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Kittens VS cats

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi.....I have never had kittens, only cats. I have 2 friends that got their cats as kittens, and you wouldn't even know they had a cat, they just hide all day.

We like cats that are social, want to lay on your lap or near you, play etc. Can a kittens personality be "molded" or "taught" to be social, playful etc or is it inbred of how they will turn out?

Also, if 2 kittens are brought home together, do they mostly end up just playing with each other and not be social with the family?

Just wondering...thanks
post #2 of 6
I think it's mostly the way they're brought up - if exposed to little kids (or adults) scaring them when they're babies, they might grow up to be very timid, but when they're very young, they might not be ready for laps yet - all they want to do is play. And while kittens will play with each other, if you play with them using toys, they'll love that as well, especially e.g. that plastic donut with a channel cut open on the inside and little balls inside they can chase around, or anything wiggly or fluttery (but be very careful of small things they could ingest), or chase, etc. But you do need to participate for most of them. Make sure anyone else in the house knows to be very gentle with them, keep sudden noises to a minimum if possible, and clear out little valuables as they're just too attractive (and breakable) for kittens to discipline themselves about.
post #3 of 6
If you let them just play with themselves then they will get use to that but if you interact with them then they will respond to you and be social. One of my cats is only social if its just Mike and I in the house but the others will come and say hi to who stops by.
post #4 of 6
These things really depend on the cat. We got REALLY fortunate with our brother & sister litter siblings. They were bathing each other, cuddling, and could be seen without each other from the very start, so I knew they would be the best of friends, and they certainly are! They play together and get along famously.

Their other two litter-mates were really aloof, though. So, it really depends on the kitty.

As far as moulding personality...yes, there are some things you can do that will pretty much ensure different things with your kitty. For one, if they're held at a very young age (from four weeks on, persay), they will be much more likely to like human company later on. If you massage and hold their paws from very young on, chances are you won't have any trouble if you have to do something with their paws later on (like Soft Claws or trimming nails). If they aren't shown the kitchen counters at all during their life, they might never discover the "wonders" found there. And there are more that I can't quite think of right at this moment, but I think you get the picture.

As far as their basic personality, I don't think that can be changed much. You can, however, have a rather social kitten, and something happens that traumatizes it, and it becomes skittish the rest of it's life. When they're kittens you have to be very careful how they are treated, both by yourself and by others, because it does have at least a little bearance on how they act later on.

Anyway, I hope that answers your question!

Oh, that's another thing...if they're exposed to youngsters (kids) at a younger age, they'll most likely be very tolerant of them as adults. For instance, our two kitties are almost two years of age, and Hobbes is my daughter's little play friend. He follows her around the house and meows for her to wake up in the morning. I don't know that he would have been so fond of her if he'd met her later on in life.
post #5 of 6
I don't think there is a right answer for any of the questions you posed. I've had my two cats since they were kittens, and both are very affectionate. Granted, I think the fact that I was a kid when we got them and wouldn't leave them alone (raise your hand if you dressed up your kitten when you were a kid...)-- but, I think it's like humans. People can argue (and it's a philosophical/psychological arguement) that people are "molded" by their upbringing, or that they are born with personality traits. The same arguement fits cats. Depends, depends, depends. I wouldn't assume that getting kittens ensures the ability to mold them, nor that it means you won't agree with their personalities once they've grown up and settled into themselves.

Whether kittens brought home together form an attachment moreso to each other or will share the same bond with their owners is a hard question to answer. Again, it depends. And I think variables like how much the owners interact with them and are home (etc.) really counters in.
post #6 of 6
Rocky is my most social cat, and the one that is the most tolerant of kids and strangers. Aside from his divine purrsonality, I think the reasson he is so good is that he was raised with a foster family that had a young child, and he got a lot of handling as a youngster. He doesn't mind being held too much, and isn't scared of my neighbors granddaughter, who is 9 and kinda loud and loves playing with my cats and picking them up. Her grandma's cats are all afraid of her. I don't know much about Zakk's background until he was 6 months old, other than he was a housecat that was left when the owner was evicted. Zakk is okay with strangers, and has even gotten used to my mom's dog when it visits, but he doesn' tlike being picked up and he is much more cautious. Cookie and Suzie are somewhat skittish, but they were semi-feral until they moved at 13 weeks.
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