While adopting a cat can be extremely rewarding, the first hours in a new home can be stressful for your feline. Giving them space, routine and careful introductions can reduce anxiety levels.
Cats don’t tend to be great travelers. To minimize any stress, make sure they are transported in small, well made and well-ventilated carrier. Including a piece of their bedding inside the carrier can provide them with a calmingly familiar scent.
Providing a Safe, Quiet and Secure Room
Don’t give your cat too many new and stimulating experiences when they first get home. For at least the first day, possibly more depending on the cat, it is recommended that they stay in one quiet room to help prevent them from becoming overwhelmed. Make sure you don’t allow any pets into this space in the beginning and give access to a litter box and fresh water. The room should be peaceful and cozy, and your cat should be able to hide if they wish.
It is better to introduce food after your cat has had at least a few hours in their new home. Your new baby might not eat for the first day or two if they are stressed.
Careful Introductions to the Family
Allow your cat a good few hours of quiet time, to adjust to their new surroundings. If, at this point, you want to offer them a little company then do this gradually. If the cat goes into a hiding place when you enter the room, don’t force them out. Let them come out when they are ready. If you have kids, make sure they understand not to chase or annoy the cat.
Introductions With Other Pets
Cats are naturally territorial, and introductions with other cats should not be done straightaway. It can sometimes take weeks or months for cats sharing a household to take part fully. Introductions with dogs should also be gradual and initial meetings will be more manageable if your dog is on-leash. Make sure that your cat has an easy escape route if they are uncomfortable.