Bringing a new cat or kitten into your home is an extremely exciting and life-changing time for both of you. By taking a little time to plan, you can ensure that you and your new furry friend have the time of your lives, together.
Creating a Comfortable and Healthy Home for Your Cat
Before bringing your cat home, prepare a quiet, secure room where they can get used to the sounds and smells of their new home. Ideally, the room will include a comfy place to sleep, food, water, a litter box, some toys, and a couple of places to hide as they may be a little nervous at first. They will likely, in time, want to explore. Gradually allow access to other areas of the home and let them explore at their own pace.
Feed your cat a balanced, age-appropriate diet, following your veterinarian’s recommendations, and always have fresh water available in a clean bowl. Some cats love drinking running water from a tap or pet water fountain, so you may try these as well. A well-fed and hydrated kitty is a happy kitty!
Routine is Awesome
Cats thrive on routine, so try to establish consistent feeding, play, and grooming times. This predictability will help your new pet feel secure and comfortable in their new home.
Help Them Love the Litter Box
Cats can be picky creatures and appreciate a clean litter box. Scoop waste daily and change the litter completely at least once a week. Place the litter box in a quiet, always accessible location away from food and water. Should you notice that they stop using the litterbox or are defecating or urinating outside of the litterbox, consult with your veterinarian to ensure no medical conditions are at play.
While cats are superb natural groomers, regular grooming by you will help prevent hairballs, matting, excessive shedding and maintain a healthy coat. Most cats will love a good brushing once per week, and many have no issues having their claws trimmed too.
Play provides much-needed physical and mental exercise and stimulation for your cat. Chasing down toys and batting them around the room (and eventually under the couch, inevitably!) allows your pet to engage in their natural behaviours of hunting and stalking. Be sure to have plenty of toys for them, including a few that you participate with as well, such as cat wands. This will help build your relationship and trust. Be sure to let your cat capture the toy occasionally so they do not lose interest.
What to Scratch?
Cats have a natural need to scratch. When doing so, they stretch out their muscles, shed old claw material and mark their territory. Always place a couple of scratchers or cat trees where they are allowed to scratch and encourage them to do so. If you do not, they will find a place on their own, and it will likely be your couch or easy chair! In addition, cats love to climb and perch to observe their cat-dom from above. A nice cat tree with a place to rest or snooze is always a great idea.
A post-adoption veterinary exam is included with each adoption at the Regina Humane Society. Be sure to schedule your appointment soon after adoption to establish a baseline of your cat’s health and address any potential issues. Regular check-ups, vaccinations, and preventive care are essential for maintaining your cat’s well-being.
Spaying or Neutering
Each feline adoption at the RHS includes spay/neuter surgery to help prevent overpopulation, reduce the risk of certain health problems, and improve your cat’s behaviour. If you adopt or bring a pet into your home that is not sterilized, ensure that you consult with your veterinarian about having the surgery done as soon as is possible. Sadly, there are more pets than there are homes for them in our community, and bringing more litters into the world contributes to animal suffering and neglect.
Taking care of a newly adopted cat requires patience, love, and attention to their needs. By providing a safe and comfortable environment, proper nutrition, regular grooming, and engaging activities, you’ll set the foundation for a happy, healthy life together.
To see all available pets at the RHS, please click here.