Adopting A New Cat
5 tips to help your feline friend feel at homeBy Brandpoint
Cats can make excellent pets, especially for those who live in apartments or other areas with limited green space. Cats are also an excellent option for those with limited mobility, who are in need of companionship.
If you are considering opening your home to a new cat, here are some tips to make the transition easier. For additional information on adopting a kitten or cat, visit petsmartcharities.org.
1 Prep your home ahead of time.
Before you pick up your new cat or kitten, make sure you’re all set up with these supplies:
- Crate or carrier
- Water and food dishes
- Age-appropriate food
- Quiet area to set up food and water
- Litter box, litter scoop, and litter
Cats are very curious, so remove breakables on shelves or tables that cats could access. Electric shock is a serious danger for cats who make try to lick power outlets or chew on cords. To avoid this hazard, install outlet covers and electrical cord protectors.
2Choose a “starting room.”
Pick one room to isolate your cat for a few days so they can slowly get used to your home. It should be the same room where their litter box is kept. After a few days in the starting room, gradually open up more rooms so your cat can explore. If you’re introducing them to other animals in your home, do so very gradually. Let them get used to each other’s smells first by swapping rooms for several days, before allowing any supervised face-to-face interactions.
3Offer them a cozy hideout.
Cats love small, enclosed places where they’ll feel safe and secure. You can leave a cat carrier open or supply a cardboard box or covered cat bed. Make sure the box or carrier is big enough for the cat to stand up and move around in. Put down a soft blanket or towel to make the box comfy. If possible, position the box or carrier so it faces the door to the room. That way they won’t be startled by people or other pets entering.
4Set up their first vet appointment.
It’s always a good idea to have a new pet checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible. You’ll want to immediately get a sense of health issues and any special care that may be required.
5Let them come to you.
A new cat will likely be nervous at first. Give them time to become accustomed to their surroundings without rushing them or pushing them to be affectionate. If you’re quiet and still, they are more likely to come out and visit. Teach your children to wait patiently for the cat to come to them — and they will be rewarded over time. If your children aren’t used to cats, make sure to supervise
them the first few weeks. You can gently coax your cat to interact with a fun feather toy or tempting treats, and it won’t be too long before they’re ready to socialize.
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