#14 Kitten Color Quandry


I’ve noticed that the kittens I’m socializing seem to respond to some colors of toys better than others that are exactly the same, with no apparent reason. Is there any explanation for this? In a Kitten Color Quandry

Answer: You don’t mention specific colors, but scientists have concluded that blue and green appear to be the strongest colors perceived by cats, although in tests, cats also responded to the colors within the purple, green and yellow range. They concluded that Red, orange and brown colors must fall outside the range of detection for cats.

I use this information whenever possible to work with feral cats and kittens. It's not crucial, but it can be just one more tool in the kit to “cue” a positive response from an untrusting or frightened cat.

1. Try feeding from blue or green dishes and use the same ones every time you feed. Just seeing those dishes gets the cats revved up and anxious to work with you. This can maximize the power of anticipation to your advantage.

You’ll be building on any progress you’ve previously made the minute you enter the room and the cat recognizes the dish. (S)he will hopefully be positively excited by the prospect of food, rather than wondering if (s)he needs to make a quick decision for “fight or flight.” Each entrance you make with the dish will reinforce that something good CAN happen when a human approaches. Soon the cat will no longer panic each time a person enters the room.

2. I do buy the blue or green version of their toys whenever possible. Especially for interactive play. Personally, I haven’t noticed that the cats clue in to the different colors, but it couldn't hurt, right? If they have a favorite toy that is working for you, forget about it's color and use it. That advice goes for every aspect of kitten socialization. Try everything and use whatever works!

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