Bringing Home Your New Cat

Congratulations! You have just begun a relationship that’s bound to be filled with fun and affection. Let’s get you starting off on the right foot!

Before She Comes Home…

Cats are territorial, and coming into a new home leaves them feeling really uneasy. There’s all that unexplored space, and who knows what lurks there! Provide a small area to call her own for the first week or so. A bathroom or laundry room works well. Furnish the room with cat food, water, a litter box and a cat bed or blankets to lay on.

The litter box should be filled with approximately 2 inches of litter.

Cats love to get away from it all in small places. You can provide one for your new cat as her own little safe haven. If she came home in a cat carrier, that might be a good choice. You can also make one by

cutting a doorway for her in the end of a box. If you prefer, you can buy a covered cat bed at a pet supply store as well.

A cat’s claws need to be worn down, and they do this by scratching on things. Since you prefer that it not be your chairs and sofa, provide your cat with a socially acceptable scratching place. Some types are made of corrugated cardboard and lie on the floor; others are posts which have to be tall enough so that the cat can extend herself upward to scratch.  You can encourage your cat to use the post by sprinkling it with catnip or dangling a toy from the top.

 

First Days                                                

Preferably, bring her home in a cat carrier. It will feel safer to her. She has seen a lot of excitement, so taker her directly to her new room. Sit on the floor and let her come to you. Don’t force her. Just let her get acquainted on her own time. If she doesn’t approach, leave her alone and try again later. Some cats are particularly frightened, and she may retreat to her hidey hole and only come out when you’re not around at all. She may only come out at night when the house is quiet. Giver her time. Your newly adopted cat may not eat much or at all at first. It’s best to give your cat the same food she had at her foster home, at least at first. Keeping some things familiar will make her feel more secure. Be sure to change her water frequently and make sure that she is drinking. If your cat hasn’t eaten for a few days, call your vet to ask for advice.

 

Following Days….

It may take your cat a week or two to adjust. Be Patient!

As your cat adjusts, she’ll show signs that she wants to explore outside her safe haven. Make sure other pets or family members won’t startle her while she gradually expands her territory. She may be ready to play, so you can furnish some toys. Many cats like feather wands, noisy balls or fabric mice.

If the cat is openly soliciting affection, eating and not hiding, you can open the door and give her one more room. Do this slowly until you have introduced the cat to all the rooms in her new home. Remember to let the cat set the pace. Be patient. It may take weeks for the cat to comprehend that this foreign turf is her new territory! You want her to feel safe in her safe haven and have developed a bond with you before extending her space to multiple rooms in your

home. You want her to be slowly introduced to other pets in the home and to return your kitty to her safe haven anytime you are not home or unable to supervise them

with other pets until you are sure that they will be fine together.

 

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