Bringing any new pet into your home always requires some form of adjustment. Cats are particularly sensitive to new surroundings and may not be comfortable at exploring their new home and interacting with their owners for the first few days. Help your cat adapt to their new environment easier with these tips:
- Prepare the basics – Food, water and a litter box are the most essential items you’ll need for your new pet. Buy them before you take your pet home. Set up your feeding station away from the litter box. Place your litter box somewhere private where your new kitty can use it undisturbed.
- Watch out for hazards – When your cats start to move around more, the are hazards you need to keep them safe from. An open aquarium would be one and so are cords on blinds and curtains which can be strangle hazards.
- Give them a small space to call their own – Getting a cat used to a new home takes time, so take baby steps by giving them their own little space. Spend some time with them in this space by sitting with them there.
- Be prepared for the scratching – It’s natural for cats to wear down their claws — and if you’re not careful, your sofa may end up with those claw marks. Getting a scratching post would be the best way to avoid getting scratches on your furniture. Entice them to use it with catnip or with a toy.
- Help them get their exercise – Cats love to climb so keep this in mind when you get a new cat. You might be surprised to find them on top of the refrigerator in the next few days. If you have some open ducts, make sure to seal these up or limit access to them with doors and screens. Cats can easily get stuck in unfamiliar ducts when they start to explore. You may also want to set up some catwalks for your pet so they can enjoy the higher spaces in your home.
- Make that introduction – Let your little (and big) humans know about your new pet and set up some ground rules about care, feeding and handling of cats. If you have other pets, take that step to introduce them to each other in the first few days.
Be patient with your new cat — it can take as much as two weeks for them to get acquainted with you and the new home. They will gradually expand their territory and in time will want to explore beyond her safe haven.
The first few days is also the ideal time to take your adopted cat to the vet for a wellness check and to get the vaccinations they need.