Without a doubt, there’s nothing like bringing a pet home for you to care and love for. However, what many cat owners don’t realise is the importance of the first few days of its acclimation – what you do during this time will set the foundation of your relationship with your cat. It is this period that determines how well your new cat adjusts to your home.
Typically, kittens take a shorter time to integrate into a new home. On the other hand, if you are adopting an adult cat from a shelter with a pet adoption service, it might take longer to acclimate into a new home since they may have been rehomed previously. The transition to their new home will be drastic, and it could take up to a few weeks for a cat to feel comfortable.
Adjusting to a new home is a stressful and frightening experience for a cat. Don’t be too surprised when your furry friend shows signs of distress, such as refusal to eat, biting and scratching, in the first few days. That said, such behavioural problems tend to disappear with time as the cat gets more comfortable.
If you are worried, fret not! Here are some ways to assimilate your new cat home.
Prepare The Essentials
Have a minimum of one litter box per cat, with two for cats who are slightly picky. It’s best if the litter boxes are placed somewhere quiet and with a broad view. Cats typically prefer to urinate in one litter box and defecate in another. Having multiple litter boxes limits the decisions they have to make and accelerates the process in which they get comfortable in their new home.
Set their food and water out in an easy to access space. While the cat transitions from one place to another, it is crucial that you try not to overwhelm your cat with attention or demands.
Cats are creatures of habit that hate breaking out of routines. Thus, be sure to remove as many barriers as possible to ease them into their new arrangement.
Wet Or Dry Food?
Regardless if you’ve adopted your cat from a shelter or a previous owner, it’s best to feed them the same type of food they have been fed in their previous home as it’s the one consistency you can give them during such a turbulent shift. If your cat is used to eating only dry food, putting them in a new environment and giving them only wet food will only stress them.
On the other hand, if your pet is a kitten, you should bottle feed it and only introduced canned foods that are specifically made for kittens when they are 5 weeks and older. Slowly bring in dry foods when they have been accustomed to wet foods.
Observe Their Health
Keeping watch over their health is a critical tip, especially for cats that were from shelters. Due to the unfavourable environment, cats that were from shelters or mistreated by past owners are more susceptible to issues like respiratory infections. Such issues can exacerbate when they are placed in a stressful environment – in other words, a new home. This is why it is crucial to observe your cat closely during their first few days.
Areas, like their eye and nostrils, are highly sensitive and should be cleaned regularly, whether there is a discharge or otherwise. If you spot anything unusual with their behaviour or on their body, you should bring your cat to the nearest 24-hour vet clinic immediately.
Efficiently integrating your cat home only leads to a tight bond and pleasant memories to be made. These tips would best ensure that your beloved pet doesn’t face any difficulty adjusting to its new abode.