Bringing Home A New Cat
See files for Cats
The arrival of a new cat at home is a very exciting time for all cat owners. If you have just adopted a kitten: we’re sure you are eager to play with it, caress it and watch it jump happily. However, the first days of introducing a new cat to your home requires a lot of patience, attention and willingness. You will need to respect the adaptation period that your cat needs, allowing it time to explore all the new stimuli in this unfamiliar environment.
In this AnimalWised article we want to show you some tips for bringing home a new cat. We want to help you clear up any doubts about this adaptation process: helping your newly adopted cat to feel as comfortable and safe as possible in their new home.
Bringing home a new cat: adjustment period
Before focusing on the tips for introducing a cat to a new home, we want to re-emphasize the importance of respecting this adaptation process. No species is capable of instantly adjusting to a new environment, and the length of this period will depend on the individual.
The arrival into a new home can be a very nerve-wracking experience for a cat. Remember to be patient and dedicated during this process. At the beginning, it is completely natural for a kitten to be shy, confused and even a little afraid of this unknown environment and new stimuli. Therefore, it is possible that your new cat will hide for most of the day, avoiding contact with people and other animals.
How long does it take for a cat to adapt to a new house?
This will depend on the personality of each cat and the type of environment offered to them by their new owners. Therefore, you will need to know how to wait and respect the time that your new cat needs to feel safe. Allow them time to explore this new environment without feelings of pressure. Forcing a cat to do something against its own will be counterproductive to its adaptation and education.
During this adaption process, you can in fact help your cat. The first thing you can do is offer your new cat a positive, calm and comfortable environment, where it feels welcome and safe to express itself freely. Balanced nutrition and essential care is important in allowing your new cat or kitten the opportunity to grow and develop their: physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills.
Bringing home a new cat: preparing the home
Before taking your new cat to its new home, it will be essential to prepare its environment before the arrival. Each cat should have its own space, where it feels comfortable and safe to rest. In this space, your cat should have its basic utensils, such as: a sandbox, a drinking fountain, a bed or cradle, a scraper, toys and other accessories that will provide it with a better quality of life. This will make the kitten or cat feel welcomed.
If you already have another cat in your house, remember that each cat must have its own resources. This should be done in order to avoid fights and possible accidents. The cats should not feel compelled to interact or share their territories, therefore, each one needs to have their own environment. Likewise, when it comes to sandboxes, each cat requires their own individual one. In addition, you must pay special attention in correctly presenting your cat to the newly adopted kitten, promoting their coexistence.
Remember that the areas of: feeding, grooming, rest and fun must be well separated from each other. This is done to allow for better hygiene. In addition, it functions as a form of respect to the needs of your feline.
Bringing home a new cat: vaccination and deworming
When adopting a kitten or adult cat, you must take it to the veterinarian in order to check it’s health status. In addition, a vet can also set up your new cat’s periodic vaccination and deworming schedule.
There are many advantages to adopting a stray cat, but we must remember that an animal born or that has lived on streets: has been exposed to various pathogens. If you adopt a stray cat, in order to avoid the spread of disease, it is essential that you take it to the vet before taking it home, specifically if you have other animals.
In order to preserve your cat’s good health, we recommend offering it lifelong adequate preventative medicine. Such medications, prescribed by your vet, allows for prevention or early diagnosis of common diseases in cats.
Bringing home a new cat: diet
A cat’s diet should be complete and balanced, always meeting its nutritional requirements. From birth to 2 or 3 months of life, the ideal food for a baby cat is breast milk. Therefore, it is essential to respect a kitten’s age of weaning, specifically when adopting. Kittens separated prematurely from their mothers can not only present health problems due to their weaker immune system, but they can also suffer from learning and socialization difficulties.
But if for some reason you had to adopt a newborn or lactating kitten, you should offer it baby formula until its body is ready to assimilate and digest other foods.
From its first two months of life, or month and a half, once the kitten has finished weaning, you can choose to offer it a natural diet or base its diet on an industrialized feed. If you opt for the second option, you must choose excellent quality feed, appropriate to the cat’s age. This feed should contain the proper proportions of the five fundamental nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
On the other hand, if you prefer to offer a natural and homemade diet to your feline, we invite you to better understand about a raw food diet for cats.
However, always remember, if you want to choose a specific diet for your cat, always consult your veterinarian beforehand. A vet can help you choose an appropriate diet, relevant to your cat’s needs. A trained professional can also guide you on how to ¡incorporate natural supplements to strengthen your cat’s immune system and prevent diseases.
Bringing home a new cat: environment
When adopting a cat, you will also need to consider that your new pet is a very intelligent and curious animal. Cats need to be constantly physically and mentally stimulated, in order to maintain balanced behavior and prevent symptoms of stress. Therefore, it is essential to provide your cat with an enriched environment, where it can; find ways to exercise its body and mind, entertain itself and fully develop its skills.
The concept of environmental enrichment includes different factors that allow us to offer our pets a better qualoity of life. You can do this by incorporating objects into your cat’s space, such as: toys, scrapers, shelves for climbing, hiding places, labyrinths or entertainment centers, etc. You can also incorporate sensory stimuli into your cat’s routine, either through new smells (catnip), images or interactive toys.
You can also be creative, and make some DIY cat toys. At AnimalWised we offer you several fun and inexpensive ideas, allowing you to reuse some objects that would otherwise be discarded. For example:
However, you should not overload you cat’s environment. If your cat’s space is too full, it can become confused and feel restricted.
Bringing home a new cat: bonding
In order for your kitten to feel safe and comfortable enough to start interacting with you, you will need to invest time in creating a positive bond. This bond should be based on trust and affection.
The first step is to know learn about your cat’s personality. This way, you can figure out how to approach and relate to it. Analyze your cat’s body language. By learning to interpret a cat’s postures, actions, facial expressions and vocalizations: you will better understand what your cat wants or is trying to communicate.
Once your cat appears to be comfortable in its new home, you can start playing with it more and giving it more affection. There are several intelligence games that you can incorporate into your relationship with your cat, which can aid in strengthening your bond.
However, remember that cats have their own instinctive nature, making them more independent than dogs and other animals. Therefore, we advise you respect your cat’s alone time.
Bringing home a new cat when you already have one
One of the fundamental aspects in providing your cat with an excellent upbringing, is by not neglecting their education and socialization. The independent nature of cats does not mean that they cannot or do not need to be educated. A cat is intelligent and sensitive enough to learn, therefore, we must begin to educate a cat from when they are young. We need to teach them how to behave positively in coexistence with the other animals in our home. With the help of positive reinforcement, you can start educating your kitten and training it.
Socialization is an essential process in a cat’s life, since it teaches them to relate positively with: people, animals and other stimuli, reinforcing their self-confidence. A cat that is not properly socialized can develop numerous behavioral problems and struggle when it comes to coexisting with other individuals, showing signs of fear and insecurity.
While it is ideal to start socializing your cat from when they are kittens, it is possible to socialize an adult cat. For more, take a look at our article on: how to socialize an adult cat.
If you want to read similar articles to Bringing Home A New Cat, we recommend you visit our What you need to know category.