Bringing A New Cat Home
Photo provided by Friskies Explorer kelskits.
If you’re planning on bringing a new cat home – whether it’s your first cat or if you already have a kitty at home, I have a technique for helping the newcomer get acquainted with his new surroundings.
Before you bring the kitty in, set up a sanctuary room for him. This can be an extra bedroom – any room where you can separate him safely. In this room place a litter box, scratching post, food and water bowls and toys. The sanctuary room will become a place where he can get his bearings and begin to get acquainted with the scents, sights, sounds and smells of his new environment in a way that won’t be overwhelming.
If you merely just allow a new cat to roam through the entire house it can be overwhelming for him. If he can have a just a small portion of the house first, he can start his scent investigation in a way that is less stressful.
If the cat you’re bringing in is timid or fearful, leave some of your clothing in the room, such as a t-shirt that you’ve worn so he can get to know your scent.
Also, if the cat is timid or fearful, set up some tunnels for him so he can comfortably access resources such as the food or litter box. I make homemade tunnels out of paper bags or boxes. I set them up in the sanctuary room so the cat has a safe route to get to his dinner or to the litter box without feeling too exposed.
Playtime is a great way to start to help your new kitty get to know you. I use a fishing pole toy so that it puts a distance between me and the cat. This way, if he’s a little tentative about getting close to me, he can still enjoy the game and stay within his comfort zone.
Once your new cat starts showing signs that he’s comfortable in the sanctuary room and ready to explore the rest of the house you can start to let him expand his horizons. If there’s a resident cat already living in the home, then it’s time to begin a very gradual introduction. I’ll cover that very delicate subject in my next blog.
Are you planning to add a cat to the family?