At Peninsula Critter Care, we love animals of many kinds. We encourage rescuing, fostering, and adopting pets from shelters.
If you have rescued or adopted a new kitty into your life, we want to thank you! Here are some tips to make your new cat feel comfortable during their adjustment period.
A new home is another strange place for any cat at first. It can frightening and stressful for them in the beginning, and it starts with their ride home with you. For many cats, just riding in a moving vehicle can be terrifying. It is important to keep the kitty secure in a carrier until you arrive home safely. A scared loose cat in the car with you can spell disaster if the cat tries to hide under your feet or distract you while trying to escape.
As you reach your destination, think about what you may have learned about your cat’s previous experiences. They may have been abused, recently separated from mom or siblings, lingered a long time in a noisy shelter, or maybe they had some scary medical issues that needed to be addressed. These events mean that your new kitten or cat may need some extra kindness and encouragement to make their new surroundings less overwhelming to them.
It is recommended that the first day your bring kitty home, bring him or her inside using the carrier and open it inside of a quiet and closed room. This allows the cat to come out and sniff around a bit to get to know some of your scents. If you have other pets, it’s better to wait before introducing them, but have items that smell like them in the same room as well. The same goes for children in the home. They need to understand to give the new kitty some time to adjust before happy greetings.
Do have a litter box in the introduction room. Your cat or kitten will likely need to relieve themselves shortly after being let out of the carrier. A dish of fresh water will also be a welcoming touch for kitty. Keeping the door and windows closed is also necessary to ensure that an adult cat, who may likely be quite skittish, doesn’t try to run away in fear. Depending on what the cat may have been through before, this is important. Many cats may just choose to hide for awhile under a bed, on a shelf, or on furniture. Let them be for a bit to get a grasp of their new quiet surroundings. When they are ready, they will reappear to inspect you further.
Most of us have work schedules and other things we must do, but you need to attempt to spend a few hours with your new cat or kitten over the next several days. Your calm voice and gentle touches will help them calm down and get to know you better. Some kitties may take weeks to completely adapt, so be patient with them. Soon, they will adjust to their feeding schedule, and to your schedule too.
When thinking about bedtime and sleeping arrangements for your new cat, allow them to have options. Cats like soft, warm, and safe sleeping spots. Kitties need quiet solitude time to rest. You can provide a few spots in your home with pet beds, folded blankets, or even a basket with a towel in it. Allowing for your kitty to have his or her own resting spots – free from disturbances by children or other pets – is excellent for their well-being.
If you have other furry family members, they will need an adjustment period as well. Whether feline or canine, they will be curious and unsure about the new household member. There will always be a dominate one who will want to establish the pet hierarchy as soon as they can. It is very important to closely monitor the introduction of one pet to another. It is best to expect, and prepare for, handling hectic or frantic outbursts during the first few days or weeks of pet cohabitation. Again, your patience and compassion is necessary for all involved.
It is ideal, especially for some large breeds, to keep your dog on a leash during initial introductions to the new kitty in your home. Refrain from allowing your dog to chase your new cat, and separate them awhile if you witness any aggression. Most often, your dog will just be so curious that they may become a bit excited. Outdoor play time for your dog, prior to introductions, can help your best friend be more calm around your new furry feline friend. Allow for some sniffing between the two, and for freedom in case your kitty just wants to retreat to another room or perch up high on furniture.
It is common for an adult cat to swat at a dog to establish their limits. Plan on allowing the necessary time for your family pets to learn to accept each other. Do not leave them alone together until you know they are able to cope well with one another. Often, cats and dogs can become friends, while others may be content on just peacefully tolerating one another. Give them each love and attention equally, and any possible jealousy between them will be minimal.
Cats that are neutered or spayed tend to be more tolerant of other cats and frequently become friends on their own in time – and adult cats are often more accepting of kittens than they are of other adult cats.
Pet rabbits and cats can often live in harmony, and rabbits can assume a mildly dominant role. Understandably, other types of pets such as hamsters, gerbils, birds, and fish will need to be protected from a new cat. Since smaller animals are seen as their typical and natural prey, you just have to be aware and prepared ahead of time. With a little work, time, and attention – your furry friends can all enjoy living at your kind and caring home with you.
Now that you have an adorable feline family member, if you find yourself having to work long hours, or need to take a business trip or vacation – Peninsula Critter Care is here to service your in-home pet care needs. We are licensed, bonded, insured, and experienced pet caretakers. Pet CPR and First Aid Trained, we can provide specialized service for kittens, cats with special needs, and senior kitties. When you hire a professional pet sitter, your pets are happier and will experience less stress at home as their exercise and meal routines go uninterrupted. Contact Us today for your free initial in-home consultation!