When you properly socialize your kitten with different people, depending on the individual cat and the energy of the strangers, they may be treated with calm reserve, cautious curiosity or happily greeted and want to immediately interact.
Generally speaking, the British Shorthair is an easy-going and dignified cat that may be slightly reserved until they warm up to you, and while not as playful or overall active as some other cats may be, they are affectionate, sweet-natured and devoted with their owners.
As well, if you have children, this is a cat that will usually be forgiving and tol- erant of physical interaction with clumsy youngsters so long as they are not overly abusive, because they enjoy the attention.
This mild-mannered cat is also a good candidate for happily living in a multi- cat or cat-friendly dog home and when introduced slowly will learn to co-exist very happily.
Always keep in mind that every cat will have a unique personality and depend- ing upon their genetics and early upbringing, will react to strangers and unfa- miliar circumstances each in his or her own way.
For instance, some cats love company and will happily greet strangers, while others may immediately seek out a safe hiding place when visitors come to call. There are a few guidelines that you can use to help teach your visitors proper catgreeting “etiquette” and help your cat feel more comfortable with delivery people and strangers visiting your home.
For instance, if your cat is acting overly cautious, just ask your visitors to sim- ply ignore him or her and avoid eye contact. If the cat decides to approach, keep your energy calm and slowly extend your hand so he or she can smell you.
Then if the cat seems interested, perhaps give a gentle head or neck scratch, while continuing to avoid eye contact. Most cats will start to rub up against humans once they feel comfortable, so wait for the cat to signal that they may be agreeable to a gentle scratch and don’t try to invade their space by pursuing them.
This will be especially important if you have young children visiting and if you are teaching your cat to be social, you will also need to teach the children a slow and calm approach.
You may also use a treat or an interactive toy to entice a cautious cat to ap- proach, however, always stay calm and let the cat come to you.
It is imperative to properly socialize every cat, so that they learn basic house rules that will keep them safe and become safely integrated into your family, and you need to put in the effort to begin socialization when they are still young kittens so that they do not become overly fearful or skittish and spend all their time hiding under the bed when friends come to visit.
When you do take the time to socialize your kitten, you will help him or her grow up to be a self-confident and calm adult cat that will enjoy the company of humans and will happily interact with your family and friends.
All guardians need to be fully aware that a cat who does not receive early so- cialization may spend their lives living in fear of people and everything else they may encounter in their environment, which can include noises, unfamiliar humans, children, dogs, other cats and pets.