Dormouse Part 3 – Socializing a scared cat or kitten



Hi welcome back to Kitten School! This is
the third video demonstrating how to socialize a feral or a very scared cat
or kitten. Our little student here, five month old Dormouse, has been here at it
in school for less than a week but has already shown tremendous progress. Now that Dormouse is so much more
confident just being around us we'll begin to train in a safe
area a closed room where we can put him down on the floor and let them start to
have a little freedom. When you're working with a kitten it's often helpful to have
another cat – as long as it's a friendly cat – in the room with you because kittens
tend to feel more comfortable among other cats or kittens.
Now here's Cindy putting Dormouse on the floor but still holding him and just
reassuring him. He's wanting to bolt away but she's very gently holding him back
she won't actually let him go until he relaxes, and the reason we're holding him
back is because we're trying to overcome that initial feeling to bolt that scared
kitties have and just build his confidence being on the ground. Once Dormouse relaxes Cindy will let him
go so he can explore and play with little Luna here and just have some fun.
Dormouse went to the corner and was hiding behind this planter for a while
but he is curious about what's going on, so he's starting to come out. You'll
notice his ears are forward ..he's watching the toy and he's watching Luna,
so he's very engaged and while he's cautious, he's not
particularly scared, so now we're just going to take a few minutes and play
with the toy. After a little playtime it is time to
approach Dormouse. Now keep in mind this is the first time that he has been
approached by one of us when he's not been in his crate or his condo, so Cindy
just very gently pets him reassures him, but his ears are up he's being very
receptive. She's going to gently pick him up and now we'll apply one of the most
important capturing tactics of all: a little love and cuddling. Now it's time
to start working on what I call the "hold and release practice"… this is where we're
going to approach the kitty pet him and then step away and then approach again.
Pet, reassure, and step away. Cats are incredibly reactive creatures so when a
cat is scared the first instinct is to run when approached. By repeating the
hold and release tactic over and over again using positive reinforcement each
time, we're trying to lessen that instinct for the kitty to bolt away from
people. Now we'll introduce some toys and see if
Dormouse wants to play. At first he's a little apprehensive but he's very
interested in the crinkle ball and he begins to play a little bit. There he
goes, that's very good! He's engaging with my hand, we want him
to see hands as something to have fun with and something that comforts him not
something that's going to hurt him. And when we're not resting in our kitty condo we're
spending some time in the social box around the other cats, and having lots
and lots of cuddle time. Thanks for watching and look out for part four of
Socializing a Scared Kitty coming soon! Click here to watch the first two videos
with Dormouse!

34 thoughts on “Dormouse Part 3 – Socializing a scared cat or kitten

  1. This reminds me of when I got my cat Dabu . Her previous human owners were very abusive so when I got her she was terrified of me.
    I couldn't get her to come near me or even eat or drink in a room with me near for 2 weeks.
    I knew I couldn't force it so I had her come to me when she felt she wanted.
    1 month later I was able to be around her when ever. I could pet her and talk to her without her running. Couldn't pick her up though.
    3 years later. Holy Hades. I had a spoiled princess fur baby. I could do what ever with this little fur babes and she trusted me fully. So much so I even had a ritual with her I never knew till year 2.
    I'd come home. She would greet. I'd pick her up, set my bath, go to the bedroom and change . If I didn't do this in that order she would be mad.

  2. If you can touch him, he is nearly socialized. Cats visiting our garden run away when we try to approach them.

  3. 2:46 – Should never stroke a cat all way down to its tailbone when its securing a position of fear, actually studies have proven, that when the hand reaches anywhere towards the hind end of a cat, it sends pulses/signal down its body, which can also trigger a "Cat attack" moment, not an expert or anything, just pointing it out for others.

    Regardless, im addicted and have learned so much alone from your videos on dealing with my 3 female cats, bless you.

  4. The only real criticism I've got so far is that these are basically multiple videos on the same thing. It's less an instructional series than a progress log.

  5. Patience and love is the way. Cats respond well to affection. Each takes a different time but in the end it'll pay off.

  6. Cool. So many people can learn from this video, like myself, and care for more cats and make them ready for other loving parents to be cared for.

  7. Hi I currently have 2 Tabby's. 1 is a female 4 year old runt and the other is a big 3 year old male. They r super close and I think they might be a couple. But we r getting another male Tabby because his family has to get rid of him due to a family member who is moving in with them is highly allergic and also because he is super cute. But I'm scared the 2 males might fight because of the female even if they r friendly cats. How do I make sure they don't get into fights? Im getting the other cat Thursday night

  8. In the beginning I think that Dormouse was nervous because of the rapid petting, it might have been too fast and it didn't look calming.

  9. I have a 5 month old ferel kitten and would love more advice on socializing him is there any more tips you can give. He is not visicous just terrified

  10. Why'd I think that the rule was "once feral, always feral??" That one could never, ever tame a feral cat…you've proven me wrong. Great work!

  11. Is there an email or contact info for you guys. I recently (four hours ago) rescued a kitten from my job site it's about the size of doormouse. She was infested with fleas and I won't be able to take to to get checked out till tomorrow. After accidentally releasing her from the cage in the bathroom and standing in shock as a mini typhoon ran around the room trying to get out but couldn't she finally stopped and we were able to coax her with food to calm down enough that we could give her a flea bath. After that she was all sweet as could be while we were holding her. Once down she was fine until we left to take showers. When we came back she had hid under a pillow we left for her to sleep on so we put a cat carrier with a towel in there and showed her it was a safe area. Again she hid under the towel that was left in the. She was a little scared but no longer a swatting hissing ball of Grey fur, we noticed her teeth were in bad condition I assume she isn't more that 16-24weeks old due to how small she is. And we won't know her full condition until a vet sees her asap. If there's a way to contact you for some advice or thing to watch out for I'd really appreciate it. 🙂

  12. Soo i have a kitten someone left in our backyard and its really scared and when we try to pet him he flees. Will this method work?

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