Nine Tips For Bringing Your New Cat Home
Bringing home a new pet is always a big step in anyone’s life. It’s almost like having a baby, but with slightly less responsibility. In order to make sure that both you and your new cat live as comfortably and happily as possible in your home, follow these steps!
Have a Safe Room Ready
When you bring your new cat home, make sure that you have a designated “safe room” for them to retreat to when they get scared or anxious from all of the unfamiliar sights and sounds in their new home. Leave them there for an hour or so when you first bring them home so that they can become familiar on their own time.
Give Them a Safe Place to Hide
Cats often like to hide, especially when they’re unfamiliar with a new situation. Make it easier for them by providing a safe place for them to hide, like a cardboard box.
Help Them Get to Know Your Scent
Place a cozy item of yours, like an old T-shirt, in the safe room so that they can get acquainted with your scent in a safe and non-threatening environment.
Make Sure They Have an Outlet for Scratching
Scratching, as annoying as it may be for us, is a comforting behavior for cats. So make sure you provide them with an appropriate tool for scratching when they first come home. Important: Make sure the scratching post is new and that it hasn’t been previously used by another cat; the smells of other cats can be even more stressful for your new pet.
Expect that it may take a bit for your new cat to feel comfortable with exploring new areas of your home. After you feel that they’re comfortable with the safe room, you can begin to integrate them into other parts of your home. Begin by keeping most of the doors closed and let them explore with your supervision.
Important: Keep them out of the basement where they can easily hide in places that humans can’t get to!
Be Slow to Introduce Other Pets
As you’ve probably guessed by now, it’s important to take it slow with introducing your new cat to other pets you may have already had in the home. After a few days, you can introduce the bedding of one of your other pets to your new cat so they can become familiar with the scent.
Be Mindful of Children Around
If you have kids, they’re going to be incredibly excited about having a new pet around. Totally normal, but make sure you talk to them about how to interact with animals safely and appropriately before they meet their new kitty friend. Too much noise and excitement from tiny humans can make a cat anxious!
Preparing Them for the Outdoors
If you’re someone who has the space for an outdoor cat, you’re probably wondering at what point you should start having them venture outside. Well, firstly make sure they’re fully integrated into life indoors so that they’d be able to find their way back home easily through scent. Experts recommend that this may take between three and four weeks (or longer, depending on the cat). And of course, make sure that they’ve been neutered or spayed beforehand, and that they’re up to date with all of their vaccinations before letting them outside!
Don’t Force Things
Just like us humans, cats have different personalities. Some are outgoing and talkative, while others are shyer, and will take longer to adjust. If your new cat is still regularly hiding from you after a little while, don’t worry too much as long as they’re still eating and drinking regularly. Whatever you do, just make sure you do things on their time if you want to develop a lasting bond with your new furry friend!