Tips For Bringing Home A New Cat
There are roughly 95.6 million felines in the United States that are fortunate enough to have a loving family. Adding to this number by adopting your own cat is a wonderful and exciting experience, but there are important steps to take when bringing home a new kitty. Here are five ways to ensure a smooth transition for you and your new family member.
1. Cat-Proof Your Home
If you've never owned a cat before, you may be surprised at what they're capable of getting into. Before bringing your new pet home, make sure you put away any fragile items or irreplaceable valuables. This is especially true if they're placed on an elevated surface, because some cats love to knock things over and watch them fall. Also be sure to block off areas that have cords or anything else that could be a potential hazard. If you plan to let your cat outdoors, be mindful of solar rope lights and other decor that could become an unwanted plaything.
2. Stock Up On Necessities
There are many items you should purchase to keep your cat happy and healthy. The basics include a litter box as well as food and water bowls. Make sure these are placed in a mostly private area when you first bring kitty home so she feels more comfortable. It's also a good idea to invest in a variety of toys, a sturdy scratching post so they don't rip up your furniture, and a tall perch so she can indulge her feline instincts.
3. Prepare A Small, Quiet Area Just For Them
When you introduce your cat to his new home, you may want to steer clear of the family room where the kids are playing popular board games. Instead, give kitty a guest room, bathroom or den that has limited traffic. This gives him the opportunity to explore without being startled. He'll have plenty of time to sniff around other rooms when he's more comfortable. You can also construct a "house" out of cardboard by cutting out holes on either side or purchasing a covered cat bed. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it's big enough for kitty to move around in: he should be able to sit, stand, and turn around freely.
4. Respect Their Routine
Cats are habitual animals and do best when they know what to expect. Provide your new kitty with the same food and litter she had previously. This small bit of familiarity will ease her transition into a new environment. If possible bring home a blanket or toy she had before so she can be surrounded by a recognizable scent.
5. Introduce The Family
Getting the cat comfortable in a new home can take a bit of time. Generally, it takes new cats a week or two to settle into their new environment. This is when you should start to slowly introduce them to your kids and other pets. Have your children meet the cat one at a time to avoid scaring it into hiding. When introducing pets already in the home, make sure you bring them to the new cat to minimize territorial behavior. If you experience hissing or growling, don't be alarmed. It's typical for animals to be unsure of each other, and it should pass in time.