Introducing A New Cat to the Home
By Faith P.
So you have a new cat, now you have to figure out how to introduce them to your home. As a cat is going into a new home, they can be very nervous and skittish, so you have to help them with this process. When introducing your cat to your home, you should always have patience and never yell at them. There are a few simple ways to make this transition easier for both you and your cat, so read on for a couple of small tips.
Before you even bring a cat into your house, you need to ensure that it is ready. First, have a separate room for the new cat. It would be best if you started introducing the cat into your home gradually. In that room, check for anything that could be potentially dangerous to them. This means getting rid of house plants that may be toxic to cats, locking up cleaning products, putting away medication, and hiding away cords that may be around your house. Other things that you should be aware of are:
- Breakable Items.
- Securing screens on your windows.
- Closing the lid of your toilet.
Add a place where your cat can hide in the room, such as a cardboard box or a sheet-draped chair. Try to avoid having large pieces of furniture in the room so your cat doesn’t crawl under them. Here are a couple of more things you should include in this safe room:
- Cat Food
- Litter Box
- Cat Post (at least 1 meter)
- A T-shirt that contains your scent (Helps them get used to you)
- Cat Toys
To help your cat become acquainted with its new home, you should spend most of its first day with them. Start with frequent short visits. When you are with your cat, you can go between playing, petting, or just sitting with them. When a cat is nervous, it may hiss or growl at you; to combat this, speak softly and give them a little time alone to become more comfortable. While you spend time with your cat, introduce your cat to the litter box, but be careful not to overwhelm them with too many demands and attention. Remember when you are in the safe room or around, don’t panic, raise your voice or run; this may scare them and make the process more difficult. Once your cat is more comfortable, you can gradually start making their area bigger and bigger until they are comfortable in the whole house.
Introducing to Animals
There are a couple of steps to follow when introducing your new cat to another animal you already have in the house. Remember, you should never introduce them immediately; this will work against you in the long run.
- The first introduction should be allowing both sides to smell each other under the safe room door. Then, if possible, you can begin switching the bedding between them; this helps both animals get accustomed to each other’s scent.
- If there are no signs of aggression from either side, you should confine your resident pet in a room to let the new cat explore your house for a couple of hours each day.
- To let them see each other, place your new cat in a carrier and bring it out of the safe room. You can then let them see and smell each other through the carrier. If it is a dog, keep it on a leash and let your new cat walk around your house while keeping an eye on both of them. Have treats or a toy on hand to distract your dog.
- If they seem to act aggressively towards each other, keep the meeting short and try another time again. Repetition will be helpful, so keep at it.
- If both sides seem to show no aggression, you can leave the safe room door ajar so they can meet at their own pace. Be sure to always supervise them.
- If they are aggressive, have a spray bottle filled with water or a towel at hand. Always stop serious threats and aggression immediately. If you don’t, this can end up damaging their future relationship.
- If you introduce your cat to a dog, give the cat a safe area away from the dog. Even if they get along with each other, your cat may want some alone time.
Introduction to Kids
How to introduce your new cat to kids depends mainly on the age of the kids. If they are old enough to understand instructions, explain how to approach them and the rules that are in place. Telling them the reasons behind the rules will also help them understand and may get them more incentive to follow them. If the kids are not old enough to understand instructions or rules, leading by example is the best route. Show them how they should interact with the cat; show them how to pet and play with the new cat to not frighten the cat. If the cat seems uncomfortable telling them to back away, give the cat some space and return later in the day.
When getting ready for a new cat, be sure you have everything prepared and set so that the transition can go through smoothly. The best thing you can do is give them time and have patience because they are trying to adjust to a new and unfamiliar place. Overall, introductions to a new home, other animals, and kids may be difficult, but if you take the precautions and the proper steps, it won’t be long until there is a new member of your family.