My hubby and I adopted 2 kittens ( brother and sister) from a friend who rescued them from imminent danger , just 1 week ago. Neither will let us touch them . When we get too close , or even move too quickly in their presence, they are like ghosts ! Heard , but not seen anywhere !
We only want whats best for these little ones , and though I 've said I won't give up , it's frustrating to not be able to touch them at all !
The info we were given says they're around 9- 10 weeks old and only ever knew the outdoors . Any and all ideas are appreciated.
Hi Kathleen and thanks for this new question.
If these kittens have not been socialised with people, their behaviour is to be expected and they will be very anxious and unsettled in your presence.
Kittens have a socialisation period between the ages of 2-7 weeks old when they must have positive interactions with people, to see us as their 'friends'. If this has not happened here, it is possible they will never be fully domesticated.
It is important to not 'rush' or 'force' any interactions, as this will make things worse. We need to provide the kitties with a safe home in which they feel content and comfortable. With time, it is possible they will choose to interact with you and will learn to accept and enjoy your company.
Things that will help would include:
- Keeping the home environment calm and predictable
- Acting calm in their presence (think the opposite of a noisy toddler!)
- Sticking to a set routine when e.g. we change their litter and feed them
- Providing them with lots to do e.g. food puzzles, wind up mice, laser chasing
- Ensuring they each have all of their own resources e.g. litter tray, water bowl, scratch post etc. If they have to share resources, this can increase stress
- Using a Feliway calming plug in