Transitioning Your Cat Into Its New Home
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Bringing a new cat or kitten into your home can be an exciting yet challenging experience, especially if you already have pets. Cats are territorial by nature and new surroundings can leave them feeling uneasy or threatened. Thorough planning and ample patience during the initial adjustment period are crucial in helping your cat feel at home.
Here are five ways you can successfully transition your feline friend into your household.
1. Compile the Right Supplies
Before your cat enters your house, it’s important to make sure it has all the essentials for daily living. Be sure to have these basic items on hand:
- Food and water bowls
- Treats and food
- Collar with ID tag
- Scratching post
- Litter box
- Cat bed
2. Cat-Proof the House
Welcome your pet with comfort and safety by cat-proofing your home. Start by going through each room of your house and looking for potential dangers and problem areas. Consider tucking away electrical cords, removing any poisonous houseplants, locking up hazardous chemicals and making sure all the windows have secure screens.
3. Give Your Cat Space
It can be tempting to play and cuddle with your cat when you first bring it home, but it may not be ready for interaction. Many recently adopted cats dealing with unfamiliar surroundings tend to hide for the first few days. It’s vital to let the cat decide when it wants to approach family members.
Be sure to not flood your cat with too many new and stimulating experiences during the adjustment period. Initiate simple interactions by hand-feeding treats and sitting with the cat to help it become more comfortable around you.
4. Prepare a Safe Room
Cats feel comfortable in confined spaces and hiding places. You can get your cat used to its environment by first welcoming it to a safe starter room — such as a den, spare bedroom or laundry room — for at least the first week. The room should be uncluttered and as quiet as possible. Create a cozy area by furnishing it with cat amenities, such as food, water, toys and a litter box.
The starter room acts as a sanctuary and provides the cat with the quiet and safety it needs in order to become familiar with the scents and sounds of your home. It’s important to isolate other animals from your cat during this time.
The safe room provides several advantages for your cat. It’s a place where your pet can get used to you and other household members without feeling overwhelmed. Additionally, when exploring other areas of the house, your cat could return to the familiar safe room if it starts feeling insecure. Keeping your cat company in the safe starter room can also help ease any anxiety it may have as it becomes accustomed to your home.
5. Transition Beyond the Safe Room
Give your cat access to one room of the house at a time. Some cats may be eager to explore while others might be perfectly content in their sheltered room for a few more weeks. Offer your pet attention, treats and playtime to help it become acquainted with its surroundings. Play also increases confidence and helps lower stress.
Ensure that each exploration session ends on a positive note, then lure your pet back to the safe room with a treat or toy. This way, your pet will be able to revisit and explore when it wants. Eventually, you can put your cat back in the safe room only when you cannot supervise it.
By utilizing these techniques and taking the adjustment period slowly, your cat can grow more comfortable and confident in its new home.
Author bio: 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.