• Some kittens just grow up with certain kinds of personality--some are friendly while other are independent and still others are total jerks. However, there are some things you can do to help a kitten or cat feel friendlier toward you and other people. Make sure the kitten associates you with good things. What do kittens like? Play: Play is a kitten's job. Dedicate some play time with the kitten. A "fishing pole"-type toy is great for bonding, and it keeps your tender flesh away from needle claws and teeth. Plus it helps burn off that crazy energy kittens have and can treat you to some hilarious acrobatics. If you schedule playtime for certain parts of the day, you may find your cat waiting at those times for you to get out that toy and play with him. A word of warning: Don't roughhouse with your kitten using your fingers and hands. Most kittens go through a mouthy phase and don't know their own biting strength. One major mishap (you get wounded, yell and fling the kitten across the room) can scare the kitten for a long time. Petting: Some kittens are cuddlers while others are too busy to bother with that mushy stuff. The busy ones sometimes grow up to appreciate cuddling later, but don't force it on them. Remember back when you were nine and Aunt Sadie would give you a big sloppy kiss and pinch your cheek and you hated it? You learned to avoid Aunt Sadie. Cats do the same thing. Pet and cuddle the kitten only as long as he or she seems to be enjoying it (purring, rubbing with eyes closed). If he wiggles, let him go. Cats like to have control over themselves. Picking them up robs them of that control. Some cats don't mind being babied, but many are much happier if you pet them while they are standing on a surface (the floor, the sofa, your lap). Food: Be the one to feed your kitten once he's weaned, then give him the occasional treat. Cats do come when called if they know good things are waiting for them. Sleep: Don't disturb the kitty, and he should feel safe sleeping anywhere in the house. Companionship: Talk to your kitten. You don't have to touch him, but just be there. Cats love to supervise what you're doing. Sometimes they even comment. Safety: When people (especially kids) visit, don't let them shriek and grab the kitty. Imagine a stranger shrieked at you and yanked you off the floor or flipped you belly up in a very vulnerable position--not fun. Instead, have the kids get out the cat toys and engage in the play. You get the idea. Cats are a lot like humans in that they want to know what benefits come from a certain kind of behavior ("What's in it for me?"). Once a kitten realizes that people = good things, he'll seek people out.
  • That you are docile and friendly to them.

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