Cat in the house – how to take care of a new household member?

A new cat at home is not only fun, but also quite a dose of stage fright. Most of the new caregivers want to provide their mentee with the best possible conditions. The new environment is a lot of stress for a cat, so it is worth getting well prepared for his arrival. In this way, you will make adaptation to a new environment much easier for him. Read our article to plan everything right!

Cats in the house – two or one?

The age of caretakers wonders whether to adopt one cat or decide on two. In the case of kittens, many foundations and even shelters spend them in new homes only in pairs. The exception is when a purring pet already lives in the house. Where do such requirements come from?

Why does a cat at home need companionship?

Contrary to popular belief, cats are social animals that often live in groups and build multi-level relationships with other representatives of their species. The presence of a second cat in the house is especially important in the case of feline orphans who did not have a chance to undergo full socialization under the watchful eye of their mother. By living with their mother and siblings, small cats learn, among other things:

  • pain border in scratching and biting;
  • communication within one’s own species;
  • mechanisms of coping with stress.

Even the most devoted man cannot replace them. On the other hand, the presence of a second adult cat, or at least one of its age, may help.

So, is it possible to get one kitten? If he had the chance to spend the first twelve weeks of his life with his mother and siblings – there are no obstacles. It is better to adopt orphans in pairs or for the so-called “retirement”.

Little kitten at home – what age should it be?

Unfortunately, it is very common practice to bring two-month-old cats to a new home. This is due to the fact that such animals are already relatively independent – they eat solid food, are curious and use a litter box. The aforementioned two-month period is, however, associated with dogs. Puppies can actually (and even should) be returned to their new homes at the age of two months.

The cat at home should not appear too soon

If you want a small cat in your home to become a well-formed pet, you need an additional four weeks.

If you decide to get a well-bred cat, you will certainly receive this information from the breeder. When adopting a kitten that has a chance to stay with its mother until she is twelve weeks old, do not take her away sooner. Separation too early often results in behavioral problems in the future.

A cat in a new home – give him a quiet place

A cat’s first days at home are a very stressful time for him. Toddlers usually adapt better to a new place than adult cats, but for them also a change of environment is a great experience. That is why calmness and patience on your part will be crucial in the first days with a new household member. Here are some important tips:

  1. If possible, give the new household member a separate room in which there is relative peace. Many pets’ first reaction is to hide, so it’s a good idea to equip your room with a cat booth. However, it is more likely that the pet will choose a space under the bed, behind a sandwich or under a bookcase as a hiding place.
  2. Do not interfere, do not try to force him out or quickly block the entrance to the hideout. The space in which the cat at home feels safe is very important and in the near future it will be a starting point for other parts of the new interior.
  3. Be sure to leave the bowls of water and food in a place where the cat has access. Don’t worry if he doesn’t want to eat in front of you. This is perfectly normal.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to answer the question of how long a cat will get used to in a new home. Some animals take several hours to acclimatize, others take several weeks to fully acclimatize, and in extreme cases even several months.

Kitten at home – what layette to prepare?

Shopping for a new family member is always a very exciting time. What do you absolutely need to stock up on? The following will be indispensable:

  • cups – if possible, choose the shallow ones. Flat plates will work well. Deeper bowls irritate the cat’s whiskers, which causes discomfort.
  • drinker – cats are not fans of drinking water, which unfortunately leads to many health problems. Running water is most eagerly consumed, so you should opt for a cat fountain;
  • scratchers – it’s good to choose two, i.e. horizontal and vertical. A vertical cat scratcher in your home should be tall and stable enough to allow your pet to stretch its spine. A well-profiled horizontal scratcher will be a great lair;
  • litter box – some cats prefer covered litter boxes, while others prefer open litter boxes. Ask the breeder or temporary guardian what litter box the pet used in its previous place of residence. If you do not have access to such information, buy the simplest model first, so that it can be easily replaced if necessary;
  • cat litter – small cats prefer soft litter because the pads of their paws are very delicate. At the beginning, bentonite litter with a neutral smell will work well;
  • toys – should be as diverse as possible. Over time, you will find out which one your pet likes the most. For small cats, it is worth buying distance toys (especially fishing rods) that will protect your hands from scratching and help eliminate the bad habits of the pet from the previous house.

A new kitty in the house and a resident

Many owners wonder how a new cat in the house will react to the presence of a resident and vice versa. If a purring tenant already lives in your home, then you need to be careful when introducing a new household member.

Cats are territorial animals that usually do not tolerate the appearance of foreign animals in their surroundings. A bad first impression, however, is very difficult to erase.

Cat in the house – what is socialization with isolation?

The most effective method of getting to know cats with each other at home, recommended by behaviorists and breeders, is so-called socialization with isolation. Its pillar is the initial isolation of the new household member from the resident. For this you need a free room – even a bathroom. Animals should not be able to see each other.

The next steps are:

  • transferring the scent of one animal to another by stroking;
  • exchange of rooms. The resident is allowed into the new cat’s room while the cat explores the rest of the house;
  • placing the food bowl on either side of the door so that the cats eat together without seeing each other;
  • face to face meeting.

A new cat in the house must gradually get used to the current tenant and vice versa. Unfortunately, it is impossible to say how long each stage of socialization with isolation should last, as it is a very individual matter. Watch the animals’ reactions and consult a behaviorist if necessary.
Having a new cat at home is a lot of fun, but also a lot of challenges. The decision to adopt a pet must be carefully considered, and at the same time plan everything to ensure as much comfort and safety as possible. If you do, you can come back to our article, which will surely help you sort out the important issues.