Introducing a New Cat to Your Home
Whether you have adopted your new cat from a country barn, a home, a shelter or even from a street, the first day of introducing a new cat to your home is critical.
Above that, cats being very sensitive to a new ambiance may remain hidden in a cupboard or under a bed for days.
You should respect her/his moods and give her/his time to get adjusted to your home and family slowly so that you and your cat can have fun with each other in the long run. Here are some tips.
Create an Enclosed Haven for the Cat
Before you even bring the cat to home, you will have to make some preparations, along with learning how to introduce a kitten to dogs if you have dog/s too. The most important are to create an enclosed home for her/him.
Cats whether they are highly bred or a street cat, require their very own territory where they can be out of sight from others. So, if you want to make your new cat’s transition to the new home easy and relaxed, create such a space for her/him.
A covered cat bed or even a cardboard box placed upside down with two ‘doors’ cut on its opposite sides will work fine. The reason for having two doors is that most cats prefer to use the other door as an escape route.
The box (or bed) should be big enough to allow the cat to stand or lie down, stretch and relax inside. The cat should be able to see the door of the room from inside so that s/he will not feel confined.
You will also have to arrange for a litter box which should contain 1 to 2-inch thick litter. Place the litter box in a corner.
What are the Other Provisions ?
Besides the enclosed bed and litter box, your cat will need a few more things. First of all, create some raised surfaces because cats like to jump up and view their surroundings from the elevations.
Next, s/he will need some scratching pads or posts. So, keep one in every room.
You should also take care of the cat’s safety. Block every nook and cranny where the cat can be trapped while trying to explore it.
Also, you will have to put away all your valuable and fragile mementos till your kitty gets well adjusted to your home. Introducing kitten to a dog or other cats is also a major concern especially if your dog is of aggressive nature.
While Bringing the Cat Home…
You will bring your cat home in a carrier. Don’t pull her/him out of the carrier as soon as you enter the home. Let the cat take her/his own time to come out. Keep bowls of high-quality cat food and fresh water ready and wait patiently for the cat to have the refreshments.
After s/he comes out, give the cat some time to explore the new surrounding ALONE! Yes, alone, because that will be her/his time to acclimate.
Don’t assume that the cat will soon approach you or have food and water. Re-homed cats often show no interest in the new parent or in eating, even for many days. Keep supplying new fresh food and water at regular intervals, even if s/he doesn’t eat or drink.
After the cat gets adjusted to one room, introduce her/him to another room; slowly, show her/him all the rooms in her/his new home. Introducing new cat to other cats should also be done slowly and patiently.
Introducing Your New Kitten to Your Other Pets
If you have already other pets, bringing home a kitten may seem challenging at first. However, if you learn it patiently and have a right attitude, you can bring about friendship and collaboration among all your pets, who will ultimately offer you a great joy.
If you already have a dog, you will have to ensure safety for both the pets. Never leave the dog and the new cat with each other without your supervision, until the introduction process is complete, and you are sure that both of them are safe with each other.
Introducing kitten to a cat may be a tricky affair; so, give ample time to develop positive associations between the pets. The problem is the resident cat may feel that her/his territory is being invaded, while the new cat may feel that s/he has been introduced to enemy territory.
Be patient and never press either of the pets to be friendly with each other. However, also never expect them to make everything alright on their own. Supervise them in the initial days and don’t forget to reward them if they show friendliness towards each other.