Congratulations on adopting a rescued cat or kitten! Sharing your home with a kitty can bring many years of enjoyment and companionship. The first few hours (and days) after bringing your cat home can affect how well s/he settles in. It’s important to remember is that your new cat is dealing with a lot of change when being introduced to your home – new people, new routine, possibly new animals, and, perhaps most importantly, new territory. First and foremost be prepared to be patient and to not rush things. The printable guidelines are designed to try to ensure that the introduction to your home goes as smoothly as possible.
Keep your cat in a separate room to begin with so that s/he can start to feel safe and get used to the new surroundings. Choose a small, secure room for your new cat, even if it is a bathroom. S/he will feel safer in a small room rather than in a large one. If you provide a big room to start with s/he will probably squeeze himself into a small space anyway. The room should not have a door that leads directly outside the house.
- Cat-proof the room:
- Remove breakables
- Remove or lock away medications, cleaning materials, and other chemicals
- Ensure that the windows are locked or securely screened
- Remove items such as hair ties, dental floss, or rubber bands that can be possible choking hazards
- Keep the toilet seat down
- Keep cords to blinds out of reach (these can strangle cats)
- Hide or bundle electrical cords that kittens might be tempted to chew
- Remove plants that are poisonous to cats (check online at The Humane Society for a list of common house plants that are a danger to cats)
The most important part of introducing a new cat to other cats in the household is not to rush the process. Take it slowly. Introducing cats to each other too quickly could cause a lasting bad impression that can be difficult to overcome. Many people assume that if their current cat has lived with another cat in the past, then everything will be fine when a new cat is introduced. However, this is not necessarily the case and it’s best to give the current cat time to adjust to the change.
Please review and print our New Cat Guidelines for more detailed information and links to resources about preparing for a new cat or kitten.