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First impressions are important—welcome your new cat to the household by providing them with a cat-friendly environment:
Don’t let the new cat meet any other animals or people in your household until they are safely put into their own room. Keep the kennel covered to reduce stress.
Just set the kennel down in their room with the door closed and open the kennel door, quietly back away and wait. Let them come out of the kennel on their own time, everything is very frightening to them. They have to adjust to the sight, sounds and smell of their new environment. Sit quietly and patiently in the room and wait for them to come out, it may take several hours be prepared to wait or quietly leave the room, leave a small light on and let them settle down for a few hours before you re-enter.
Prepare the Room for Your Cat
Give Kitty a room of their own for the first 7-14 days or until they show an interest in exploring their new home. Have this all set up and in place before you bring home your new addition.
Make sure Kitty’s room has a few good hiding places for their comfort and the feeling of security. (Never drag Kitty out of his hide-outs—he’ll come out when he’s ready), this will only frighten them. Provide a good quality canned and dry food as well as a large bowl of fresh water.
Don’t consider declawing as it can result in serious behavior and temperament problems. Nails can be trimmed.
Destructive scratching problems are easily corrected. See our other articles for any help in this area.
Don’t overwhelm the cat with visitors the first week.
Check your home for dangerous items that might be chewed or ingested by your cat. (Rule of thumb: if it would pose a danger for a toddler, it is a danger for your cat.)
Never hit or yell at your cat. For training tips please see our other articles pertaining to this subject.
When kitty is relaxed and comfortable in his new home, offer him safe and stimulating toys. Play is serious business to a cat. Its how they express themselves and begin to develop their personality, it also will help to build their confidence and self esteem. It’s a good way to bond with your cat and have some fun with them.
Making New Friends
This method of introduction will maximize the success of achieving a compatible relationship:
Before introducing the new cat to the resident cat or cats, be sure the new cat is thoroughly checked by a vet.
Let the cats get used to each other’s scent before seeing each other. Swap bedding, brush both cats with the same brush and alternate rubbing both with the same towel separately .
When the door is still closed you can attach two toys together with a suede shoe lace, putting a toy on each side of the door. This way the cats can begin to play with each other safely. This is just another way to associate something good when both cats are in the same area.
After a few days, let them see each other but not make physical contact. This can be accomplished by opening the door a crack—just enough to see each other but not squeeze through.
Feed the cats delicious food treats on both sides of the door for several days or more until they relax in each other’s company. This way they associate good things when they see each other.
After several days and things are clam put the resident cat into the room with door closed. Let new the cat explore the house. Do this for about 1 hour for several days until both cats are comfortable.
When they are calm in each other’s presence, give them some supervised time together and gradually increase the time they spend together. This process may take days or weeks depending on the temperaments of the cats. If any aggression happens from either cat, separate both and start over.
Remember to never discipline the cats if there are hostilities—just separate them. Scolding or punishing will only make the experience more frightening for both.
Praise them profusely if they are calm in each other’s presence. Friendship requires trust and that can take time.
Due to the different variables and animal dynamics in each family, you may need additional information. If you have a dog or other pets please see our articles pertaining to that subject.
Kittens are a Lot Like Kids!
Kittens require careful supervision until they are four months old. They need a “nursery” or kitten-proof room to be safe.
Kittens can get tangled up in cords, chew plants, swallow small objects, get stepped on, and so on.
Always supervise children when they are with the kitten or serious injuries can be sustained to both.
Kittens need lots of gentle handling and attention but they also need frequent periods of uninterrupted rest.
Let the pets get used to each other without feeling stressed or threatened.
The more careful and gradual the introduction, the more likely the pets will be life-long friends.
Play Therapy—Good for Everyone!
Congratulations!You have just adopted one the most intelligent and sensitive of all companion animals
Cats are closely related to their wild ancestors and their large cousins, the lions and tigers.
Their behaviors are largely determined by their instincts and their interactions with people.
Hunting is big, serious business and play that is so important to cats.
To satisfy this basic need schedule two or more 10- minute interactive play sessions a day.
A fishing pole toy works well to simulate the movement of prey animals and it exercises the cat without wearing out the human. (Be sure to put away the toy when finished so that the cat doesn’t chew, get tangled or swallow the “prey”.)
Playtime helps rambunctious cats and kittens release extra energy in a positive way.
It helps shy cats to become more social. Couch-potato kitties are inspired to exercise. And best of all, the cat forms a bond with the individual who plays with him.
What Comforts and Relaxes Cats?
Familiar scents – especially their own or their favorite person’s
Listening to owners voice – a slightly higher than normal tone of voice is calming, while a low voice creates fear