Saturday, February 05, 2022

Give me a kitten before 7 weeks....

Give me a kitten before the age of seven weeks, and I will show you the adult cat. This is adapted from the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, who said  - "Give me a child before the age of seven and I will show you the man."

It's true. What happens to a kitten before the age of about eight weeks, defines much of its future life. 

  • If it grows up in the wild for the first two months of its life, without any human contact, it will become a wild animal rather than a pet.
  •  If it grows up as a single bottle-fed kitten for the first two months of its life, it may be socially awkward around other cats in later life.
  • If it is born to and brought up with a highly stressed mother cat, it is likely to grow up to become a stressed cat.
  • If it grows up with a good mother cat, lots of play with its siblings and lots of gentle interaction with humans (and maybe a friendly family dog) it will become a confident and loving pet.

Yes, feral kittens can be rehabilitated in the next three months of their lives so that they are suitable as pets. But they need careful and intensive rehabilitation. Yes, feral cats can be tamed - over a number of years.

But kittens should be born into a home, not a pen, wherever possible. Or fostered in a home as soon as possible.

Cat rescuers take note....


  1. I have 3 ferals that I took in at age 3.. They are very slowly adjusting to us, but still prefer to avoid us.

  2. But if you are doing a rescue, you are kind of stuck with the hand which you are dealt.

  3. We always pray that kittens born outside are rescued in time to be socialized to the indoors.

  4. socialization of kittens is very important indeed, though sometimes the cats just end up with their personality. i always try to socialize the foster kitties as much as we can before they leave!


Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online