National Cat Day is on October 29th, which makes it the perfect time to think about adopting a new cat. Once you make that big decision, you also have to think about how you'll welcome a new cat into your home because there is a lot you need to know!
Cat-proofing the house
If you don’t already have a cat living in your house, you may need to get your home cat-proofed. Cats like to wreck things! Put away anything you don’t want cat paws to destroy. Some cats aren’t into tearing up your stuff, only the things you give them, but until you know, breakables and knick-knacks might need to be put away.
Other things to consider:
- Be sure your cat’s indoor jungle is filled with cat-safe houseplants.
- Cleaning products and chemicals should be securely locked away. This goes for prescription drugs too.
- Hair ties to paper clips, cats are attracted to small items they can bat around. But these small items can be choking hazards for cats.
- Make sure windows and doors leading outside are secure against cat tampering.
Set up a small, safe space
By giving cats just a small space to first explore, you can hopefully avoid sending a kitty into a major tizzy induced by overstimulation from a new place. Be sure to include a box and blankets so your cat can hide if they feel overwhelmed.
If you happen to be bringing a new cat into a house where cats already live, an isolated safe room is a must. The separation allows everyone time for an adjustment to a new dynamic. But by keeping the cats apart, they can first learn the scents of their new family member from a distance.
Supplies to Have at Home
- Food: From kitten to senior cat, there are foods on the market for all the stages in a cat’s life.
- Food & Water Bowls: Stainless steel seems to be the ideal material for food and water dishes. But the material choice may be the easiest part of choosing the right bowls!
- Litter & Litter Pan: This seems simple, but litter boxes are extremely important to cats. As creatures ruled by territorial instincts, having their own space to go demands clean litter and a box to themselves. A good rule of thumb to avoid litter box woes, keep one litter pan per cat. If you can throw in an extra, that’s even better.
- Toys: Cats need stimulation, and by playing, they not only get the mental charge they need, but it’s an excellent way to bond with your new cat.
- Scratching Posts: Cats scratch to keep new nails in check, stretch their muscles and mark territory. For a cat in a new space, establishing territory, even if just a scratching post, does wonders to help her feel a little more settled.
- Boxes & Beds: Cats love boxes for security and napping. Add a blanket, and you’ve created homemade comfort. But don’t hold back on a fancy bed. Cats do enjoy multiple sleeping spots.
- Treats: Of course, you need to have treats for the new fur baby.
- Feline First-Aid Kit: Kits can be purchased, or you can build one yourself using this list of items to include in your cat’s first-aid kit.
- Emergency Prep Kit: Disaster strikes when we least expect. By being prepared ahead of time, you and your cat can get to safety quicker.
- Cat Carrier: Because cats differ in size and enjoy different levels of adventure, choosing a cat carrier that fits your new cat's needs is a must!