Planning to add a new fur baby to your family?
First of all, Congratulations! Owning and caring for a cat is an incredibly rewarding experience that will bring you years of companionship and joy. If you decide to adopt a homeless kitty from a local shelter, you are also saving the life of an innocent animal.
Of course, adopting a cat can be a bit stressful as well. Generally speaking, cats have a difficult time adjusting to change and are easily frightened in new environments, but you can minimize your new cat’s anxiety with a few simple tips.
Here are four ways to help prepare your home for the arrival of a new cat and make the transition from shelter to permanent home as smooth and stress-free as possible:
1. The “One Room” Rule Keeping your newly adopted cat in a den or spare bedroom away from other pets will help them adjust to their new environment more quickly. This room should have plenty of space to accommodate a comfy bed, food and water bowls, litter box, toys, scratchers and some kind or vertical territory for exploration.
Cats need time to experience your household’s typical sights, sounds and smells in order to feel comfortable in their new space. Of course, make sure that every human member of your household spends quality time with your new cat to start the bonding process as soon as possible.
2. Buy New – Although it may not be the most cost-effective option, when you are bringing a new cat into your home, it is best to purchase them all-new belongings. Pre-owned beds, bowls, toys and scratching posts will carry the scent of their previous owners, which could increase your new cat’s anxiety and make it more difficult for them to adjust to your home.
3. Earn Their Trust – Never force your affection onto a new animal by trying to pet them or pick them up if they seem unwilling. Give them treats and toys so that they will associate you with something they enjoy. Once they are ready, the cat will approach you. When this happens, just slowly stick your hand out, let them sniff it, and soon they will start rubbing their head against your hand for some TLC.
4. Let Loose – When your new cat is ready to leave their solitary living quarters, they will hang out near the door or meow more than usual. At this point all you have to do is open the door so that they can venture out whenever they feel brave enough. Be sure to leave the door to their room open, though, in case they feel threatened or nervous and need to hide in their sanctuary.
Interested in adopting a cat or dog? Check out Our Companions, a wonderful animal rescue and sanctuary located in Manchester, Connecticut.