How to Help Your New Cat Feel Welcomed in Your Home

Family welcoming new cat in home

Getting Your New Cat Accustomed to Your Home

Will you be adding a cat or kitten to your household soon? Adjusting to a new home can be a little overwhelming for your pet. Following these tips may make the adjustment process much easier.

Create a Safe Haven for Your Pet

You'd probably feel a little nervous if you suddenly found yourself living in an unfamiliar home with people you'd just met. Your cat or kitten may feel the same way.

Help your cat adapt to its new surroundings by placing it in a quiet room for the first few days. Add a litter box, a few toys, food, and water to the room. (Place the litter box at the opposite end of the room from the food and water dishes.)

Spending time in one room will give your pet time to adjust to the sounds and smells of your home. Pay occasional visits to the room but don't force your pet to interact with you. Some cats and kittens may feel more comfortable hiding under a piece of furniture during visits from new family members at first. As your cat or kitten grows accustomed to you, it will soon venture out from its hiding place.

Gradually Introduce Your Cat to Your Other Pets

Confining your pet to one room initially may also make it easier for your new and older pets to get to know each other from a distance. The addition of a new cat may make other animals feel territorial, which can spark fights. Separating your new addition prevents territory issues while allowing your other pets to gradually become accustomed to each other.

The Humane Society of the United States suggests feeding your new pet and your old pets on either side of the door to help both pets adjust to new smells. You can also rub a towel over your new pet, then let your other pets sniff it.

When you finally introduce your pets, be prepared to separate them if either of them appears agitated or aggressive. Make the first getting-to-know-you session brief, then gradually extend the amount of time the pets spend together if everything goes well.

Make Play Part of the Adjustment Process

Play sessions may make it easier for timid cats to feel comfortable interacting with you or other family members. Toys also provide a distraction when you're introducing pets to each other and may help reduce aggression. Kitty fishing rods, laser pointers, and other toys give your pets something to do while they're in the same room. Make sure each pet has its own toy to avoid problems.

Teach Your Children How to Interact with Your Cat

Show young children how to touch your cat gently and recognize signs that your pet no longer welcomes the attention. (Tail swishing, hissing, or trying to get away are clear signs that the petting session is over.) Go over a few ground rules, such as no pulling the cat's tail or touching or picking up the pet while it's eating or sleeping.

If your child will be participating in the cat's care, keep in mind that it's ultimately your responsibility to make sure that the pet's needs are met. If your cat's water dish is empty or the litter box is overflowing, it's time for you to step in.

Give Your Pet a Tour

Once your cat has access to your entire home, show it where it can find the litter box and food and water dishes. If your new addition is a kitten or an elderly cat, it may be a good idea to place a litter box on every level of your home to prevent accidents.

Make Your Cat's Health a Priority

New cats or kittens should see the veterinarian within a week or two of their arrival at your home. Your veterinarian will look for signs of conditions or diseases that could affect your pet's health and recommend immunizations that will prevent serious illnesses, like rabies and feline distemper.

Have you recently added a new cat to your home? We can help you care for your furry friend's health. Contact us to schedule your new pet's first appointment.

Sources:

Humane Society of the United States: Introducing Your New Cat to Other Pets

Paws: Helping Your Cat Adjust to a New Home

Petfinder: Tips for the First 30 Days of Cat Adoption

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Ocean Animal Clinic of Santa Cruz

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

The Cat Clinic of Santa Cruz

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-2:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "My well loved dog, Bella, was well taken care of with gentleness and excellent care. She is so much healthier after her dental treatment. I highly recommend Dr. Hall and his staff. They truly care and have exceptional communication regarding the recommended and provided care."
    Catherine
  • "Our little dog needed extractions. We found the Ocean Animal Clinic and Dr. Hall. They took fabulous care of him -- even including a nail clipping and ear check. Both the vet and the staff were open and transparent. The surgeon was top notch and the staff really cared about our dog and us. Our little guy bounced back quickly. All this for a lot less money than we feared as well. Highly recommended!"
    Terra
  • "Dr. Hall and the staff at Ocean Animal Clinic are truly unique. Most vets are compassionate but always peddling unnecessary expensive services and drugs. Dr. Hall is compassionate, direct and alternative. He really seems to be in tune with the animals.

    My baby, Harry, is ill and his prognosis is not what a mother wants to hear. But, Dr. Hall was so good with him and also our girl Roxy.

    Just a truly decent, loving Vet. Thank you."
    Jennifer
  • "The Ocean Animal Clinic staff have been caring for my adult turtles since 2011 and I cannot imagine trusting another veterinarian with their care. As a college student he was able to help me find ways to improve the care I provided my pets and his payment options (accepts CareCredit!) helped ensure that my pets received the medical attention they needed on time.

    I consider Ocean Animal Clinic a part of my family and would recommend their services to anyone without hesitation.

    Thank you, OAC!"
    Alejandra