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How to Help a Cat Adjust to a New Home?
For a cat, settling into a new home can be a stressful and challenging process. Contrary to popular belief, cats require more maintenance than they would first appear to, and they don't need to go for daily walks or demand to play fetch. However, cats require a lot of attention, love, time, regular veterinary care, food, and supplies.
So, if you want to know how to make a cat comfortable in a new place, continue reading!
How to Help Your New Cat Adjust to Her New Home?
If you are moving an older cat to a new home or bringing in a new kitten, the tips to help will be a bit different for each of them. In the case of adult cats, they need more space and time to feel their new abode as a home compared to a kitten.
1. Bringing Home a New Cat
Regardless, a few of those tips when you bring in a new cat are as follows:
Give Your Cat Space - Allow your adult cat to adjust to its new home at their own pace. As they adjust, new adult cats may retreat for a few days. So, make certain that the location they choose as their new safe haven has access to food and water.
Furthermore, spending some time just sitting quietly close to that location and letting them approach you at their own pace will help you establish trust and will aid in their adjustment. Although it's common for a newly acquired cat to hide for a few days while adjusting to its new home, it's crucial to ensure they're still consuming food, drinking fluids, and using the litter box.
Provide Them with the Comfort of a Home - If you are bringing a new cat home to another cat, set up your home with one litter box for each one, plus one, so your new cat has options. Also, it will help keep your furniture free of claw marks if you give them lots of interactive toys to play with and place lots of scratching posts outside.
Cats like having high places to perch and climb. Hence, you can give them a cat tree or create relaxing areas for them all over your house.
Examine Your Cat’s Health - Keep an eye out for any signs of common illnesses that can quickly spread in a shelter environment in your adult cat. For instance, cats coming from a shelter or rescue environment may frequently suffer from upper respiratory infections.
When a person has a URI, it's crucial to keep their eyes and nostrils clean and free of discharge. You should also keep them warm and hydrated. You can also contact your vet if their rigidness doesn't go away after a day or two or if it worsens at any point.
Visit Your Veterinarian - Visit your vet as soon as possible after bringing your cat home, ideally within a week. Your veterinarian can advise you on your cat's best treatment options for fleas, ticks, heartworm, and intestinal parasites. Also, they can administer any necessary booster vaccinations for your cat.
Make Some Sleeping Arrangements - The majority of cats have a few places they prefer to sleep that are warm, cosy, and wind-free. If you give your cat a bed, he might stop sleeping on your furniture. Cats can be comfortably accommodated in a quiet area in a warm box or basket lined with soft, machine-washable bedding.
- Some cats like to select brand-new napping locations regularly. If you let your cat lie on furniture, you can cover its favourite spots with a washable cover. You should treat a cat's sleeping space as your own.
2. Bringing Home a New Kitten
A few tips for when you bring in a new kitten are as follows::
Make Your Residence Kitten-Proof - Because kittens are inquisitive, they will want engagement and constancy while they adapt to their new home. Ensure your home is kitten-proof so they are protected during their excursions.
It's crucial to restrict access to any potentially hazardous objects, including the garbage can, computers or power wires, and toxic plants (like lilies). Closing doors and installing gates can help keep your cat out of potentially hazardous situations.
Provide Them with the Comfort of a Home - Provide your new kitten with access to a litter box, with an extra one, as this will aid in good housetraining. Place their water and food bowls at a convenient location and give them plenty of enrichment in their new home. Also, provide safe and stable perches and climbing areas as well as scratching posts so they have a suitable location to scratch.
Feed Them Dry and Canned Food - When your cat is arriving at your home for the first time, it's best to continue feeding your new kitten the food they were receiving at the rescue/shelter (or from the breeder).
Giving your new kitten both dry and canned food when they're young is also recommended, and this is because cats imprint on food tastes and textures when they're very young. Regardless, by taking this early step, you can ensure that your cat will be open to both types and textures of food (wet and dry) as they grow and mature.
Look Out For Health Changes - Observe your new kitten for any coughing, sneezing, or stomach discomfort. Due to their immature immune systems, kittens are more prone to illness. Additionally, their tiny size makes them more likely to experience low blood sugar, dehydration, missed meals, vomiting and diarrhoea episodes.
