How to Adjust a New Cat to Your Home

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,735
    Pet Expert Kat Miller provides tips on how to find local services for cats.

    Kat Miller: Hi! I am Dr. Kat Miller at the ASPCA, and today we are talking about how to prepare for and care for your newly adopted cat. When you bring your new cat home it's a good idea to place them in a quite safe room where they can have some low key time to distress. Coming into a new home, it's a potentially big transition for a new cat. So give them some quite moments there for a few days, maybe even a few weeks as they settle in.

    It's a great idea to spend some quiet time in there every single day with your new cat. You can read, play, bring some treats, just bring in meals and sit with your cat while she eats. This way your cat will get used to you in a very low key, but rewarding way, and she will find that you bring a lot of wonderful things in her life, and she will want to spend time with you.

    Don't force your cat to interact with you. Let her take the initiative and approach you. If she is a little afraid, let her hide a little bit. Over time she'll get used to you, and used to the environment, and she will start to come out and be more interactive.

    Having her separate in a different room from the rest of the family, and the rest of the house is a good idea not only for your cat to settle in a distress, but you can keep an eye on her and make sure that she is healthy, make sure that she is using a litter box, and knows where to find the litter box, and is eating normally. Another way to know if your cat is still a little bit nervous, is the way he sleeps. He is sleeping all-hunched in sort of a sphynx stance, he is still a little nervous. Cats who are more relaxed will sprawl and lay on their side. So take a look at him when he is sleeping and you'll have a better sense of how stressed out he is.

    Also some cats, when they come home could be harboring an illness that might not be apparent for a few days. So let them have that time to settle down and if they do become a little ill, you can take them to the Vet right away. When do you give your cat more freedom in the house? Well, watch his behavior, if he is slinking around, hiding, tail tucked, he is a little nervous, and it's not quite time. If he is actively exploring tail up approaches you when you enter the room, playing, eating normally, then your cat is ready to have a little more freedom in the house.

    Let him explore the house gradually though rather than just opening the door, he might get overwhelmed, you want to make sure that he knows where to find his safe room, his bed, and his litter box. So, only allowing freedom to one room extra at a time. That way you know that he is going to be safe, he is going to be happy, and not feel overwhelmed. Never let your kitty out of that room however when he is crying. If you do that, you are rewarding that noisy behavior, wait until your cat is quiet, reward that behavior by letting him out.

    It's also a good idea to return your cat to that quite safe room at meal time. So your cat is really happy about going back to the room, and ready to stay there for a little while. These tips will help your cat to settle into his new home, and have a smooth transition, and hopefully a stress-freed first few days in his new home.

    Next, we'll be talking about setting up the routine for your new cat.