Bringing your new cat home
You're now the proud new owner of a cat. Thank you for saving this gorgeous animal and providing it with a loving forever home. You're undoubtedly looking forward to several years of happy companionship to come. But what to do now?
Very first thing your new cat should see when stepping out of their carrier into your home for the first time is: water and a litterbox.
Then let the cat set the pace and explore their new surroundings.
Be patient! It might take weeks for the cat to completely grasp that this foreign turf is his new territory. You can avoid basic pitfalls together with your new family member, and help them adapt more easily by following some basic tips for new cats.
Easing the Adjustment Period
Whether your new cat is coming from a shelter, a home, an urban street, or a rustic country barn, the first 24 hours in your home are significantly special and critical. Before bringing your newly adopted cat into your life, it is helpful to grok a little bit about how cats relate to their world.
The first thing you should be aware of regarding your new friend, is that most cats despise travel. After the ride home from the adoption site, s/he will most possibly not be in the mood for fun right away depending on their unique personality. For the trip home, ensure you can confine your pet in a sturdy cat carrier. Don't stick your hand into the carrier to comfort them while in transit, and certainly don't leave them loose in your car-ride where they could panic and cause an accident or hurt themselves.
For easier integration into a new household, do some minor cat-proofing around your home. Basic things such as blocking off the Unders [term for “under” the bed, “under” the couch, or pretty much “under” anywhere] is your top priority. A quick fix is something like old delivery boxes tucked under the space in the bed. Think about where a fraidy cat might potentially burrow away, not to be seen for days, and then catify that area!
To ensure the transition into your household is as comfortable as possible for your new friend, select a quiet, closed-in area like your bedroom or any small room away from main foot traffic, and supply them with a litter box and a bowl of fresh water. Depending on how food motivated they are, some cats might be bribeable with treats, but the majority will be more interested in exploring first and foremost. Allow your new kitty to become acquainted with that limited area for the first few days. Allow them to sniff all of your belongings, explore all the hiding places, investigate all the possible new nap spots. This will help them claim their own territory, which includes you, as their fascinating new human.
How to Setup Kitty Basecamp
Create a safe-haven for the cat to take refuge in, or Basecamp. You can invest in buying a covered cat bed, however, a simple cardboard box turned upside down with two “doors” cut in it will work decently as a haven also. Why with two “doors?” The vast majority of cats seem to feel safer if they've got a secondary “escape” route as a backup so they don't feel cornered. Find a box big enough for the cat to stand up in, turn around, stretch out and lie down in, but keep it cozy & comfy with some scent soakers. Place the box next to a wall, or in a corner where the cat can has visibility to the door of the room they're in. Your goal is to make sure the cat doesn't feel trapped. Next to the box, some sort of scratchable surface whether it be place a cork, sisal, or corrugated card-board scratching post next to it. Finally, clear away a shelf for your new cat to perch on and survey his or her new world.
Over the next few days, slowly introduce them to the rest of your house, including the other pets and household members. It will take a little while, but they will eventually begin to feel at home.
Cats are unique and vary wildly in terms of how demanding they can be as pets, so allow yours to guide you towards the level of attention they want. Whether it is your hand for petting, your lap for sitting, or your bed for napping alongside you. If you provide them with the necessary creature comforts they instinctually crave and give them the companionship they seeks, they will be content and by extension so will you.
How quickly they feel safe and secure in their new home is entirely up to you.
Catified Cats Are Satisfied Cats!
There exists a way for your home itself to instill confidence, curiosity, and calm in your new pal. Added bonus: your home can look great, too!
Catification, is part art and part science. It begins with modifying your home to meet the needs of you and your cat in harmonious compromise. Creating spaces that are aesthetically and spatially pleasing to you and fun for your cat is the artsy part. The science part entails creating horizontal and vertical spaces that will satisfy your cat’s primal instincts to climb and allow them to act as if they're outdoors while remaining safely indoors.
ALREADY HAVE A CAT AT HOME?
Make sure you take the proper steps to
introduce your new cat to your current pet.
The introduction stage varies wildly amongst cats, so don't be disappointed if your cats don't seem to get along well at first. Often the case is that they will eventually be BFFs. With patience, understanding and perseverance, you can turn what might at first appeared as an armed camp into a sanctuary of peace and love for you and your integrated feline family.