So – You’ve Adopted a Kitty!

by Nicole Decrisantis
April 29, 2019

We bet you’re wondering how to make this change for you and you kitty as smooth as possible – and we’re here to help you do just that!

Give your new cat or kitten enough time to decompress. Most cats prefer time to themselves to become comfortable with the sights, smells and noises associated with their new home. Overcrowding them or forcing them to be held can create a skittish cat. Letting them come to you is a great way to build their trust and bond with you

Most cats will come on a diet they are already used to eating. Many new cat owners want to switch their food, but we don’t recommend doing this right away. Your cat has already been though big changes, new humans, new home and the last thing he or she needs is unnecessary stress of a diet change. Once your cat becomes comfortable we recommend offering a few healthy options to see what they prefer before switching the diet.

Setting up your new kitty’s dining area be sure to keep food and water bowls away from the litter box! – cats are clean by nature and appreciate a clean feeding area. In addition, you may find that keeping their water bowl separate from the food bowl will encourage your cat to drink which is extremely important for those cats who eat kibble. You may also find that placing water bowls in more than one place throughout your house will encourage water consumption. If you feed exclusively canned or raw it is perfectly normal for your cat to have little to no water consumption.

If you have other cats in the home it is best to keep the new kitty in a quiet safe place for several days to a couple weeks in order for both cats to get used to hearing and smelling each other. Once any hissing and growling has decreased you can begin to feed them on each side of a closed door. Sharing a meal among any species can be a bonding experience that will encourage positive behavior. This step may have to be repeated for several days to a few weeks.

Once your cat is comfortable in their new home play and exercise is an important step for a healthy and productive lifestyle – that can prevent bad behavior from developing. Taking it a step further, you can provide your cat with a toy that has treats or toys that dispense as your cat chases and plays. There are several options on the market which will provide your cat with the satisfaction of the hunt and the catch –their favorite food or treat!  These can even be provided after extensive play when your cat is hungry which can stimulate them mentally in addition to physically resulting in a well exercised and tired kitty!

About 3 to 5 am tend to be the best time to hunt in the morning. And if your cat were outside they would be hunting small animals such as mice, chipmunks, birds and even bugs! However, since most cats are indoor cats, or at least inside at night their prey drive is directed to toys, small objects and even your feet!

When a cat is new to your home and begins this behavior, it is best to ignore, or do your best to prevent the situation. Cats are intelligent animals, as you have now figured out, and if you let her know that her antics get you up she will keep making a game out of this ordeal. Most owners also appease their cats by offering a snack or breakfast at these early morning hours which only solidifies the thrill and catch of the hunt!