How to Help Your New Cat Feel Welcomed in Your Home

Family welcoming new cat in home

Getting Your New Cat Accustomed to Your Home

Will you be adding a cat or kitten to your household soon? Adjusting to a new home can be a little overwhelming for your pet. Following these tips may make the adjustment process much easier.

Create a Safe Haven for Your Pet

You'd probably feel a little nervous if you suddenly found yourself living in an unfamiliar home with people you'd just met. Your cat or kitten may feel the same way.

Help your cat adapt to its new surroundings by placing it in a quiet room for the first few days. Add a litter box, a few toys, food, and water to the room. (Place the litter box at the opposite end of the room from the food and water dishes.)

Spending time in one room will give your pet time to adjust to the sounds and smells of your home. Pay occasional visits to the room but don't force your pet to interact with you. Some cats and kittens may feel more comfortable hiding under a piece of furniture during visits from new family members at first. As your cat or kitten grows accustomed to you, it will soon venture out from its hiding place.

Gradually Introduce Your Cat to Your Other Pets

Confining your pet to one room initially may also make it easier for your new and older pets to get to know each other from a distance. The addition of a new cat may make other animals feel territorial, which can spark fights. Separating your new addition prevents territory issues while allowing your other pets to gradually become accustomed to each other.

The Humane Society of the United States suggests feeding your new pet and your old pets on either side of the door to help both pets adjust to new smells. You can also rub a towel over your new pet, then let your other pets sniff it.

When you finally introduce your pets, be prepared to separate them if either of them appears agitated or aggressive. Make the first getting-to-know-you session brief, then gradually extend the amount of time the pets spend together if everything goes well.

Make Play Part of the Adjustment Process

Play sessions may make it easier for timid cats to feel comfortable interacting with you or other family members. Toys also provide a distraction when you're introducing pets to each other and may help reduce aggression. Kitty fishing rods, laser pointers, and other toys give your pets something to do while they're in the same room. Make sure each pet has its own toy to avoid problems.

Teach Your Children How to Interact with Your Cat

Show young children how to touch your cat gently and recognize signs that your pet no longer welcomes the attention. (Tail swishing, hissing, or trying to get away are clear signs that the petting session is over.) Go over a few ground rules, such as no pulling the cat's tail or touching or picking up the pet while it's eating or sleeping.

If your child will be participating in the cat's care, keep in mind that it's ultimately your responsibility to make sure that the pet's needs are met. If your cat's water dish is empty or the litter box is overflowing, it's time for you to step in.

Give Your Pet a Tour

Once your cat has access to your entire home, show it where it can find the litter box and food and water dishes. If your new addition is a kitten or an elderly cat, it may be a good idea to place a litter box on every level of your home to prevent accidents.

Make Your Cat's Health a Priority

New cats or kittens should see the veterinarian within a week or two of their arrival at your home. Your veterinarian will look for signs of conditions or diseases that could affect your pet's health and recommend immunizations that will prevent serious illnesses, like rabies and feline distemper.

Have you recently added a new cat to your home? We can help you care for your furry friend's health. Contact us to schedule your new pet's first appointment.

Sources:

Humane Society of the United States: Introducing Your New Cat to Other Pets

Paws: Helping Your Cat Adjust to a New Home

Petfinder: Tips for the First 30 Days of Cat Adoption

Your First Visit is FREE

Sign up now

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

9:00 am-4:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-4:00 pm

Wednesday:

Closed

Thursday:

9:00 am-4:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-4:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Wow! Thanks to all the staff at Anderson Vet Clinic. I feel like you all truly love what you do! My kitty, Lola and I always have such a pleasant experience when we come in. Fortunately, it’s usually just for a check-up, but I would not leave Lola in anyone else’s hands but yours. Thank you for your caring commitment!"
    Maya Smith / Los Angeles, CA
  • "I have benefited tremendously from the care my pet received from Dr. Anderson."
    John Doe / San Diego, CA
  • "Fabio wasn’t eating the food I was giving him and I didn’t feel he was getting the nutrition he needed. Thanks to Dr. Anderson, he evaluated Fabio and his current diet to make some recommendations and now Fabio has gone from barely eating to finishing his meals and he looks healthier than ever. You clearly are an expert in your field...thanks so much!"
    Tara Brown / Kansas City, MO

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

    Goats

    Maybe, you've heard that goats will basically eat anything they can put in their mouth. This might give you the impression that they're simple animals to take care of, but this isn't the case. Goats need proper nutrition and enough space, among other things, to grow strong and healthy. Therefore, before ...

    Read More

    Donkeys, Horses & Mules

    There are many benefits to owning a donkey, horse, or mule. However, it is important to know that these animals (all belonging to the sub-family called equus) require special housing, feeding, and care for a healthy life. Here are a few important considerations to make before bringing a new animal home. Housing ...

    Read More

    Cows

    Are you thinking about getting a cow? Before you do, there are a few considerations you need to make. These large and gentle animals need a considerable amount of space, have special dietary needs, and have certain health needs you’ll have to pay attention to. Plus, they can live for up to twenty-five ...

    Read More

    Sheep

    Sheep are adorable with their naturally wooly coats. With all that wool comes responsibility, though. If you're considering raising sheep, you should know what it entails to take care of them. That way, you're prepared for their arrival and aren't overwhelmed after you adopt them. Housing What type ...

    Read More

    Pigs

    Did you know that pigs are a lot cleaner than the reputation they have? While they do roll around in the mud, this keeps them cool. They're actually one of the cleanest animals. They, however, require care, just like any animal. Before you take on more than you can handle, you should educate yourself ...

    Read More

    Chickens

    Choosing a Pet Chicken Maybe, you want the luxury of freshly laid eggs. Maybe, you think chickens are interesting animals and would make good pets. Before you rush out and purchase a coop and chicken feed, you should understand what's entailed in keeping them healthy and safe. General Information Make ...

    Read More

    Turkeys

    While all animals have unique personalities, turkeys are usually docile animals. They can be interesting pets to have. However, like any pet, they require a certain level of care to remain healthy and content. Before you decide to purchase turkeys, you should understand what the care entails. Housing Keep ...

    Read More

    Ducks

    You might enjoy feeding the ducks at the pond. When you see them interact with their environment, it may make you smile. Ultimately, this could provoke you to want to go out and buy one, so you have that feeling all the time. While you might not think that a duck takes a great deal of work, there's more ...

    Read More

    Fish

    If you’re thinking of getting a pet fish, you should know that your veterinarian has a lot of good advice about pet ownership. Fish can be very rewarding as pets, and you just may be surprised about how much fish actually interact with their owners. Here’s more valuable information about choosing ...

    Read More

    Snakes

    If you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet, then you might be interested in owning a snake. However, there are a few aspects of owning a snake that you need to be aware of before you make this type of commitment. Here’s what you need to know. What to Know Before Choosing a Pet Snake Before you purchase ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles