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.