Why pet your kitten?

Pet your kitten to give it pleasure.

Pet your kitten to cause total relaxation.

The goal of petting is to get the kitten to trust you and become addicted to being petted.

 

When should you pet your kitten?

Start petting as soon as the kitten’s eyes are open.

It is best to begin petting the kitten while it is sleeping

 

How should you pet your kitten?

Start at the side of the neck, pet from front to back.

Slowly expand the area you are petting.

Try smoothing the whiskers and continuing down the back or sides of the body, depending on what you can reach without moving the kitten.

Try stroking from the neck, over the shoulder, and down the side of the ribcage and stomach.

Try reaching under the front paw to stroke the chest and stomach.

Try stroking from the neck, down the back and down the length of the tail.

If the kitten rolls over on it’s back, you must be doing something right.

Try stroking under the jawline, down the throat, chest, stomach, and hind legs

Use only one fingertip.

Pet VERY GENTLY. 

Pet VERY SLOWLY.

Talk to your kitten in a quiet, soothing, tone of voice while petting.

Do not pet the top of the kitten’s head until you have had several successful petting sessions.

Be prepared to stop if the kitten does not like it.

 

DO NOT

Scratch under the jaw, behind the ears, or anywhere else.

Stroke against the flow of the fur.

Attempt to clean the kitten’s eyes or pick it up.  That will come later.

Do anything to get the kitten excited.  That will come later.

Make a loud noise or move quickly.

If the kitten is standing, do not apply enough pressure to move the kitten’s body.

Do not do anything to demonstrate how much stronger you are

 

WHAT IF?

What if the mother wants my attention and gets in the way?

Move her to another room while petting the kittens.

 

What if my initial contact with a kitten goes bad and kitten fears and/or hates me?

Put an elastic collar on the kitten.  The “collar” should not be too tight.  The elastic colored bands used to hold your hair in a ponytail work well.

After a day or two, the kitten’s neck will start to itch.

Stroke the side of the neck and see if the kitten tries to lean into you.

If this works, then expand the area slowly, to run your finger around the color on the side next to the shoulders and move it up a little higher on the neck.

Once the kitten accepts this, try running your finger under the collar and down adjacent areas of the body.

 

What if the kitten starts to bite me?

Do not pull away, this will excite the kitten and cause it to bite harder.  If possible, stroke the kitten somewhere it likes with your other hand.

 

The above advice is not complete, but is a good starting point.

I welcome advice from other kitten petters.