Tips for preparing for your new arrival
Adopting a rescue cat can be an extremely rewarding and heart-warming experience. Here are some ways you can prepare for your new arrival.
When you adopt a rescue cat, you’re making a choice to give an animal a stable and loving home when they might have missed out on one in the past.
A cat from a reputable animal welfare charity will have had a thorough medical check-up, and be microchipped, neutered, vaccinated and treated for fleas before you take them home, although you may have to pay an adoption fee to help cover this. What else can you do to prepare for your new pet?
Expect a home visit
If you’re adopting a rescue cat the charity will often carry out a home visit to make sure your property is suitable for an animal.
It’s nothing to worry about; they just want to be sure the cat has a safe environment in which to eat, sleep and play. They can also give you advice about caring for your new pet, to help make the transition as smooth as possible for both of you.
Get a generously-sized and sturdy cat carrier
Once you’ve officially adopted your new cat, you’ll need to bring them home from the rescue centre.
Cats can find travelling very stressful, so put a blanket they’ve been sleeping on at the shelter inside a secure cat basket that’s big enough for them to move around in. It can be helpful to spritz the inside of the carrier with a pheromone spray at least 15 minutes before putting your cat inside. This can help them to feel more relaxed.
Create a safe space at home
Cats are territorial creatures, so coming to a new environment can make them anxious. Ease them in gently by creating a safe, small space where they won’t be disturbed by other animals or noisy children. Include bedding, a litter tray, food, a water bowl and a scratching post.
Be patient with your new pet as they become acquainted with their new surroundings. Don’t smother them with love, however much you want a cuddle.
Let them acclimatise in private, but check in to offer some gentle affection and make sure they’re settling in.
Give them food they’re familiar with
Before bringing your cat home, speak to the shelter to find out what food they’ve been used to. Introducing a new diet takes time, so ease them in with something familiar.
Let them go at their own pace
Don’t be too concerned if your cat doesn’t eat much to begin with. As they start to adapt to their new surroundings, they’ll begin to feel more comfortable and their appetite should gradually return.
Build up trust with your cat
Not all rescue cats are friendly with their new owners from the get-go. They may have been abandoned or mistreated, so can be wary of humans and may shy away. Don’t be alarmed if they hide away under furniture to begin with. Be patient and show them they can trust you, and they’ll soon warm to you.
Try and coax them out with toys and treats to help speed up the trust-building process. Once they begin to feel safe and secure, you’ll feel the bond begin to take root.
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