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10 Ways to Bond with Your New Rescue Cat

10 Ways to Bond with Your New Rescue Cat
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Adopting a rescue cat is an exciting time, but chances are your newly found friend won’t feel the same.

From her point of view, she has no idea where she is or who the heck you are, and unless she is an extremely confident kitty, she won’t be in the best of moods. A new environment means a whole host of new and unfamiliar smells, which translates as one stressed and anxious cat.

To help your furry companion bond with you and settle into her new home in the most stress free way possible, try these top tips:

1. Give Her Space - A separate room is ideal, but even a small space protected by a divider will work. Equip this area with everything she needs: food, water, bedding and a litter tray, and keep it warm and quiet.

2. Let Her Hide – New cats almost always hide, it’s just their instinct. Some cats will take weeks or even months before they properly adjust. During this sensitive time, the best course of action is to let her do what makes her feel most comfortable and provide her with a safe place to retreat to.

3. Take Things Slowly – Don’t pressure your new kitty or get in the way of her doing her own thing. She is going to want to explore her new home and get comfortable with all the new sights, sounds and smells. Let her come to you when she is ready. She’ll make it obvious when she wants attention.

4. Share Your Scent - Before introducing yourself, introduce your scent. Present a well worn piece of clothing for her to sniff and sleep on, or try rubbing her food in your hands before setting it out. The natural oils on your hands will incorporate themselves with the food, helping her to associate the enjoyable activity of eating with your scent.

5. Get Down on The Floor - The lower you are, the less threatening you will come across, so rather than tower over her, get down on her level and sit quietly, allowing her to approach and greet you at her will.

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Photo Credit: MsSaraKelly

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76 comments

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9:57AM PDT on Sep 16, 2013

Great article. I have just shared it with two local rescue groups on Facebook.

2:49AM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

thanks for sharing :)

9:56AM PDT on Aug 31, 2013

All wonderful tips. Anyone who does not allow their cat(s) to sleep with them, just doesn't know what they are missing. The cuddling, purring and unconditional love they give is not to be missed. Thanks for the great article.

6:34AM PDT on Aug 28, 2013

I've had many rescues and have used all these tips. They really work and I recommend them to anyone adopting a cat. If you have cats already a slow introduction should be done, depending on the cat. My last rescue hid behind the couch and slowly came out. She is now my cuddle bug. The one before her hid for months, and I had her in my room and had to use tough love to get her to come out and realize the other cats were OK with her. They are all different which makes them all so wonderful!

12:44PM PDT on Aug 26, 2013

Great article, thank you Ms. Geer! These are all excellent pieces of advice! Adopting a cat instead of buying one from a breeder or pet store saves more lives than just the one adopted, and these are wonderful ways to get off on the right foot.

6:39PM PDT on Aug 25, 2013

This is a good list of tips! Just relax and don't be pushy. Kitties are individuals and want to make connections on their own terms.

3:00PM PDT on Aug 25, 2013

It is so worth! Sharing

8:29PM PDT on Aug 24, 2013

thnx for this

6:57PM PDT on Aug 24, 2013

All very good tips for someone who has never adopted a kitty before. They are naturally fearful in a new place with a stranger and need gentle reassurance that they are in a safe place and that you are going to be kind to them. Some catch on quickly and others need a little time. Personally I like to have my pets sleep with me. We all wake up in a "kitten pile", cat, dog, me. It's very nice. We all snuggle up on the couch together too. We are each others companions afterall.

3:58PM PDT on Aug 24, 2013

Sitting quietly on the floor in the vacinity of your new cat and reading out loud is a great way to do several of these things at once.

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