Tips for the First 30 Days of Cat Adoption

June 17, 2014

Warmer weather brings kitten season, which is why The American Humane Association has designated June as Adopt-A-Cat-Month. Thousands of cats and kittens will be looking for a forever home not only for the month of June, but all year long. Start off on the right foot by being well-prepared for your furry new arrival by avoiding the rocky adjustment period and getting right down to the lovin’!

Make sure everyone in the house is prepared for a new cat. Visiting the shelter or animal control facility should be a family affair.  When adopting a new cat to join your existing pets, discuss with the adoption facility or your veterinarian how to make a proper introduction.

Spend time with a few kitties to determine which will be a good fit.  Ask to take the cat or kitten out of its cage and find an area at the shelter where you can spend some time with her.  Remember that animals in shelters can be nervous around new noises and smells so be prepared for the cat to take a little while to warm up to you.  Although, some cats are so friendly that they may begin bonding with you the moment they meet you!  Spending time petting and talking to the cat or kitten should give you insight into its personality to help you decide if it’s a good fit.

Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives.  Try to create a “homelike” environment for your new cat right away.  You’ll need: a litter box, litter, food, treats and water bowls,  scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a cushy bed, a brush for grooming, a toothbrush, and nail clippers.

Kitten-proof Your Home. Kittens can get tangled or choked by anything swinging or hanging.  Keep your new pet safe by securely anchoring drape or blind cords out of reach. To prevent chewing on electric and phone cords, bundle them with a cord manager and fasten away from kittens’ reach.  Rubber bands, jewelry, Christmas decorations, balloons and other small items are dangerous to kittens that may swallow them.  Remove poisonous plants and roach or ant traps and make sure the toilet lid is down.  Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinets closed so your kitten doesn’t encounter bleach, detergent, dental floss and other household items when exploring.  In the laundry area, keep washer and dryer doors closed: A kitten may climb into a warm dryer for a nap.  Remember, if something would be harmful for a toddler, it’s potentially harmful for your kitten.Do see a vet ASAP.  Kittens seem indestructible, but can get sick easily.  A vet’s early diagnosis improves the chances of a speedy recovery.  Screening tests, preventive care,  vaccinations, flea prevention and worm medications, save lives and ensure that your kitten grows to healthy adulthood.

Slowly Introduce Other Family Members.  Everyone in the family will be anxious to get to know the new cat but she may not be ready to have several unfamiliar people crowded in her sanctuary room (a room you designate as her safe zone before letting her free into the rest of the house).  Do individual introductions slowly and see how she responds.  If she’s hiding and seems nervous, back off and let her gain confidence in her new surroundings.  There will be plenty of time later to make formal introductions.

Have you recently introduced a newly adopted cat or kitten into your home? Tell us about it @fetchpetcare

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