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Educating Kitty



Kittens gain important basic knowledge from their mother and littermates during the first few weeks of life. As they develop, they are learning the essentials of how to interact with their littermates both physically and socially. It can appear that kittens are fighting, but are actually learning appropriate behavior and limits for social interaction. A kitten will then start to learn by observing its mother. This is when outdoor or wild cats teach their kittens how to hunt. Even for house cats important behavior cues are being picked up at this time. It is best if kittens can stay with their mother and littermates for 10 to 12 weeks for optimal physical and social development. As a kitten matures play becomes its primary education. Kittens first start to develop eye paw coordination, and then start to see moving objects as prey. Playtime intensifies as they are practicing and learning hunting skills. Play is an important part of being a cat; it helps them learn and keeps them healthy. It’s important at this time not to use your hands as a toy, or encourage aggressive play. The kitten will learn that hands are okay to bite and scratch, which can be problematic, as they get older. It can take a cat over two years to reach full maturity, and they will pick up behavior clues from people and pets throughout this time.

 

 


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