Making a cat friendly home
As well as love, can you offer a cat the time, space and resources it will need for a stress free life?
Settling a new cat into a home requires a serious amount of time, patience and commitment.
Think cat - looking from the cats perspective will help you to provide what a cat needs, when and how it needs it and importantly at a pace which is comfortable to the new cat. Things can't be rushed, each step taken is an extremely important building block to successful integration into your home and building a strong bond with your new companion.
Before deciding to make a cat a home, please give consideration to the following:
|Time - Is this the right time in your life to own a cat?
|| Settling a new cat in doesn't take a couple of days, a week or even two, it can take several weeks, months and occasionally years. In the first few weeks and months your cat will need much more of your time to help it make sense of its new surroundings and life. Full commitment to building trust and a bond with your new companion in these early days and months are essential for a long and happy life together. You will need to keep a new cat indoors for a minimum of four weeks before it goes outside. A cat is a long term commitment with many living into their twenties.
| Space - Do you have room in your life to own a cat?
|| Can you provide a safe/secure sanctuary room (ideally a spare bedroom) for a new cat to initially settle into at its own pace with all their resources e.g food, water, litter tray, scratch post, toys, places to sleep, get up high and to hide. This provides a new cat the opportunity to build up its own scent around the room which will make it feel more familiar and less threatening. It provides essential time over the first week or more for an owner to bond with a new companion and an opportunity to monitor what they are eating, drinking, using the litter tray, health and behaviour before a gradual introduction to other parts of the house and finally to other pets. (Once they have full run of the house this is the room they are most likely to retreat to whenever they feel threatened or insecure)
| Resources - Can you provide the resources a cat needs to enable it to be itself and exhibit natural behaviours, free from stress?
|| Food, water, a variety of different type toys, litter trays, a choice of places to sleep, hide and get up high. Once a cat is starting to fully integrate into the home conflicts can occur over these valued resources where there are other pets in the home. Providing more than one choice of each resource around the home per cat and an appropriate amount of one to one time with you, will remove the need to compete thus creating harmony.
| What cats need - How to be more cat savvy:
|| Cats Protection has a wide range of leaflets and information sheets to help minimise stress for both new cat and owner during the settling in period and beyond. Whether you have owned several cats before or this would be your first the information available provides essential reading for everyone.
Our education team have put together our Moggy Modules designed to help children learn about how to care for their new feline companion.
If you have owned cats before, challenge what you think you know about cats, you will be surprised by what you only thought you knew. Cats Protection have been caring for cats since 1927 And we're still learning!