Bringing home a new cat to your home is exciting and life changing so do your part to make a calm introduction. Cats are very connected to their homes so bring home one is a frightening experience for a cat. The drive home and change of environment take the pet away from a familiar place. So by the time you get home, your new furry friend is likely to scurry away, looking for a place to hide!
Introducing your cat to your home is important in developing a long-lasting relationship. Do not expect the animal to warm up to the new space (or to you) instantly. To help make this experience a pleasant one, we prepared a guide to introduce your feline friend to his new home properly.
Before the Cat Arrives
You want to purchase all the essential things cat need to live in a home. These essentials include food and water bowls, cat litter, litter box, food, vitamins, and a collar. It helps if you can add a few toys but these are not needed until the first few days. You will also need a carrier or a closed box to take your new cat home.
The Drive Home
Once you collect the cat or kitten, place the animal in the box or carrier. The enclosed space will calm the cat down as you take the trip home. Never let the cat wander around your car because this is an invitation to an accident. Resist the temptation to play loud music or poke the holes of the carrier to engage the new cat. All these will frighten your canine friend. You can coo or talk to the pet in a reassuring voice to calm the cat throughout the ride home.
When you arrive home, never set the cat free in the household. It will take several weeks before a kitten or a cat adjusts to its new surroundings. This goes especially if you have existing pets in your new home. Instead of setting the cat free from its carrier, reserve a room to isolate your pet. Isolating the cat ensures that the new pet is not overwhelmed by noises, smells, and unfamiliar animals.
A spare room or a bathroom makes an excellent isolation space for the new kitty. The enclosed space will soothe a pet’s frayed nerves. It also provides security to the frightened animal. Just make sure the cat has access to his food, water, toys, and litter box inside the room. Once inside the cat is in the room, leave the room and close the door. Give the new cat time to get to know the space to calm the animal done.
Visiting the cat, cleaning the litter box, and providing food will build up familiarity. As the day progresses, the cat will start exploring its surroundings and getting comfortable. Eventually, the cat will get used to the new scents, new people, and new surroundings. The pet will start venturing out of the space on his own and start getting used to your scent.
If you have kids, introduce the children one at a time. You can let one child come in with you as you replenish the new cat’s food and water or clean the litter box. Do not let the kids barge into the isolation room on their own or it will frighten the cat or worse, scratch the kids. Always make every visit a supervised one.
During this point, you want to observe the cat. Check if your pet is eating and drinking regularly. Keep an eye out for signs of health problems. If you see signs of health problems, talk to a certified vet.