If you’re one of the many people who welcomed a new furry friend to your family this holiday season, you might find yourself wondering how you can make your new cat feel welcome and comfortable in his or her new forever home. You’re in luck, my friends because I happen to have a lot of experience in this area! In fact, I welcomed TWO new kitties to my home this year: Zoe and Alex (aka Little Fuzz Fuzz, pictured above).
Our good friends at Church and Dwight shared some of their favorite tips for making your new cat feel welcome, and I’m going to add my thoughts to those tips. So let’s check them out!
Tips for Welcoming Home a New Cat
Let them hide
Cats love to sneak away to a favourite spot, especially when they are still weary of their new surroundings. Creating areas for your new cat to hide out by moving your couch out from the wall a few inches or pulling your bed covers down until they hit the floor is ideal so your cat can enjoy some alone time. Boxes are also a great hiding place! Zoe is in love with delivery people because she knows they bring more boxes for her to play in. I always leave a few out around the house as hiding spots. You can flip them upside down and cut out little openings if you want to add an extra layer of security. Don’t be surprised if you find your cat hiding in odd spots! Zoe scared me one night when she popped out of my son’s empty popcorn bucket! Needless to say, it’s Zoe’s popcorn bucket now!
Stock the pantry
You’ll want to stock up on a few necessities before bringing your new cat home, but don’t go nuts. Certain things like bowls, the litter box, and litter can be bought ahead of time. Grab SOME food, but do not buy out the store. Trust me on this. If you buy 100 cans of turkey, your cat will be a fish eater. Buy fish, he’ll turn up his nose at it! Also, just when you think you’ve figured out exactly what flavors your cat loves, he’ll change his mind. So as far as food goes, opt for quality, but don’t go overboard stocking up on one flavor.
Everyone in the family deserves a little privacy, and your cat is no different! Make sure you place the litter box in a quiet spot and away from your cat’s eating station. A litter box lined with 3-4 inches of Arm & Hammer ™ Clump & Seal ™ litter is a must have for a 7-day odour-free home—guaranteed. Cats are pretty good at learning to use the litter box quickly, just make sure you show him where it is a few time. Alex was a feral kitten living outside until we got him checked out and rescued him. It only took a few days for him to learn to use the litter box.
Lighten the load
Your groceries are heavy enough to load out of the car, now Arm & Hammer ™ Clump & Seal™ LightWeight litter contains the same amount of uses as our regular clumping litter, at half the weight, so you won’t need to worry about lugging heavy litter around with you. This is such a major back saver!
Prepare for playtime
Having different types of toys on hand is a great way to engage with your cat and determine his or her play habits. A scratching post is also essential—cats need to wear down their nails, so be sure to have this in place or your furniture will see the result. You may need to show your kitten how to use it a few times. Zoe caught right on. Alex was used to having a whole world as his scratching post, so he needed a little prompting. He also needed to learn to play with toys, so if you are adopting a feral, give him time to adjust to life as a domestic kitty. Now, you’d never know that Little Fuzz Fuzz spent his first eight weeks as a wild cat.
Spend some quality time together
In the beginning, visit with your cat frequently but for short periods of time. Visiting can mean interacting directly with your new cat in the form of play or petting, or quietly reading a book or chatting on the telephone in the same space as your new companion. Don’t force your cat to sit with you. Rather, make yourself available to your kitty so she can come to you. Alex is a cuddler, but Zoe is fiercely independent. Cuddle time is on her terms and only for short bursts of time with her humans. She likes to interact with us more through play. She’ll spend hours cuddling with Alex, she’s a good big sister!
Soon enough, your new cat will feel like a welcome part of the family and start interacting on a regular basis. Cats bring such joy to the home with their zany antics!
This post is brought to you by Church & Dwight. All opinions are our own.