Bringing your new cat home
Next steps for making your new cat feel comfortable.
What to do when you bring a new cat home
1. Create less change. And more comfort.
Help your cat adjust to new surroundings by keeping some consistency between homes. Bringing belongings from the old home, like a blanket or toy, provides a familiar scent that can be soothing. And continue to use the same cat food he's accustomed to eating, at least until your new pet has a chance to settle in.
2. Give them a room of their own
If you have the space, provide your new cat with a room that’s away from other pets and people. This way they can comfortably explore a small area before being introduced to the larger house. And any resident cats can investigate the new addition safely through the door—allowing them time to get used to having another pet in the home.
3. Get to know each other
Be sure to spend plenty of one-on-one time with your new cat throughout the day so they can become accustomed to your voice and scent. Sit on the floor and allow them to take the time they need to investigate, but keep the visits short during the first few days to avoid overstimulation.
4. Slowly introduce the whole family
Once your cat has adjusted to life in his new home, introduce him to other family members, one at a time. It's a good idea to give your cat pieces of a towel or T-shirt, each with the scent of a family member on it, so that he will begin to know each person's scent.
5. Teach your kids about cats
If this is the first cat in your home, prepare your kids for the change. Talk to them about how a cat should be handled, then lead by example. Use a quiet voice and soft touch when handling your cat—and instruct your kids to do the same. Explain that cats don't always like to be squeezed or hugged and remind your children that slow and steady is the best way of petting their new pet.