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Help! I Just Brought Home A Cat! | BetterVet

Congratulations, you have just welcomed a furry feline into your life! Cats are wonderful pets, and can be frisky, loving, silly, goofy, aloof, clingy, loud, shy, and everything in between! Getting to know your cat is the first and most important step when welcoming a new cat into your home. We’ve put together a list of the most helpful tips for acclimating your new feline into his or her new life with you.

1. Health is Wealth

We always recommend scheduling a first veterinary appointment shortly after your new cat or kitten has arrived in your home. Most shelters and rescues will test for diseases such as feline leukemia (FELV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), but if not, we will also be able to submit testing. If you have other cats in your home and do not know if your new addition has been tested for infectious diseases, including intestinal parasites, we recommend keeping your new family member isolated until test results are obtained to prevent any transmission of disease.

2. Your House, Their Rules

Cats can be nervous in a new environment and may prefer to navigate at their own pace. To support your new cat or kitten’s comfort, consider slowly introducing him or her to your home. Keeping your new addition in one room for a few days can help create a smooth transition. As long as he or she has a clean litter box, food, and water available, your kitty will be just fine for a few days.

Pro-Tip: If your new cat wants to stay hidden, try sitting in a quiet room where he or she likes to hide while reading a book or listening to music with headphones. Don’t stay for longer than 30 minutes, and if your kitty doesn’t venture out, leave the room and try again later. You can gradually increase your presence and slowly your feline friend will become more and more comfortable with you. Be patient!

3. Grant Access Slowly

That being said, it is still YOUR home! Limit your new cat to smaller sections of your home at first so as not to be too overwhelming. Large, new spaces can be stressful for pets. By sectioning off areas for your feline friend to explore, he or she will feel more comfortable. Similarly, try to slowly introduce other family members and friends to your new kitty as they, too, can be overwhelming and overstimulating for your new companion. Slow and steady wins the race with cats, but the love and connection shared between cat and cat-parent is so worth the wait!

After your cat has had a few days to adjust to your home, a veterinary visit is a great next step to look for any underlying medical conditions, infectious diseases, etc. Your BetterVet team will be ready to provide excellent care for your new family member.

Moving is stressful for both people and pets alike! New spaces, smells, people and routines take time to adjust and acclimate to. Cats make wonderful companions, and just like their pet parents, require love, patience and attentive care in order to live their most fulfilling, happy lives. We hope these tips can help you and your new feline friend adjust to your new lives together smoothly, and know that the BetterVet team is there to help lend a hand, or paw, whenever and wherever any turbulence arises!