Every Wednesday lunchtime throughout the summer, Cats Protection will be streaming live online footage of cute kittens as they learn to navigate the world around them for the first time.
Nicky Trevorrow, Behaviour Manager at Cats Protection, said: “Preparing a kitten to cope with the human world and its challenges is one of the most important ways to ensure their lifelong welfare. Without careful consideration of their development, they may grow into an adult cat that will struggle to cope within a normal domestic setting. The kitten socialisation period is an important time in a cat’s life, and we are offering exclusive behind-the-scenes access so viewers can watch our kittens learn and grow.”
During the social media live streams, kittens aged between two to eight weeks of age will be gradually exposed to different noises, smells, and physical human interaction. At this young age a kitten’s brain and sensory system are still developing and the stimuli they encounter influence how this development occurs. Everything from who they meet, to the environments they encounter, will teach them whether what is happening is threatening or non-threatening. A kitten that has been appropriately socialised will be far less likely to experience high levels of stress, or even to develop behaviour problems as an adult.
Trained Cats Protection kitten socialisation volunteers will be spending time playing, handling, and grooming the kittens so they learn to be confident around humans and relaxed during a vet visit.
“Introducing kittens to the concept of play is really important” Nicky continued, “it might seem trivial, but it enables them to exhibit their natural hunting behaviours. Our volunteers will teach them to play by using a range of toys including fishing rod toys, small balls and more. Play is a great way for cats to have a natural endorphin fix of feel-good hormones and is great for mental stimulation, exercise, and can be a stress reliever.
“We have been battered by bad news over the last few years, so we felt a little break during the day to watch some playful and adorable kittens was very much in order! It’s so easy to get consumed by the chaos that’s going on around us right now, so having a moment for positivity and wellbeing is really important – and what better way to do it than with kittens!”
The kittens cared for and socialised at Cats Protection range from those that have been born to a pregnant cat (Queen) in their care, to those that have been abandoned or are stray without the influence of their mother.
Every kitten or cat who is rehomed by Cats Protection will be neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Kittens should be neutered from four months of age to avoid more unwanted cats being born each year.
#KittenCam live streams can be joined at approximately 1pm* every Wednesday in July and August, on Facebook. Viewers can relax, unwind, and let the endorphins flow as they watch these adorable tiny bundles of fur develop and grow.
This year, Cats Protection’s behaviour work is kindly supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery.
*1pm is an approximate time. Due to the nature of live streaming, there can be unexpected delays.