With so many cats and kittens finding homes as the cat season speeds up, there are some important things that you may want to know about bringing a new cat or kitten home. Following a few simple tips when you bring your new cat or kitten home can really help them acclimate more quickly and help them bond well with their new family.
It’s important to remember that no matter how confident and outgoing the cat you picked out seemed at the shelter, your home is unknown to them and could be scary at first. Giving them a safe space to start out in, like a bedroom or bathroom, will help them to feel confident in one space of your home before having to tackle your whole home as a new space. Fill that space with comfort items like beds, blankets, and towels, lots of toys and resources like feeding stations and litterboxes. Spend lots of time with them in that space, too, so that you can get to know each other.
Once your cat or kitten seems to feel safe and confident in their acclimation space, you can give them a little more access to your home (unless you have other pets). They’ll show you that they’re feeling brave by eating well, using the litterbox consistently and by coming out to visit with you when you’re in the room. Keep an eye on them and make sure their confidence extends past the walls of their safe space. If they seem overly nervous, you’ll want to take a step back and redirect them to their room using food or treats and you can try again when they’re more comfortable. If you’ve adopted an exuberant, outgoing cat, they may only need a day or two to get used to things!
Make sure that you have ample litterbox resources throughout your home, as well as multiple feeding stations for your new cat as they explore their new world. Remember, it’s all new to them and they could get turned around and not be able to find the litterbox or food, especially if you’ve adopted a kitten, so having lots of resources for them will be key!