Welcoming Home a New Cat

7 Tips for How to Introduce a Cat to a New Home

by Neil Stanga - 6/29/19

The last few days before a new cat or kitten arrives home is bound to be exciting. Here are a few tips on how to introduce a new cat to the family.

1. The Ride Home

Riding in a vehicle can be tough for a cat. During the first ride home and the first few trips to the animal clinic it's best to keep your cat confined to their carrier.

2. Gradual is Good

Get to know your kitty gradually at first. Introducing a cat to a new home can be a shock to their system. Some cats may need up to a couple of weeks to settle into their new home.

Hold off on having them meet your neighbors, friends and relatives until kitty is eating and evacuating on a regular schedule.

3. Introduce Kitty To Their New Home One Room at a Time

Segregate other pets from your new cat during this time. Encourage any (human) children to be gentle with their new sibling. Introducing a new cat to your family and home shouldn't be rushed. Consider letting kitty get used to one room at a time.

Make sure they know where their litter box is. And make sure to keep doors and windows shut until your fur baby is settled in.

4. Sleeping Arrangements

Most cats pick a few favorite dozing spots where they can be snug, warm, and free from drafts. A comfortable box or container fixed with washable cushioning set up in a peaceful corner of the home makes a great bed for your cat.

If you're like the writer of this listicle, you can also let your cat sleep in bed with you. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that around 50 percent of pet owners in the United States allow their pet to sleep in bed with them.

5. Diet

Keep your cat's diet the same as what she was eating at her last home. If you want to change to an alternate flavor or brand, do so gradually over about 10 to 14 days. Start by adding a quarter portion of the new food blended into the old brand. From that point, swap in about 10% of the new food each day.

6. Litter

Set up a litter box in a quiet, low-traffic part of the home. Most cats prefer fine grain clustering litter. Note; non-clustering litter is suggested for little cats under ten weeks of age - as they might try to eat the clumps.

7. Scratching Posts

Cats need to scratch; it's just what they do. Spare your furniture and give your cat a sturdy scratching post. Trimming kitty's nails every 10 to 14 days will also help spare your furniture.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Consider looking up and comparing vets near you before welcoming kitty home. You'll want to take them for a standard checkup within the first couple of weeks. As always, keep an eye out for signs of pain in your cat; cats are notorious for their ability to hide pain.

Ultimately, there's no magical formula for how to get a cat used to a new home, but hopefully these tips help!

A graduate of Princeton University, Neil works on marketing at Scratchpay. He lives in Pasadena, California with his Archangel Cat, Ovi.