Just about every memory a cat makes is one it makes for life. This means that its experiences as a kitten will play a pivotal role in shaping what kind of personality it develops later on. Positive encounters with people and other animals (like dogs) will generally make for a friendlier cat, while abuse and other negative experiences will make the animal more skittish. Cats are already prone to flight, so an early encounter with a mean dog or horrid owner will only heighten those responses and make the cat believe that all dogs or people are dangers. It's up to owners to be responsible and demonstrate loving care for the cat from birth.