Congratulations! You have just begun a relationship that’s bound to be filled with fun and affection. By starting off on the right foot, you can cut short that stressful adjustment period most new relationships go through, especially if you are bringing home an older cat.
· Go slowly: A new cat may need one to two weeks to relax into the new environment. Although everyone is excited to meet the new addition, its best to save meet-and-greets with friends, neighbours and relatives until the cat is settled in and started eating and toileting on a normal schedule.
· A safe place to hide: Lots of new smells, sights, sounds, and stimulations can be quite overwhelming. Help adjustment by providing the chance to observe the new family’s routine from a small, dark space or one high above the action.
· A Vet Check: To ensure the best start in the new home, bring your new cat to a caring veterinarian for a wellness exam within one week after adoption.
· Familiar Food: Try and provide the same diet at least for the first week or two. If you wish to switch to a different flavour or brand, slowly make the switch over one to two weeks, starting with a quarter ration of the new food mixed into the old favourite. From there, up the ratio of new to old about 10% each day. Cats take time to accept and get comfortable with changes.
· Set up a litter box in a quiet, low-traffic area: Unsure of what litter to use? Try and use the same litter for the new cat initially, and slowly introduce your preferred litter after the first week or two. Generally fine grain clumping litter is best, such as Cat Evolution Premium Clumping Cat Litter. Note that non-clumping litter is recommended for kittens under ten weeks of age.
Cats need to scratch, so make sure to provide yours with a sturdy, rough-textured scratching post to save wear and tear on furniture. Cat manicures every ten to fourteen days also help reduce damage.
· Cat-proof your home: Before giving your new cat run of the house, put away harsh cleaning products, human medications and household poisons. Re-home any poisonous houseplants. And if the newcomer is a kitten, lock away any breakables and remember to keep the toilet lid down.
Ready a comfortable cat perch on a sunny window sill – if it overlooks the birdfeeder, all the better! Observing live birds and squirrels beats out kitty videos any day.
· Once settled in, its play time: Stock up on interactive toys such as feather wands and kitty fishing poles to engage attention and direct energies toward a positive pursuit. You can also make your own quite easily – the best toys are the ones your cat likes, and you both play with.
· Final tip, consider longer term cat furniture and necessities: You and your cat/s can look forward to enjoying many days of wonderful interation, so investing in more durable, longer term quality items will mean you both can enjoy a great environment together, for the longer term.