By Tabitha Kucera
We are all familiar with puppy socialization, but do not hear about kitten socialization anywhere near as often. In fact, however, it is as important for kittens to be properly socialized and trained as it is for puppies. The effects of poor socialization can result in cats who hide from visitors, fear other pets, adapt slowly to new environments, and they can also be fearful and aggressive with handling at veterinary visits. These cats are more likely to become stressed and/or fearful and start urinating out of the litter box, which can result in the human-animal bond being damaged and owners then relinquishing their cats. However, well-socialized kittens who have received positive experiences around many different people, unfamiliar kittens, environments, and handling procedures are more likely to be outgoing, social, and have better coping skills, which will result in stronger human-animal bonds and fewer behavioral issues. These kittens are also more likely to receive annual veterinary care since the stress involved with the carrier, new places, travel, and handling often subconsciously causes owners to avoid bringing in their cats. Read more.