Once you decide to adopt a kitten or adult cat from the shelter, you should keep in mind that they are not furry toys but particular individuals with strong personalities and specific needs. Therefore, you should prepare you, your family, and home for the demanding new member.
One more thing! If you have already had a cat in your home, you should count on fighting for territory in the very beginning. Luckily, in most cases, kitties manage to find a common interest and learn to live in the current circumstances over time. I will list here a few ways to prepare your house for a new cat. Let’s do it!
1. Prepare Yourself and Your Kids for a New Cat
If you have never had a cat before, you need to prepare yourself and other members of the family, especially children, for a new cat. All of you need to understand what responsible ownership actually means.
Your new kitten will need companionship, attention, and particular care. On the other hand, you need to teach your new furry friend about your expectations and give it clear rules. Also, let your kids know that cats need tenderness so that any rude behavior can result in injury. Include your children in the cat’s life right away, but supervise them, especially if they are very young.
2. Find a Proven Vet
You will need to vaccinate your new cat, clean it from parasites, and spay or neuter when the time comes. Therefore, one of the first things to do is to look for an excellent vet. Ask your friends and other cat owners for recommendations to make the right choice.
3. Prepare a Safe Room
Before you bring a cat in your home, it is vital to prepare a safe room until it becomes familiar with the sounds and scent of your home. Since everything around is new for your new friend, it will need a place to hide before accepting that your house is its new home.
Equip the safe room with water, food, toys, litter, and scratching post. Come over often, talk to your cat, cuddle it, and offer it treats to build a trust relationship as soon as possible. After a while, your kitty will be prepared to start exploring the rest of your house.
The integration process can last two to four days, but shy kitties may need a few weeks to begin feeling safe and comfortable.
4. Prepare the House
Remove physical hazards
Be prepared that your new cats will be curious, and it will want to explore every corner of the house. Therefore, try to remove every hazard you spot to prevent injuries. Say goodbye to vertical blinds and long drapes with tassels. Also, remove paper clips, dangling cords, rubber bands, and knick-knacks.
Store chemicals in a secure place
Unfortunately, most household chemicals are highly toxic to kitties, including cleaners and pesticides. Make sure to carefully store them out of your cat reach to avoid problems these curious creatures can make.
Get rid of toxic plants
I adore flowers, but I had to get rid of some species once the first cat came to my home. Some plants are highly dangerous and poisonous to kitties, including ivy, aloe, lilies, and irises.
Most cats know what plants to avoid. However, even though two of my furry friends avoid pots with poisonous flowers, my Josephine can’t make a difference. She tries to nibble everything with green leaves. So, be careful!
5. Go Shopping
The appropriate bed
Luckily, cats don’t need too much, and they can sleep on the couch, chair, or even in a cardboard box. However, it is always a better option to prepare the proper bed for your new kitty.
If you are lucky, your cat will love its new bed. Therefore, pick out a washable model with a replaceable cover. In any case, avoid spending too much money on it.
If you get a kitty like mine, this bed will always stay empty. My beauties take a nap on the desk, over the TV or computer, and in the shoebox. In no circumstances, they want to use comfortable pillows and beds arranged all over the house.
Kitten food and treats
It is crucial to provide high-quality food for the adequate development of your kitty. In the very beginning, offer your new friend the same food and treats it has been accustomed in his previous home to avoid digestion problems.
Also, provide your cat with a bowl full of fresh and clean water daily. If it is possible, you should consider purchasing a low-cost cat fountain that recirculates the water.
Even though cats can play with a ball of wool or a piece of paper, it is an excellent idea to purchase a few interactive toys for your new kitten, particularly if it stays alone at the house for hours. You can choose feather dusters, yarns, strings, and jingly toys for a start.
Don’t forget to buy a brush for your kitty for regular brushing, as well as pet claw trimmers or clippers for trimming the nails.
A collar and ID tag
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of an ID tag with the cat’s name and your contact information. It is the only way to help people return your kitty in case it runs away.
Another option is a harness with two loops that prevent your cat from strangling. Also, some owners like to microchip their cats since this device contains all relevant contact information.
To prevent scratching of the carpet or walls, you should provide a scratching post for your cat made of corrugated cardboard, wood, and thick rope.
However, many cats, including mine, will ignore the beautiful and practical scratching post. My babies usually use cardboard boxes and an old car tire in the yard for that purpose.
You will need a litter box, which depth depends on your cat age and size. It needs to be comfortable for entrance and egress. Some kittens need time to adjust to the litter box, so you should consider placing pads around it to prevent accidents.
You should have a carrier in the house in case of an emergency. You will need it to carry your cat to the vet or when you want to travel with it.
If you have never had a cat before, you should get a book about taking care of these cute creatures. Then, get everything you need to ensure that your cat feels safe and comfortable.
However, don’t forget that things are only material goods. For your kitty, it is essential to be loved. Plus, find enough have time to play with your furry friend. That is the only thing that counts.