10 Ways to Bond with Your New Rescue Cat

Editor’s note: This Care2 favorite was originally posted on August 22, 2013

Adopting a rescue cat is exciting, but chances are your newly found friend won’t feel quite as enthusiastic.

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 his 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 Him 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 your kitty do what makes him feel most comfortable and provide him with a safe place for retreat.

3. Take Things Slowly

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Photo Credit: Neil Daftary/Unsplash

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 your cat to sniff and sleep on — or try rubbing his food in your hands before setting it out. The natural oils on your hands will help him 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. Rather than tower over your kitty, get down on her level and sit quietly, allowing her to approach and greet you at her will.

6. Talk To Him

Cats love to talk, so don’t be afraid to get vocal. Keep your voice soft, and talk with him whenever you get the chance. Even if he doesn’t seem phased by your chatter, he’s definitely listening. Reinforcing his name whenever you pet him, feed him and play with him is the best way to connect and familiarize him with your voice and call.

7. Play With Her

cat

Photo Credit: Anton Darius/Unsplash

Nurturing her inner kitten with playtime will provide hours of fun and strengthen your parent-child bond. From a piece of string to a toilet paper roll, cats find pleasure in the simplest things.

8. Brush Him

Just like humans, cats love being pampered. Try to spend a little time each day gently brushing her with a soft brush while you praise her. Not all cats will welcome the brush, so be cautious and stop if she is looking annoyed.

9. Let Her Sleep With You

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Photo Credit: Sabri Tuzcu/Unsplash

Cats love sleeping on beds. Some people will disagree with me, but I believe that we should let our feline friends snuggle up with us come night time if they so please. Nothing will seal the deal faster than the closeness of your warmth and comfort of your bed!

10. Give Him Special Treats

Discovering what treats your new kitty has a soft spot for is a great way to help you bond. Be adventurous, as you never know what might take his fancy. When he feels brave enough to eat in your presence, be sure to praise him.

The fastest way to form a strong and everlasting bond with your new kitty is to spend as much time as possible with her –  even if that just means being present.

Never force your new rescue cat to do anything she doesn’t want to. Have patience and try to understand that this is an overwhelming change for her. Before you know it, you’ll be best friends forever.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

167 comments

Kevin B
Kevin Babout a month ago

thank you for posting

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Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y2 months ago

thanks

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John J2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Shirley Plowman
Shirley Plowman5 months ago

LOVED THIS HELPFUL ARTICLE, I LOVE CATS.

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Kathy K
Kathy K5 months ago

Sitting quietly on the floor close to your cat and reading to them is a wonderful way for them to start getting comfortable with you.

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Hannah K
Past Member 5 months ago

thank you

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Ruth S
Ruth S5 months ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S5 months ago

Thanks.

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