How to Help a New Cat Adjust to Your Home

July 16, 2021 2:18 am Published by

Adding a new furry friend to the household is always an exciting time—but it can be quite stressful for your new cat and any existing pets. Things can always go smoothly, but it’s best to be prepared for the worst. This will ensure that even if it gets off to a bumpy start, your new cat will quickly adjust to their surroundings and feel comfortable joining in… at their own pace. Here’s how to help them adjust to their new territory. (Remember, your cat care clinic vet in Alexandria County, VA is always happy to give you additional tips on making your new kitten or cat comfortable.)

  • Remember that this is (literally) new territory: Your cat is probably going to be pretty stressed when they come home—after all, you’ve just taken them from their “safe space” and plopped them in unfamiliar territory. Don’t take it personally if they spend most of their time hiding from you in the first few days or even weeks. Some cats need time to warm up, and all the new stimulation can be terrifying, especially if there are other pets or children in the household.
  • Create a “safe room”: When introducing cats to your home, setting them up in one room is a good way to start them off. Make sure they have access to good nutrition and a litter box, then let them explore at their own pace. Don’t forget to offer them interaction if they seem open to it.
  • Set up a visit with your vet: No matter your new cat’s age, they need regular vet visits. Take them in as soon as possible to get checked for health concerns.
  • Consider your cat’s temperament: No two cats are exactly alike, so you’ll need to observe the new cat’s temperament to understand how they like to interact. Some cats are instant cuddlers, while others need to come to you—don’t assume they’ll share a personality with your other or previous cats.
  • Give them peace and quiet: As stoic as cats can be, they tend to get anxious and scared when there’s too much stimulation. If you have kids or other pets, make sure your new cat has plenty of quiet time to themselves, at least for the first few weeks.
  • Manage introductions with other pets: If you have other pets in the household, follow your vet’s advice for introducing the pets in a safe, gentle way.
  • Supervise child and dog interactions closely: Children and dogs should be carefully supervised around new cats—both tend to be overly enthusiastic, which can scare already-nervous cats. Be prepared to step in and separate them if necessary.
  • Enforce the rules gently: Finally, make sure you teach your cat how to behave in the house from the get-go. Your vet can help you find non-threatening disciplinary techniques that will ensure they follow the house rules.

Adding a new cat to your home? Bring them to the Kingstowne Cat Clinic in Alexandria, VA—call today for an appointment.

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