3 Ways to Help Your New Shelter Cat Feel at Home
June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, although welcoming a new cat into your home and family is an excellent idea any time of year. However, naturally, your new feline friend may be unsure and anxious in their new surroundings. Try the following suggestions to help them quickly become a comfortable part of your family.
#1: Give them time to settle in
It can be scary to move somewhere new, especially for a cat. Since they cannot understand you when you tell them they are now in their forever home, be forgiving and patient as they acclimate to their new life. As a general rule of thumb, give your new cat three days to feel nervous and overwhelmed, three weeks to settle in, and three months to build trust and bond with you.
#2: Set up a private area for your new cat
Cats can be reclusive and secretive creatures, particularly in a new environment. Give your new cat a private space so they can explore at their leisure without feeling forced to interact. Provide the necessities, including:
- Two litter boxes with different types of litter
- Food and water dishes placed in the opposite corner of the litter boxes
- A cat climbing tower
- A cat scratching post
- Cozy beds placed in the open or small spots to give your cat options
- Cat toys
As you learn more about your new cat, you’ll be able to provide their favorites, but for now, offer them a variety so they can pick and choose.
#3: Avoid immediate introductions to other pets in your household
While you may wish your new cat and current pets will become best friends at first sight, that is rarely the case. Instead, give your new cat time to settle in, then slowly introduce them through sight and smell. Erect a physical barrier to allow your pets to see each other, and swap bedding so your pets can learn each other’s scent. When your pets seem comfortable seeing and smelling each other, remove the physical barrier and let them meet on neutral ground.