Bringing home a pet cat is one of the most exciting days for you and your family! Whether it’s a rambunctious hunter or a cute and affectionate lap cat (or a mix!) it’s a big change, and it comes with questions and challenges as well as excitement. Today we’re taking a look at some of the things you need to do in the early days with a new cat to help make sure it’s safe, healthy and happy in its new home.
Setting up a Cat Room
If you have space, it’s a good idea to set up a room for your cat to be in for at least its first few days with you. You’ll need a litter tray, a feeding station (as far from the litter tray as possible), and a selection of places to rest – ideally at different heights, so your cat can climb and explore, and choose somewhere comfortable where they feel safe.
This will give your cat somewhere they can easily make into their territory: somewhere that’s secure and comforting for them to be. You need to respect your cat while they’re in there: let them come to you and don’t pet them aggressively. Even as they gain confidence and start to explore the house more widely, they might need to retreat to this room for privacy and safety.
Common Health Problems
Do some research so you’re ready for common health problems your cat might encounter. The most frequently encountered symptoms are rarely serious, but it’s well worth learning what to feed a cat with diarrhea and vomiting, for example, and which symptoms really do need a trip to the vet.
It’s well worth registering with your local vet early on, and building a good relationship with them. First time cat owners are often nervous and in need of reassurance in the early days, and the vet is the place you’ll be going to get it!
Letting Them Out
If you’re intending to let your cat out (and it’s more than possible to keep yours as an indoor cat, though you’ll need to put in the extra work to provide the enrichment and stimulation they’d normally get from the outside world), then you’ll need to prepare.
Most authorities recommend keeping your cat indoors for four to six weeks before letting them out for the first time in a new home – whether the cat is new to you or if you’ve moved house). This allows them to get used to their new environment and really recognise it as the home they should return to for food and safety.