Question:
I have a nonprofit cat rescue, ForeclosurePets, here in Washington State (I am a NM native). I currently have a mom, who is very friendly, and her 3 kittens. They are about 9 weeks. I got them 2 weeks ago. The kittens will play at a distance with a teaser, and I have gotten them to eat wet food with me sitting on the floor near them. I need to get them people friendly.

Dr. Nichol:
Thanks for doing such important work. The mother cat’s affinity for you indicates that she had positive human exposure prior to the age of 5-7 weeks. Her kittens, being uncomfortable getting up-close-and-personal, may have missed that benefit. Sadly, at age 9 weeks it’s getting a bit late for them.

Use food to slowly and patiently lure those little scaredy cats a bit closer. If their only opportunities to eat involve a person sitting quietly nearby they can learn to associate good things with a human presence. You will need to be patient; real change could take months.  Quick movements, loud voices, or reaching would startle them and set the process back. Feliway could help these babies. The safe and good-tasting antianxiety supplement Zylkene can also reduce the butterflies in their little tummies.