Step-by-Step: How to Successfully Introduce a New Cat to Your Household
In honor of Adopt a Shelter Cat Month—which should be every month, in our opinion—our team wants to smooth the way for bringing a new cat into your home. Cats are sensitive creatures, and it can be stressful to enter a new environment, especially if other animals already have claimed the territory.
If you’re bringing home a new cat—or two or three—follow these tips from our team to help them feel welcome.
#1: Create a safe space for your new cat
It can take several days for your new cat to feel comfortable around you, and much longer for them to integrate into your household if you have other pets. Help your cat feel safe and secure in their new environment by providing them with their own set of resources. Confine your feline friend to a large room with their own litter box, food and water, scratching post, and bedding so they don’t have to compete for the essentials. Spend plenty of time playing with, petting, and interacting with your new cat to help them become accustomed to your presence, but give them space to explore on their own uninterrupted.
#2: Stick to the same diet
The stress of moving to a new environment can cause a cat’s delicate digestive tract to become unsettled, so avoid further stress by sticking to the same food your cat was eating. If you want to switch them to a new diet, give them a few days to settle in with their current diet, then take a week to slowly swap out the old for the new food.
#3: Give your new cat time to settle in
A cat may need a week or two to settle into their new home, so save the meet-and-greets with family and friends until your pet is comfortable with you and their surroundings. However, you should schedule a meet-and-greet with your regular veterinarian to ensure your new cat is healthy and up to date on preventive care. Another trip so soon after the ride to your home can be stressful for your cat, so let them relax for another week before any other introductions.