Before the Arrival
Prior preparations are important for a cat’s easy adaptation into its new environment. Some days before its arrival, take a cloth full of the scent of its new house to where the cat is. The cat will get used to this smell and once it comes to the house, you can put this cloth in its basket, which will help it to feel more at home. Try to bring the cat home at the beginning of the weekend or at the beginning of a time when you will be able to spend a lot of time with it. This will facilitate its adaptation to the new place.
If you are going to adopt a new cat, that could leave the house, prepare a tag with its information and a reflective and stretchy collar. Wait one or two weeks before allowing the cat out and once this time has passed, don’t force the cat to leave. The cat will leave itself when it feels safe. Ask the person giving you the cat if they can give you the basket the cat used and the food it is used to eating to make the transition more bearable. Prepare all the things the cat might need and check to make sure that there are not objects in the house that are dangerous for the cat.
Installing the Cat
The cat’s bed should be in a calm place, little frequented and far from where the cat sleeps. Once the cat has come to your house, try to avoid loud noises and leave it alone, free to roam the house, though you will only feel like petting and pampering it. The cat should accustom itself to its new place.
Show it its basket…where it has water… The first days, limit its space to one or two rooms and, little by little, extend it so that it does not feel lost at first in too much space.
The Cat and Children
Your kids should keep in mind that the cat is not a toy and it needs quiet time to itself. They should be patient and not want to pet it all at the same time, because the cat will get dizzy. The cat needs calm and time. Show them how to touch and play with the cat without harming it. Explain the cat’s development and needs to them. This should be an enriching experience for them also.
The Cat and Other Animals
If you adopt an adult cat it is good to know if that cat has lived with other animals. For example, if a cat has only lived with other dogs chasing it, it will be difficult for it to adapt to yours. It is important to make the cat’s introduction to other animals in the house quickly, at the beginning, as the other animals are part of the environment it will live in, so it should also meet them to be able to adapt to them.
If the cat doesn’t show much interest in the rodents or birds you might have in your house, don’t make an extra effort to introduce them. The cat always retains that hunting instinct, so it would be wise to keep them far from the cat or in different rooms.
If you have other cats in the house, the introduction should be smooth and always controlled by you. Try to do it in a neutral place (for example, far from where your first cat eats and sleeps). Don’t force it or abandon the old cat for the new one, as this can cause jealously toward the new one.
The Cat and Dogs
The relationship between dogs and cats seems difficult, but there are many possibilities for both to live together if you follow a series of steps:
- When the time comes to introduce the two animals, make sure that the dog has taken a long walk and eaten well beforehand.
- Above all, keep the calm. One person holds the dog by its collar and the other holds the cat by its hind legs. If the dog is calm, reward it and let it sniff the cat. If the cat is frightened, try again the next day. Repeat this as many times as necessary for the two to get accustomed.
If the cat is not frightened and the dog is not altered, you can let the cat go while holding the dog, for more security. Never leave both alone in the first weeks.