Adopting a Cat: Ways to Help Them Settle In

Updated: Dec 26, 2020

The 2020 homeless animal census states that there are approximately 70 million known homeless cats in the United States alone. What better motivation to go and adopt a kitten or even older cat than that fact itself?

When you bring a cat home, don't be too surprised if they do not settle in right away. All cats go through what is called an "adjustment period" when being introduced into their new environment. With that said there are somethings you can do to help make your cat feel more "at home" during this period:

  1. Have a set room for them to associate with first, with plenty of hiding spaces;

  2. Be sure to have a freshly cleaned litter box for your cat (use an unscented natural litter. I recommend Wheat Scoop Original Formula;

  3. Have higher quality food (tailored to the cats health) along with fresh water (I recommend Flower Fountain;

  4. Have some cat scratchers and catnip toys around;

  5. Cat beds, cat trees, and cat perches are always a plus;

Additional things you can do to help you cat become accustomed to their new environment - play some peaceful music or use a cat-calming pheromone (I recommend Feliway Classic Diffuser).

Your cat will let you know when they are ready to explore further outside their safe room. Keep in mind that the initial room should be easily accessible should the cat feel anxious or overwhelmed from further exploration.

As your cat becomes more comfortable you'll want to engage in play and training sessions. When it comes to playing with your cat, variety of toys and games will keep your cat engaged. As time goes on, you will learn the types of games and toys your cat prefers. When you interact with your cat as you play you will begin to identify their prey preference. Cats naturally go through a prey sequence when hunting in the wild. You'll know that you've played a good game with your cat when you've seen them interact with the following sequence:

  1. Staring;

  2. Stalking and chasing;

  3. Pouncing and grabbing;

  4. The bite (the "kill").

This mental stimulation can extend to their feeding schedule, by introducing your cat to interactive feeders you will be able to enhance their mental stimulation. Within no time you will create a bond with your cat and learn how to properly communicate with them. You can even break out the treats and train them basic obedience- yes it is possible!!

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