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7 Tips for Bringing Home a New Cat

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7 Tips for Bringing Home a New Cat

If you’ve made the wonderful decision to expand your cat family, the following seven tips will help make the transition smoother for your new kitten or cat to his new home, especially if you already have a dog or another cat (or cats) living with you.

1. Prepare a room in your house for the new arrival

Your new kitten or cat is going to need some time to adjust to his new environment—the new sights, sounds, and smells; the new ecosystem of germs; and the new people—so set the room up for an extended stay. You’ll need to provide all the basic kitty comforts—water bowl, comfortable bed, and litter box. If you are using a spare bedroom or office for your kitty’s temporary quarters, make sure you “kitty-proof” it. Just like with small children, put away anything valuable or breakable. Get down on the floor and look around from a “cat’s eye view.” Cover any bed, sofa, or upholstered chair with a waterproof pad or sheet. Remember, cats are territorial and may, when feeling insecure, mark their territory with urine or feces. If another animal has been in the room and had a little “accident” that you never even noticed, the new kitten or cat will find it and “refresh” it!

2. Clean and prepare a pet carrier for transporting your new cat home

Wash a pet carrier with a solution of 1:32 bleach and water solution (1 ounce [30 ml] bleach to 1 gallon [4 l] of warm water) and rinse thoroughly. Outfit it with something you’ve worn, such as a T-shirt, so the new kitty can start getting used to your scent on the way home. Once you get the kitty home, you might want to leave the carrier in the room for him as an extra haven of security.

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Celeste Yarnall

Celeste Yarnall, PhD shares musings on myriad of topics at her Celestial Musings Blog. She is the author of The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care with Jean Hofve, DVM and Paleo Dog. Celeste is an actress/producer/activist/writer and keynote speaker. She and her husband Nazim Artist created the Art of Wellness Collection and are the producers of Femme: Women Healing the World. They live in Los Angeles, California with their beloved Tonkinese cats. Join Celeste at her website or on Facebook.


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12:23PM PDT on Aug 16, 2015

Good tips, but this SOOOOO did NOT need to be 3 pages!

9:08AM PST on Feb 17, 2013

Our cat had to travel 1500 kilometers from England to the South of France, non-stop by car. We drove all night and arrived early morning in our new home, that we had prepared a week before. Initially, he found his toilet, his breakfast and then started to explore the house which kept him busy for the whole day. But then he insisted on going out, so we walked the garden with him, he followed us like a doggie. That was it, no quarantene, no fuss, he was at home immediately!

5:08AM PST on Nov 21, 2012

Good info...thank you

2:01PM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

awesome. thanks

3:46AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Thanks, includes some things we've never tried, though our cats just seem to wonder in and stay! A friend of mine always insisted to distribute the scent of the new cat throughout the house (using a damp towel wiped over kitty and then furniture). Not sure that helped her other cat adjust though!

3:34AM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

It's strange to me because I've never had any trouble introducing a new cat into the home. Usually I find a stray kitten, bring it home bottle feed it, the other cat(s) sniffs at it and everything's fine after a day or two. But I've known people who have a mini-war any time a new animal comes into their life.

10:31AM PDT on Aug 6, 2012


11:23PM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

my great grandmother always used to put butter on there paws,its a little messy but it works.the new kitty is so busy licking off the butter and transferring her scent to the whole home that she forgets to be stressed out with her new surroundings.i have always used this method and it always works.

9:51AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Thanks for the good tips. Been doing most of these all my grown up life with cats thru the yrs. Glad to know I'm doing many of these suggestions correct. Shared on Facebook.

9:48AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Interesting. Throughout my life, we never brought a cat home. All of them just came from outside and joined us. Some left suddenly too. For some, I have seen their entire life -- pregnancy, birth, complete life and death too.

Also I have felt that the most loving cats were those which came from outside, NOT the ones which were born inside. May be they know the value of shelter and food. The inside ones just take it for granted. Big lessons for us too.

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