Taking your cat home and getting them settled

So, you’ve finally found the furry feline for you and you’ve booked in to come and collect them. You may be really excited to get them home and start making memories, but it can be quite overwhelming for the cat to begin with – especially after already moving once into our care.

Fear not, there are a number of things that you can do to keep make the transition from their temporary home in the Adoption Centre, to their forever home at your place, easier.

Once you’ve chosen your cat, you can bring in a small blanket from home that we can place in the cat’s pen. Cats rely heavily on scent and having something that smells of your home will begin to get them familiar with it before they’re even there.

We also give you a small knitted blanket to take home with your cat which will ahve their scent on. Keep the blanket with them when travelling home as this can help to reduce the stress of travelling.

The first few hours at home need to be calm so that your cat feels safe and secure. Give them a designated room that is quiet and isn’t one of the busier rooms in your house. It’s really important not to overwhelm their senses, so give them an hour or so (or perhaps overnight) to settle in the room alone. This way they can explore at their own pace.

 

The room should include:

o   an area for food and a separate one for water

o   at least one litter tray placed as far away as possible from their food and water in a private location

o   a place to hide – perhaps a cardboard box or a snuggly bed somewhere cosy

o   access to a high spot. Cat perches are great for cats that like to climb but a cardboard box on a sturdy shelf is just as good

o   a suitable place to sleep

o   a scratching post

o   a few cat toys to allow them to play.

 

Once they have spent some time alone in the room, you can start to pop in and say hello. Call their name and come down to their level. Always wait for them to approach you and perhaps use a toy or some treats to get their attention. Doing this regularly will begin to get them used to you.

 This is so they can get comfortable with the household sounds and smells but at a pace that is comfortable for them. Please don’t be alarmed if your cat hides, especially if they are shy, they will come round soon. We recommend keeping your cat in for  four to six weeks before letting them explore the outside world. 

For more advice on bringing your new cat home, introducing it to your family or other pets and then letting it outside, check out more of our guidance here: https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/home-and-environment/bringing-a-cat-home