So, you’ve finally found the (feline) love of your life and now it’s time to bring them home. Right now you’re feeling excited and happy about this new little furry being coming to share your life, but you’ve probably got some questions too. To help you settle your new cat into their home, here are my five top tips to prepare for their arrival.
- Designate one room for your new cat. Your cat is going to be unsettled and possibly scared, so letting have the run of the house as soon as you get them home could result in them bolting under the nearest wardrobe and not being seen for days. Keeping them to one room for a couple of days will give them a chance to explore their new surroundings without feeling overwhelmed. After this time, you can slowly introduce them to the rest of the house as they gain confidence.
- Ensure that every single window and door in your home is securely closed. Cats can flatten themselves into wafer-thin creatures if they want to, and they can (and do) get out of/into the tiniest of gaps. When you bring your new cat home it will have no concept of you being its new owner, or your home being its new territory – it can easily bolt out of an open window or door, never to be seen again.
- Check the designated room for potential hazards that could harm your cat – are there any loose wires, pulleys for blinds, dangerous substances, items that could fall from a height, plants that are poisonous to cats, sharp items? Look at your room objectively and identify anything that could harm your cat. Cats are curious and they don’t understand what could be dangerous to them, and kittens are particularly vulnerable to accidents in the home caused by seemingly innocent items.
- Buy the biggest litter tray you can, and fill it with “sandy” litter (see separate article, “Top tips for cat toileting to make your pet (and you) happy”). Make sure that the litter tray is kept well away from the food and water stations – after all, who wants to eat and drink near their loo?
- Prepare a purrfect feeding station by buying some wide ceramic bowls. Cats prefer large food and water bowls that allow their whiskers space to not touch the sides. I recommend buying ceramic bowls as they are more hygienic than plastic and cats like the feel of it. Placing the water bowl in a separate location to the food bowl will encourage your cat to drink more water. Oh – another thing – always give your cat water, not milk. Cats are lactose-intolerant!