So, you have finally decided that your house can host one more tennant – and it will be a furry one! You’re ready to have a new cat at home.
First off, congratulations are in order – caring for a living thing is a responsible task.
Second, are you feeling a bit nervous? If it’s your first pet (and even if it isn’t), the whole situation can feel a bit overwhelming. You need to learn so much, prepare so many things, cat-proof the apartment, warn the neighbors… We’ll be here every step of the way – look no further than our complete guide here.
Before you get your cat
There are a couple of things you should make sure you take care of even before the cat sets paw in your place.
Make sure everyone at home is on the same page
You didn’t accidentally miss to tell your significant other that you’re getting a cat? Good! But there is more to it.
If you’re living with children, they’re probably thrilled at the perspective they will have a furry friend at home. Talk to them and prepare them to be patient, especially during the first days when the animal is in the house. Tell them your new kitten is stressed in an unfamiliar place and the best way to make it calm is to leave it to explore the house on its own pace – even if that means you don’t see the cat over the first couple of days.
Discuss with your partner what chores caring for a cat entails. There’s nothing worse than getting the animal as a common decision and then ending up as the one taking care of everything. Don’t think anything complicated – you don’t need to draw a wall chart who’s cleaning the kitty litter every week. Just shake on putting the effort together.
If you’re living with flatmates the situation may be a bit different. After all, you won’t be living together forever and you probably will want to keep the cat when you move out. So just state that clearly and be ready to be the main caretaker for the animal. That may mean additional work, but it will be helpful in the long run.
Shopping for the cat
Houses, bowls, food, litter… It all can be a bit overwhelming, which is why we created a checklist you can download and use for your shopping.
Cat proofing your home
Cats are incredibly curious, which means they will try to chew, play with or eat almost every object in your home. Some simple cat proofing will give you the necessary peace of mind. Here are the main points you have to follow:
- Secure any wires around the house by using cable tunnels, clamps, and ties – it is not only safer, it also looks better;
- Stow away small items like jewellery, so that the cat doesn’t swallow or hide them behind some piece of furniture;
- Install secure screens on your windows;
- Make sure trash is not accessible – put the cans in a cabinet or use ones with secure lids;
- Cats like the smell of some cleaning products, so make sure any household chemicals are kept out of reach;
- Same point goes for medicine – best put in a secure cabinet;
- Learn to put leftover food out of reach – even if at first your cat doesn’t seem interested in human food, this will come in a couple of months at most;
- Keep the lids on your toilets down – cats love drinking toilet water just as much as dogs and kittens may fall and not be able to get out on their own.
When you get your cat
So finally, your new friend is in your arms (or, if you’re responsible, a transport cage). What to do now?
Set up a vet visit
Even if you’re getting a grown-up cat or one from a breeding house, it’s still good to set up a vet visit during the first or second week of having it at home. If it’s a stray you’ve adopted, better do it even quicker. The vet will let you know everything about treating your cat against parasites, vaccinations and so on.
Let the cat hide
Once your kitty is at home, it’ll be stressed in the unfamiliar environment. The best way to let it relax is to set up a quiet corner or a room you use less often with everything the cat will need – water, food and cat toilet – and let it spend as much time as it wants there. Once the cat is calm and collected it will come out on its own and start exploring the house.
The time it takes for cats to get accustomed to a new home can vary widely, from just a couple of hours to 3-4 days. It’s common for stressed cats to eat less or not eat at all, puke or get diarrhea. If this condition persists for more than 2 days, make sure to see a doctor.
Let the cat explore
When the cat finally relaxes, it will wish to explore the whole home. The best advice is just to let it find everything out. Cats are naturally curious, so they are always exploring and looking into new places. Your kitty will want to see everything your house has to offer. If there are rooms you don’t want the cat to roam through freely, still escort them there and show them around.
Set up the cat’s amenities
When your cat feels comfortable around your home, you can finally move the food and water bowl and the kitty litter to their long-term locations. Show the cat around, let it know where to find everything. If you live in a big house or apartment, you might want to do this more gradually, so that you don’t confuse the animal. Just move the bowls and litter gradually to their new spots, moving them about once every week.
Cats usually sleep around the house, looking for a comfortable spot to sleep in for their first few months in the house. You’ll start seeing the cat preferring a specific place or places to rest. This is the ideal spot for a cat bed or house. Why would you need a house indoors you ask? Even if it sounds weird, remember that cats like to keep to themselves – so having a place where she can comfortably sleep and chill, away from noise or prying eyes, is essential.
We’ll be more than happy to provide you with the perfect place for your pet, you can just check out our cat houses.
We promise you the whole process is worth it and we are a bit jealous that you will soon be spending your first moments with your new cat. Good luck and let us know how it goes!