The arrival of a new cat is an exciting time, but it can also be a bit nerve-wracking. How can you ensure that you’re making your cat as comfortable as you can during this potentially stressful time of transition? Here are six tips that will keep your kitty content and make them feel at home in no time:
1. Give them time. As much as you would like your new cat to be a loving companion, you can’t expect instant affection from your new friend. Cats require time to evaluate an unfamiliar situation and to become acquainted with a new family. The days of cozy kitty cuddles will come—if you don’t rush.
2. Give them space—but not too much space. Your new cat sure acts like your home is their castle. But don’t give them free rein—the best way to make a new cat feel at home is to restrict them to a limited area for the first few days, recommends the Humane Society of the United States—which allows the cat time to adjust and become comfortable in their new surroundings.
3. Provide your new cat with comforts. Outfit your cat’s new home with items that will make them feel comfortable and relaxed. A scratching post, a litter box, a cat bed, a balcony for resting and plenty of toys will provide your cat with a comfy, cozy place to call home.
4. Make changes slowly. Cats are routine-oriented individuals, so when a cat is already facing the changes that come from being transported to a new home, it’s important to provide as much stability as possible in the other areas of their life. Minimize stress by slowly transitioning them to a new food if you need to improve their nutrition, don’t switch brands of kitty litter, and be considerate of your cat as they adjust to their new surroundings.
5. Make proper introductions. If there are other pets in your home, take time to introduce your new cat into the mix. The Humane Society suggests a gradual introduction that allows your pets to become slowly accustomed to one another. Never leave newly introduced pets alone unsupervised until you are sure that each pet is accepting of the other.
6. Show affection. While it’s important not to rush your new cat, you also don’t want to withhold any attention or affection from them, especially during this stressful period of transition. Make yourself available and let them seek you out, and then provide plenty of petting, scratching and attention to reaffirm your cat’s positive feelings.