A Cat’s First 24 Hours In Its New Home

Okay, so you’re ready for the arrival of your new cat. A Cat’s first day in a new home can be very scary, but there are a few things that you can do to make it less stressful.


A wonderful adult domestic tabby cat rolling around on the carpet
A wonderful adult domestic tabby cat rolling around on the carpet

Don’t Introduce Everybody At Once

As hard as it might be, try not to introduce your adorable new kitten or cat to everybody at once. To avoid your cat getting frightened or overwhelmed hold back on introducing people straight away. Your new cat needs time to become familiar with its new surroundings.


A young white cat hiding around the corner in the home
A young white cat hiding around the corner in the home

Give Your Cat Time To Adjust

Give your new cat time to adjust and allow her to become comfortable in her own time. At first you may find that she will try to hide away under sofas or behind doors. You needn’t be worried as this is a perfectly natural reaction. You do however need to remember that all introductions need to be on your cat's terms. Let her come and introduce herself to you and your family, rather than you making the first step. You can try to encourage her to come and say hello, but if she doesn’t want to, then try again later. Eventually she will pluck up the courage and ask you to play. She might even let you tickle her chin.


A young grey kitten pawing away its owners hand
A young grey kitten pawing away its owners hand

Make Things Familiar For Your Cat

Make things familiar for your cat to help her settle into your home. At first she might not want to eat much, if at all. If you offer her the same food that she was fed on before you collected her then she is more likely to have an appetite. Your new cat will also really appreciate it if you regularly change her water.


A ginger kitten eating a bowl of wet food
A ginger kitten eating a bowl of wet food

Some breeders might also ask if you would like to take home a blanket with the scent of your cat’s family on it. This can help make your home familiar for your new arrival.


Set Up A Safe Room For Your New Cat’s Arrival

Before bringing your cat home have a room prepared that you can make the cat’s “safe room”. It is best for the safe room to be quiet and tucked away so your cat can feel safe. A lot of people use their bathroom because it’s usually the easiest room to clean and is often separated from the hustle and bustle of a busy house. Equip this room with a bed, litter tray, food, water, scratching post and a few toys. When you bring your cat home put their carry case down and open the door. Don’t reach in to pull her out, but let her come out and explore the room in her own time.


A lovely ginger cat contemplating leaving her carry case
A lovely ginger cat contemplating leaving her carry case

Leave your cat for at least a couple of hours to allow her to get used to her safe room. Introduce family members one at a time and ensure any young children know how to handle a cat or kitten in a gentle and calm manner. Have them sit on the floor quietly and speak gently to the cat. Only touch the cat if she approaches you because she is likely to still be quite scared of her new surroundings.

As your cat grows in confidence you can let her out of the safe room to explore, but make sure you keep an eye on her. Kittens will not remember their way back to the safe room so if you see them sniffing around sheepishly make sure you get them back to the safe room to use their litter tray.


An adorable tabby kitten exploring her new surroundings
An adorable tabby kitten exploring her new surroundings

Put your cat to bed in her safe room and continue to build up the amount of time they spend being handled and out exploring their new surroundings.


Freedom

As your new cat gains confidence you can put some trust in her. As long as she is happy that the safe room is her area of refuge you can allow her more freedom in your house, but watch out for naughty behaviour like climbing on the kitchen table or sharpening her claws on the furniture.


A new cheeky young kitten looking mischeivous
A new cheeky young kitten looking mischeivous

If you find your new adventurous kitten swinging from a lamp shade you might have put a little too much trust in her.



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Comments

Alicja, 10 August 2019

My kitten settled straight away, did not hide even for a minute, was not afraid of our older cat and when he got tired after couple of hours of extensive exploring and play he came straight to me, jumped on my knees and fell asleep. Very first night run after us and slept in our bed. It seems from the article such a bold behaviour is not typical . :)

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