Bringing Your New Cat Home
Complete all the preparations BEFORE bringing your new cat home! You should have ALL the shopping done and items placed where they belong. Her “safe room” should be 100% set up and arranged for her arrival. Any cat-proofing of the house better be taken care of before your kitty enters your home, too.
Don’t make this into a big family celebration, even if everyone IS excited about her becoming a member of the household. Your cat will already be stressed to the max without having everyone trying to play with her and any kids screaming and running around or other pets barking and meowing at her.
When you arrive at the location to collect her, take care of any paperwork or exchange of money BEFORE gathering her up and placing her in the cat carrier.
If there are other cats (or dogs) in your home, your new cat should be quarantined and kept away from them. It’s nice if you’re able to go directly to a veterinary clinic with your new cat, but you might not be able to get her an appointment for a day or two. Now if your new cat comes with papers proving she’s already been to the vet’s office, had her vaccinations, and has received negative test results for various cat diseases and medical conditions, then the quarantine isn’t as critical. The big deal here is you don’t want your new cat giving your other pets parasites or diseases.
Once home, introduce your cat to her safe room. Put the carrier on the floor, open the little door and step back.
Talk to her quietly and calmly. Don’t reach in and drag her out or try to dump her out! She might stay in there for awhile. She’ll wander out once she gets hungry or needs to use the litter box. Which you’ll need to plunk her inside the litter box if she is not familiar using one.
Keep in mind how strange and scary your environment is to the new cat. Remind yourself where she came from and how different that might be as compared to inside your house. Also, if she was a stray and used to being outside, now suddenly she’s stuck in your house, it might feel like a big cage to her. She might paw and cry at a window or a sliding glass door where she can see outside – wishing she was back out there!
Turn on soft music. Avoid using loud gadgets (if possible) and vacuum cleaners. If you turn on the television, keep the volume low. Be patient. The first few WEEKS will be the toughest. She may feel nervous, stressed and be hesitant to come to you. Limit the number of people around her. Gradually introduce her to other pets in the household making sure you have control of the situation and allowing her an escape route to her safe room.
Hang in there because once the dust settles, your adorable, furry friend will be such a joy in your life!
And if she has not been to the veterinarian, do not hesitate making that appointment next. We want to keep your kitty happy AND healthy!