5 ways to make your newly adopted cat feel at home
You’ve made the big decision to adopt and not shop! Onto the next step; bringing your new purrfect pet home. Here’s a pawsome read with some tips and tricks on bringing your newly adopted cat home.
The majority of rescue cats have not had a fairytale start to their lives, but rather have faced a traumatic experience before landing up in an animal shelter. Therefore, it is very important to be well-prepared before adopting a rescue cat and to be equipped with patience and empathy before bringing your new furry addition home.
Before you carry on, read: Decoding Mr Whiskers: 4 kitty cat behaviour myths debunked
Each cat will settle into their new environment at their own pace, there’s no need to rush them and plenty of reasons to be mindful that they are scared and nervous. Your cat will be adjusting to their new environment, routine and housemates.
Don’t get discouraged if it takes your new cat longer to feel at home than you expected and remember that they will eventually make their way onto your lap for some cuddles – it will just take some time and some extra patience!
Your new cat might experience stress during the transition from the shelter to their new home, you may notice the following behaviours:
- Reduced appetite
- Destructive behaviour; such as scratching couches or curtains
- Going to the bathroom outside of their litter box
It is perfectly normal for your new furry family member to be anxious in the first few weeks living in their new home. Read on to learn how to help your new cat adjust to their new home:
1. Create a safe, comfortable space
You will need to create a sanctuary for your new pet, where they can feel safe whilst they become acquainted with the new smells and sounds of their new home. It is best to keep your cat in a small area, such as a bathroom, as a large room may be intimidating to your furry friend.
A couple of things that you will need to add to your kitty’s safe room are:
- A warm, safe place to hide, such as a cardboard box or a blanket draped over a chair. This gives your cat a hiding spot to settle their nerves.
- A piece of your clothing or a blanket with your scent on. This allows your new purr-ing pal to get to know you, without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated.
Your rescue cat will likely want to stay in this safe room for a week or so, before being ready to adventure into the rest of your home.
2. Take it slow
As excited as you and your new pets or kiddies may be to have a new furry family member, it is very important to keep your cat in a calm environment. Ensure to keep your other pets and kiddies out of your cat’s safe sanctuary for the first few days and when it is time to introduce Mittens to their new family members, ensure to introduce them one by one.
3. Consistency is key
Help your cat to adjust by providing a reliable routine. Place their food, water and litter box in the place where you plan to keep it long term. Ensure to stick to consistent feeding times as well as consistent quality time with your new four-legged friend. Routine will help in calming down your cat and building trust, as they will learn that being fed and cuddled is guaranteed (something that they may not have had in their previous home).
4. Keep your kitty entertained
Once your cat starts to relax, they will become curious and ready for some fun! Provide your fluffy friend with new toys (that haven’t already been chewed by your other pets), such as a new scratching post, toy mice or balls. Playing with your cat and their new toys is a fantastic (and fun) opportunity to bond with Cuddles!
5. Visit your local vet
Visiting your local vet for a routine check-up is a must-do and should ideally be done in the first week after bringing your purrfect pal home. Most shelter cats will have seen a veterinarian after being rescued, however, you will want to ensure that your kitty cat is in tip-top condition and that they receive any booster vaccines, medications or tick and flea treatment they may need. Luckily, Oneplan Pet Insurance has your back!
Oneplan gives you the freedom to choose the vet of your liking and has a variety of pawesome pet insurance plans that include cover for routine care. So you can take your new cuddly cat to the vet and rest assured that Oneplan has your bill covered!
We admire your choice to adopt a rescue cat, and we hope that the above steps make the transition from shelter to home as smooth and love-filled as possible!