If you got a kitty or even a large cat that you have just adopted from the shelter, one of the most important questions that you will be entertaining in your head is how to make your cat feel more comfortable at home.
Cats, although immensely independent, can also feel skittish every time they are exposed to a largely unfamiliar environment. It will take time before full adaptation kicks into full gear. While you’re waiting for this to happen, here are some ways you can make your new kitty feel a lot more comfortable in its new home.
Recall Past Experiences
If this is not your first time bringing home a new cat, then your experiences will help you determine the things that might work in alleviating feline relocation anxiety. While it is true that different kitties will have different personalities, at least you can say that you have come prepared for this kitty in your life. Strengthen or reinforce those things that you did in the past that seemed to work. However, don’t ever close the possibility that what may have worked in the past may no longer hold true this time around.
Cat-Proof Your Home
You may be successful in making your kitty feel right at home, but if you’re also not going to take measures to cat-proof your house, believe us the anxiety will be transferred to you once the welcoming period is over. Cats are very curious creatures. As such it is crucial that you keep all harsh cleaning solutions, medications, toxins, and other harmful substances out of reach of your inquisitive cat. You will also have to look around your yard and pick out plants that can be potentially harmful to kitties. Anything that can be broken such as glassware, china, and other ceramic pieces should be kept in a secure place. Also, make sure to keep your toilet bowl’s lid down. If there isn’t any, then buy one and install it.
Take It Slow
Did you know that it will take anywhere between 1 and 2 weeks before your kitty will start feeling more relaxed in your home? During this time, it is best to avoid inviting friends and visitors, and even relatives over as this will only prolong the adjustment period for your cat. The point is to keep this critical period just between you and your kitty. By the time your cat is already feeding and eliminating on a more or less normal basis, then you can start introducing new faces into your house.
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Give Your Kitty a Safe Hiding Place
It may sound silly, but large cats in the wild will often feel more secure inside their dens in situations where there is something ‘new’ in their surroundings. Taking your cue from these large felines, you can place a kitty house or even designate a special place wherein your new cat will feel more secure. This will give them the chance to watch and observe its new ‘family’. In some cases, assigning a place higher up than anybody else can work, too. Remember that you’re actually playing to your kitty’s natural predatory instincts.
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Slowly Introduce New Food
Always give your kitty the same food that it has eaten from the place where you got it. Continue feeding it this cat food for about a week or two. On the 2nd or third week, you can divide its food and replace a quarter of it with the kind of cat food you would want to give it. Every day you are going to increase the proportion of the new food by 10 percent until you can safely remove the cat food that you want to wean it from.
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Place the Litter Box in a More Strategic Location
It is crucial to remember that your kitty hasn’t really warmed up to you yet. On the placement of its litter box, it is best to place it in a low-traffic area where it’s quieter than the rest of your home. Non-clumping cat litter is typically recommended for kittens that are less than 10 weeks old. If it’s old enough, you can try fine-grain clumping litter.
Be Ready with the Scratching Post
Don’t ever forget to provide your new kitty with its own scratching post. You can actually make one yourself. This is one of the innate behaviors of cats that are best addressed by providing a safer and more durable scratching post than your upholstery or carpet.
Making a kitty feel right at home takes time, patience, and perseverance on your part. Just remember these simple ways and you can make its transition into your home a lot faster and less eventful.
You may also like our New Cat Cheat Sheet.
- 10 Tips To Keep Your Cat Happy Indoors, The Humane Society