Before letting your cat out of the pet carrier make sure the cat flap is locked, it is also advisable to place something heavy in front of it so your cat doesn`t know it is there, if determined enough to get out he could easily manage to break through it. Check all windows and doors are closed securely cats can get out of the tiniest openings if they have a mind to. Please make sure that your family and friends are aware of a new cat in the home as given the chance they will take any opportunity to get outside. Let your cat come out if it's carrier on his own, do not attempt to pull cat out of carrier.
The first few hours after bringing your cat home can really affect how well he accepts his new life. First and foremost be prepared to be patient and never attempt to rush your cat into doing things he may not be ready for, give him plenty of time to adjust.
Leave your cat alone in the room you have set aside for him for a while, this will give him chance to explore and to settle. When you go in the room get down on his level, hold out a hand and call his name, let him come to you. If he chooses to hide just sit nearby and talk gently in low tones. A timid or shy cat may not want to come out and eat, ensure his food and water is placed as near to him as possible.
Let your cat get used to new areas of the house slowly and introduce other pets gradually so not to overwhelm. Read our guides on introducing cats to cat/dogs for more information.
Until your cat is completely confident and settled with you it is advisable if you:
Do not try picking your cat up or carrying him around (even the most sociable of cats do not always enjoy being picked up)
Do not try grooming him
Do not leave unattended with existing cats or dogs until completely sure they are ok with each other
Above all please give your new cat TIME. Do not expect to see immediate results, whilst some cats may only take hours to settle most take days, weeks or even months.
Keeping your new cat in…..
Do not let your cat out for at least 3-4 weeks (even if you think they have settled in well) if you do it is likely you will never see them again!!! If you have adopted a timid or nervous cat you may need to keep them in for longer than this. Kittens due to their size and vulnerability should also be kept in for a longer period of time and only let out unsupervised when they are at least 6 months old and neutered.