they face these people, sights, sounds, and experiences as an adult.


Dublin vet, Susan Barry says: “Socialisation isn’t just up to the breeder or rescue group; you need to keep it up once your kitten comes home.”

  • Expose your kitten to many kinds of people — men, women, children, people wearing glasses/ hats, buggies, children’s toys and so on.
  • Expose them to dogs. Just make sure to pick cat-friendly canines, and supervise their meeting so no one gets hurt.
  • Expose them to household sounds such as blenders, TVs, and vacuum cleaners — anything they are going to be hearing throughout her life.
  • Consider signing them up for a kitten class, where they can polish their social skills with other kittens and people, learn tricks, and practice good behaviours like using a scratching post. Our experienced nurse Kate will be starting a new kitten course on the 4th April, call her on 01 6237044 to book your place!
  • Although your kitten’s experiences during the early weeks and months are the most influential, continue to socialise throughout their life. It helps keep them sociable and mentally agile.


Don’t forget to make plenty of time for playtime!!

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