Adopting a cat? A new joy is coming! Congratulations!
Bringing home a new cat comes with great responsibility. You need to plan and prepare so that everything works out the best way. Planning is really the key word.
Cats have highly developed senses; they can react to things in a way that a human parent might not understand. They’re so sensitive that they might hide for the first few days or even weeks!
All you need is to be prepared and know what to expect. Confused? We’ll help!
The Perfect Match in cat adoption
If you’re thinking in adopting a cat, you can consider adopting a perfect match for you.
Yes, you read it right. Matching the cat to the adopter is important. In many shelters, or pet adoption agencies, the adoption process will begin with the completion of an application.
Here some of the questions you might find in cat adoption forms:
- Financial Situation
The intention is to understand if you’re prepared to assume the financial responsibility of caring for your cat. Things like vaccinations, regular veterinary care and check-ups, appropriate quality food…
- Your House
“What type of property do you live in?”, The idea is to know if you have a garden. Will you be keeping the cat indoors? How will you ensure she does not roam?
- Other Pets
Do you have other pets in your household? If you have other pets at home then you want to make sure they get along. It will depend on the age (a kitten will have lots of energy) and, in case of rehoming a cat in sites like https://www.rspca.org.uk/findapet/rehomeapet, they will take into consideration if the new comer was used to be around other pets.
Do you have children at home? Any visiting children? Are your family members use to have pets around?
Young children tend to be lively…energetic and cheerful just like kittens! So you’ll want an even-tempered cat to go along 😉
Most times our furry friends tolerate children well but be cautious and don’t leave them alone because they might get irritated with something and scratch or bite. Some cat breeds are more kid friendly, so choose the right companion for your family.
- Your Lifestyle
Do you stay at home most of the time? How long do you expect to leave your friend alone? Do you travel a lot?
Remember that is a new family member coming in. Choose wisely the right companion for your family.
How to prepare your home for the arrival of the newcomer?
Ok, you’ve chosen the perfect match. What now? How to welcome him in the best possible way?
Although you’re pretty much exited, your new friend will probably be stressed on the first days. A new environment can be frightening, and cats don’t react well to changes in fact they’re very upset about it. We need to take that into consideration when adopting a cat.
Your task will be to make sure your new companion feels safe and loved.
Cat adoption – tips to settle your new friend:
- Going Outdoors
Ideally all cats should have access to the exterior to express their natural behavior, but if not possible, we should ensure that we provide everything that mimics and replace what cats have in their natural habitat.
Having said so, some are indoor cats and if that’s the case then the new cat should remain indoors for at least three to four weeks. And remember to keep all doors and windows closed.
After the decision of cat adoption, if the only option is to let the cat indoor, you should provide ways for him to practice his natural behaviours such as keep them busy, promote playing and hunting behavior.
- Set up a safe room for your cat
When rehoming a cat, ensure one quiet and secure room for him/her. Keep your new companion in it for the first days and let him/her establish their own territory.
Make sure there is enough space for water and food, toys, bed and litter tray (put it away from the food).
Cats sleep around 16 hours a day, so it’s important to provide this safe, warm and comfortable place.
Don’t forget to provide a cat-proof room:
- Breakable or danger to swallow objects should be kept away.
- Remove any dangerous wires or curtain cords.
- Remove sharp items.
- Some plants can be poisonous so keep them away as well.
3. Give the newcomer a place to hide
Nervous cats like to hide. They hide from strangers, vacuum noise, and other things that are strange to them and produce stress. These places will give them the feeling of security and will help them to be calmer.
Some ideas for a hiding place can be:
- a cardboard box
- or enough space under the bed
- or just some sheets draped
When the cat is hidden, please do not disturb him. Remember that cats feel safer when they are in high places, so providing those places where they can stand observing all the environment is also a good tip.
Do not worry if your cat hides for a few days or even weeks; this is quite normal behaviour.
- Bonding Time
Spend quality time together, but don’t rush it. It will take some time for your new friend to feel comfortable in the new environment. Let him come when he’s ready.
At first, visit him frequently for short periods of time. You can play with him or just make a phone call (quiet voice) nearby.
Let him return to his safe place whenever he feels like it.
It’s likely that your cat won’t eat in front of people in the beginning. He might do it only when nobody is there.
Provide the same diet he had at the shelter at least for the first week or two. Then slowly make the changes starting to mix the new food with the current one.
If your new friend is not eating, drinking, or using the litter tray after two days, call your vet for advice.
Remember that providing a good diet, it is important as they are carnivorous and need special nutrients in their diets (see Cat nutrition article).
Careful on overfeeding, cat obesity is very common and harmful for his health.
One of our favourite tip is to use an automatic smart feeder. Pawbo Crunchy is a great choice:
- is reliable and ensures accurate food quantity, because of its dual scale system.
- You can set up to 10 meals per day so he/she eats in smaller portions.
- It also gives you a daily food intake report so you can make sure he/she’s having the correct amount of food
Cats prefer to eat far away from the litter box, so ideally these should be kept in two different rooms or in different corners of the same room.
Water should also be in a different place and away from the walls as cats like to be safe when they are eating or drinking.
Cats tend to prefer running water to drink, so a very good option is a cat water dispenser or cat water fountain such as Pawbo Spring. It is a high technological device that mimics the natural running waters and notifies you, if your cat is not drinking enough water or if the amount of water in the system is too low. Pawbo Spring is the most advance cat water fountain out in the market.
- Visit the Veterinarian
Don’t forget that cats also need veterinary care.
Take your new feline friend to the veterinarian, within one week after adoption, for a wellness exam and any immunizations he might still need. Regular checkups keep cats healthy.
Young cats have a high parasitic load and need to receive internal deworming.
Health protection against microbes is very important and after the second month cats usually start losing the defenses received by their mother through colostrum and need to start the advised vaccination protocol.
Another common procedure for cats is a flea treatment called external deworming.
Hope you’re more comfortable with cat adoption now!
Be patient and give lots of love. It will work out fine. Times of fun and affection are kicking in!
These tips can shorten or smooth the adjustment period so you both can enjoy at the most even sooner.
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