10 Tips for Bringing Home Your New Shelter Cat


Yesterday, we looked at how to prepare for home a shelter dog. But dogs aren’t for everyone! So what if you’re adopting a cat or kitten from the animal shelter? Bringing home a new kitty can be really exciting. But cats can take time to settle into their new surroundings. Here are 10 tips to help you help your cat adjust:

  1. Before you bring your new kitty home, call the shelter to find out what type of food she was eating. Gather any information about medications, allergies, or even preferences so that you can have the best food for your cat on-hand.
  2. Make an eco-friendly scratch post to welcome her home.
  3. Purchase a few cat toys and catnip-stuffed items. Don’t go overboard until you know what types of toys she prefers to play with.
  4. If you have other pets or small children, make sure you provide a safety zone for your new cat. Consider setting up a baby gate that she can fit under – but dogs and kids can’t – with access to a separate room.
  5. Figure out where you want your cat’s litter box to go, and get it set up and ready for her to use. Stock up on your favorite litter so you’re prepared for upset stomachs that can accompany a big transition.
  6. Schedule a comprehensive checkup with your veterinarian for soon after you bring your new cat home.
  7. When you first bring her home, introduce your cat to her new surroundings slowly. Help her explore your house room by room.
  8. If possible, adopt your cat on a Friday so that you have the whole weekend to help her acclimate without having to worry about work.
  9. Start building up your bond. Spend time playing with her. She may not want to be patted much at first, but if she requests affection, give in! Let each member of the family offer her a treat so she starts building up a positive association with everyone.
  10. Be patient. Your new cat probably won’t want to curl up on your lap to watch TV or sleep next to you at night – yet. Give her time to adjust to her new surroundings, routine, and family.

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