You can ensure that they receive the appropriate vaccinations on schedule and are dewormed to prevent intestinal parasites. If you experience any symptoms, contact your veterinarian.
Why Your New Cat May Be Anxious?
Physical symptoms of anxiety in cats include panting, shaking, trembling, elevated heart and respiratory rates, and salivation. The most noticeable behavioural alterations include increased activity, hiding, destruction, and vocalisation.
A cat's first year of life experiences significantly develops many fears, phobias, and anxieties. Between the ages of five months and a year, cat owners frequently first notice anxiety symptoms. When your cat is between one and three years old, these fears typically get worse or new symptoms could emerge.
Regardless, a few of the reasons behind your cat's anxiety include the following:
Separation Anxiety - Cats who have moved around frequently or experienced mistreatment frequently develop separation anxiety. Also, when their favourite person is absent, cats often experience separation anxiety. In this regard, cats and their families may experience a range of negative behaviours as a result of this stress.
Trauma - Anxiety in cats can also result from traumatic experiences that adversely disturb their mental health. Even if your cat was adopted and appears to be in good health, anything could quickly remind them of a traumatic experience from the past and cause anxiety. The likelihood of anxiety is higher in abandoned cats, but other stressful life events can increase the risk.
Changes in Environment - If you relocate and your cat suddenly adopts a new personality, the reason can be anxiety. Also, stress can be greatly increased by changes in your cat's environment. A new type of litter or a new litter box are examples of simple/minor adjustments that can be made. Besides this, moving to a new house, welcoming a new family member, and adopting a new pet can be other reasons for anxiety.
Inadequate Socialisation - Even though cats are less social than dogs, they shouldn't be kept alone. While they become older, improper socialisation, especially when they're kittens, might cause anxiety. So, no matter how old your new cat is, make sure you play with them and give them ample attention.
How to Introduce Your New Cat to Your Home?
You can introduce your cat to your new home in a phased manner. This way, your cat will get enough time to familiarise themselves with their new abode.
- Your new cat can be kept alone with its own food, drink, litter box, bedding, and toys.
- Bring familiar items from the adoption place to make the separate room smell cosy and "honey" to your new cat.
- If you have other cats in your home, taking this first step enables both cats to grow acquainted with the new cat's scent and sounds without running into the danger of conflict.
- Spend plenty of time with each cat or group of cats one-on-one.
- Keep your cat's carrier in the room open so that he has a hiding spot and can become used to it in preparation for future medical visits. It can be less stressful and challenging to get your cat into the carrier when you need to carry them to the vet or on a trip if you give them time to get used to their carrier.
Giving Your Cat Freedom
- Once all of your indoor cats appear at ease, try slowly relocating the dish closer to the entrance, which can separate them.
- Return to the phase where they feel comfortable and move more slowly if you see any stress or worry.
- Take a rag or blanket and wipe one cat if they are calm. Then place the fabric in the area where the other cats are. Make sure both new and current cats are treated the same way so everyone can smell the cat.
- When the cats are calm and perhaps intrigued, try placing a toy under the door for them to play with.
- You can even combine the fragrances on a single cloth and wipe each cat separately if they are all at ease.
- The time has come to try a brief and secure interaction once your cats are at ease with the above-mentioned methods. Opening the door by a little more than an inch will allow the cats to start interacting while yet keeping them protected.
- Remember to give goodies and soft verbal praise to any cat who exhibits calm behaviour.
- Close the door, retrace your steps, and resume the process more gently if one cat hisses or tries to bite you.
- Your cats may benefit from being occasionally diverted by food.
- The next step is to put your cats in the same room with direct monitoring if they appear at ease in this setting.
- Start quick introductions to increase the likelihood that these experiences will be favourable.
- Remember to be patient, backtrack if necessary, and reintroduce gently.
- Get in touch with your veterinarian if you have any questions.
- Remember that even when your cats have successfully adjusted, they still require their resources, which are frequently located in distinct places, such as food, water, beds, and litter boxes.
Even if you don't already have any cats, welcoming a new one into your home might be stressful. He will be more prone to explore and push the limits as your new feline friend grows more quickly. Always look about your house for potential dangers, such as poisonous plants, heavy curtains, fireplaces, breakable items, etc. So, this article about how to make a cat comfortable in a new place will make your life easier by bringing a new cat.