A 5-Step Guide to First Time Cat Adoption

Adopt a New Kitty? Here Are Some First Time Cat Owner Tips

Adopting a new pet is a big responsibility, especially if you’re a new cat owner. That where reading up on first time cat owner tips comes in handy!

First off, thank you for rescuing an animal. Second, it’s time to get ready to bring your new cat to their furever home! Make a list and hit the pet store for all the kitty essentials!

If you have adopted a cat for the first time, take a look at the following five best practices for taking care of your new furry family member.

1. Before You Bring Your New Cat Home

new cat
pc: PetExpress

Cats are known to be inadequately socialized as kittens, making new interactions with other animals and people pretty scary! Before bringing them home, allow them time at the shelter or adoption center to familiarize themselves with your scent and to brush their scent on you. This will make their introduction of your home less intimidating and more familiar to them.

Also consider preparing a small area in a spare bedroom, bathroom or utility room just for them. Furnish the room with basic cat amenities like cat food, water, cat trees, catnip, clumping cat litter, and a litter box as well as a few extras like scratching posts, toys for playtime and blankets for them to curl up in to escape noise and other distractions.

If you’re bringing a cat to a home that already has house pets, read our post on introducing a dog to your cat.

2. The Ride Home

One of the first things you’re likely to discover about your cat is that they HATE to travel. This makes having a cat carrier for the ride home the safest and most comfortable option. Throw a soft blanket in there to give your new feline friend some extra comfort and snuggles.

3. Their First Moments in Their New Home

Upon entering your home, place their cat carrier on the floor, slowly sit next to the carrier, and open the gate. Let your cat come to you and allow them to become acquainted with you and their new environment on their own time. Don’t force it.

4. Introducing Your Cat to Other Pets

introducing new dog to cats

How does a pet parent introduce a new cat to your dog(s) and have it go well? They don’t have to be instant friends, but you do want to manage safety and keep the stress levels low.

If you’re introducing your dog to his/her new feline sister/brother, Paws.org has some helpful tips as well:

  • Keep your dog confined until the cat feels secure in his/her new surroundings.
  • Introduce them to each other slowly with your dog under control, on a leash.
  • Be aware that adult cats may swat at dogs to set the limits of their relationship.
  • Be sure to give your dog extra attention during this time to keep them from feeling jealous or intimidated by their new family member. We suggest taking them for walks, and having more one-on-one play time to help them feel a little more ruv during this stressful time.
  • Make sure your cat has access to “their room” to retreat to when they get overwhelmed or nervous.

If you have an older cat that has no experience with dogs, they might take a bit longer to adjust to a doggie brother or sister. Give them space and time to adjust.

5. Schedule a Check Up

One of the first things you should do when planning on bringing any pet home is to schedule an initial wellness vet visit. The veterinarian will asses your new cat’s health, talk to you about spaying or neutering, give them a microchip and required vaccinations, and check for any other health problems.

Have a tip for new cat parents that you’d like to share? Leave it in our comment section below or on Facebook!