The Ultimate Guide: How to Welcome a New Cat into Your Home

In celebration of Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, an occasion we believe should be recognized every month, the team at Bernardsville Animal Hospital is here to guide you through the process of bringing a new cat into your home. Cats are delicate creatures, and transitioning into a new environment can be stressful for them, particularly if there are already other animals in the household. Follow these expert tips from our team to ensure your new feline friend feels welcomed and at ease.

Step 1: Establish a Safe Space for Your New Cat

Understand that it may take several days for your new cat to feel comfortable around you, and even longer for them to integrate into your household if you have other pets. It’s crucial to create a safe and secure environment for your cat. Dedicate a spacious room exclusively to your feline companion, equipped with their own litter box, food and water bowls, scratching post, and bedding. This way, they won’t have to compete with other pets for these essential resources. While it’s important to spend quality time playing, petting, and interacting with your new cat, also allow them uninterrupted space to explore their surroundings at their own pace.

Step 2: Maintain Consistency in Diet

The stress of moving to a new environment can easily disrupt a cat’s delicate digestive system. To avoid adding further stress, keep your cat on the same diet they were accustomed to before. If you plan to transition them to a new food, give them a few days to settle in with their current diet. Then, gradually introduce the new food over the course of a week, replacing a small portion of the old food each day until they are fully adjusted to the new diet.

Step 3: Allow Ample Settling-In Time

It’s important to provide your new cat with enough time to settle into their new home. Give them a week or two to adjust and become comfortable with you and their surroundings before arranging meet-and-greets with family and friends. However, do schedule an introductory visit to your regular veterinarian during this settling-in period to ensure your new cat is healthy and up to date on preventive care. Keep in mind that another trip shortly after arriving at your home can be stressful for your cat, so it’s best to allow them an additional week of relaxation before any further introductions.

Congratulations on expanding your family with a feline addition! Our team at Bernardsville Animal Hospital is thrilled to meet your newest pet. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule their wellness visit, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you throughout this exciting journey.