The arrival of a new pet is certainly a big event in the household. Choosing to adopt from the shelter rather than buying from a breeder is something that is commendable and will certainly have its just rewards. With so many shelters being overcrowded with rescued strays and abandoned cats, they will surely welcome the adoption of their wards so there will be more space to let in more strays.
What will you need when you adopt a cat?
Prepare your home
To prepare for the big day and prevent last-minute hassles and problems, you should plan and prepare well ahead of time all the things that your new cat will need. Your home should already be pet-proofed to ensure that your kitty will not be exposed to potential hazards while playing and exploring his new surroundings. You should secure potential escape routes such as window screens, remove indoor plants that are poisonous to cats, keep household cleaning materials, medicines, and other hazardous items out of your curious cat’s reach. Once you have all your cat’s essentials on hand, they should be placed in their proper spots.
Prepare a room where your new cat can stay during his first few weeks in his new home. The room should be prepared well ahead of time. There should be enough space for the cat’s food and water bowls, bed, and litter box. Take note that the litter box should be placed away from where the cat will sleep, eat, and drink.
If you have other pets in the household, the new cat’s room should be off-limits to them. Your new kitty will need enough time, space, and privacy to adjust to unfamiliar sights, sounds, odors, etc. To make the transition period easier, it would be a good idea to ask the shelter if you can bring home some of the cat’s things –a toy, bedding, or other items—and place them in the new cat’s room. Having their own scent and something familiar in a strange place can be quite comforting to your new pet.
Your checklist for cat essentials should include the following:
- Cat bed or bedding
- Food and water bowls
- Cat-safe toys – There are so many cat toys to choose from but be sure to include prey toys and interactive toys.
- Grooming tools – The type of grooming tools that you will need depends on your new cat’s hair coat. Having the right grooming tools and knowing how to use them properly can make grooming sessions easier and less of a hassle. You should also get a kitty toothbrush and toothpaste (one that’s specially formulated for cats) and nail trimmers. Tooth brushing and nail trimming are important procedures that should be introduced to a new cat early on.
- Cat carrier – Get one that is spacious and comfortable enough for your new kitty. Be sure that it can be securely locked to prevent the cat from escaping.
- Scratching post – Encourage your cat to use the scratching post by rubbing some catnip on it or handing a prey toy on the post.
- Cat tree – Cats instinctively seek elevated spots so they can keep an eye on their surroundings. They also like to spend a good part of their day staying on vertical spaces so make sure you have enough of them around.
- Cat food – It is not a good idea to switch your new pet to a different type of cat food during the transition period. This can only give him digestive upsets which can further add to his adjustment woes. You may choose to change to a new litter or pet food later on, once your newly adopted cat has completely adjusted to his new environment.
- Litter box and litter—To avoid inappropriate elimination, you should ask the shelter staff about the litter that the cat is using and buy the same type.
“Where should I put the litter box?”
This is a common question that is commonly shared by first-time cat owners. Fill the litter box with at least 2 inches of cat litter and place it as far away from the cat’s bed, as well as food and water bowls. Give him as much privacy as he can get while using the litter box.
How often do you change the litter box?
Cats hate it when their litter box is not well-maintained. They possess a keen sense of smell and they will not hesitate to eliminate somewhere else if their litter box is dirty and smelly. Be sure to keep the litter box clean and odor-free by scooping the contents at least twice a day and cleaning the box thoroughly with mild soap and water at least once a week. Place in a new litter once the litter box is thoroughly dry. The old litter should be disposed of properly.
Spend time with your new cat
While he is adjusting to his new home, spend as much time as you can with your new furball. He will thrive with some attention and interaction. It’s also a great time to start bonding with each other and to get to know each other better!