Bringing A New Cat Into Your Home: What Do You Need To Know?
When introducing a cat to your home, it is crucial to make the transition as smooth as possible for everyone involved. While the process for bringing a new cat home can be challenging, it does not have to be. Follow these steps and keep these best practices in mind.
What Do You Need To Know When Bringing A New Cat Into Your Home
1. Set Up a Sanctuary Space
Prior to bringing your new pet home, select a room that will serve as your cat's sanctuary for the transition. Ideally, the room should be a cozy place where you can set up a litter box and provide your cat with food and water. You might choose a spare bedroom, second bathroom, laundry room, den or any other small room in the home.
You want to have a comfortable space for your cat that helps it feel secure, so make sure your cat has plenty of places to hide throughout the day. A spare room with a dresser or other furniture is a good choice. Alternatively, you can make hiding places for your cat with a box or a few boxes with holes cut into them.
2. Allow a Few Days for an Initial Transition
In the first days after bringing your cat home, give it a bit of space. Provide food, water and toys. Limit exchanges with other family members and keep personal interactions to a minimum. Always try to be as gentle and quiet as possible when entering this space.
Your cat needs time to acclimate, so be patient. It is important to make sure that your cat is eating and drinking enough, but you do not want to invade the area that is now your feline’s territory.
3. Familiarize Your Cat With Your Family Members
Before introductions, get your cat used to the scents of each household member with laundry or other items that carry the individual’s scent. Introduce your cat to one person at a time. It will allow your cat time to adjust to individuals and avoid overwhelming your cat with too many new scents, interactions and people all at once.
You may like this: What Do You Need To Know When Moving To A New Home With Cats?
4. Encourage Curiosity
Once your cat is more comfortable in its environment, it will begin exploring your home. Allow your cat to tour your home when it wants. Keep in mind, an adult cat may start to roam after a week or slightly more than a week. Kittens may take longer before they venture out of the safety room.
5. Introduce Your Cat to Existing Pets
Do not force interactions between any pets in your home with your new cat. As a rule, allow your cat at least one week to adjust to the home without any interaction with your other pet or pets. Just as with family members, get your cat used to the scent of your existing pets. Likewise, familiarize your existing pets with your new cat's scent before any introductions.
Allow your new cat to approach the other pets in your home. In the case of a dog, keep it on a leash or in a cage during the initial meeting. Your cat will feel more comfortable when it is allowed to dictate the timing of close interactions. Keep in mind that a resident cat may be territorial, so give your cats enough time to get used to each other before expecting them to interact.
Remember, your cat will not adjust to your home, family members and other pets overnight. Help your pet feel safe by giving it plenty of time to acclimate to the environment. Setting up a designated room for your four-legged family member and allowing it to explore the house at its pace will make it easier for your cat to feel comfortable and part of the family.
Stephanie N. Blahut is Director of Digital Marketing and Technology for Figo Pet Insurance. Figo is committed to helping pets and their families enjoy their lives together by fusing innovative technology — the first-of-its-kind Figo Pet Cloud — and the industry’s best pet insurance plans.