How To Introduce A New Cat
How To Introduce A New Cat
This video provides useful information on how to introduce a cat to a new home. It also includes tips on how to start letting a cat outside.
Hi, my name is Karen. I'm one of the vets at CATS Protection. The UK's leading cat welfare charity and I'm going to talk to you today about some aspects of cat care.
I'm going to talk to you today a little bit about how to introduce a cat. When you're bringing a cat home for the first time, it can be a time of great stress for them. Cats are creatures of habit and they don't like change very much.
So, it's important to try and do everything you can to reduce your cat's stress when introducing it to it's new home. First thing to do is to prepare, think ahead. Try and get a nice, safe, quiet room ready for you cat before it comes in.
You're going to need to provide that cat with everything it needs in that room. It's really important that it has places to hide and sleep that are going to be nice and quiet and comfortable. Igloo beds or covered beds can be really useful for this.
Even just using an upturned cardboard box can be quite useful, too. Make sure it's got places to go where it can get up high and hide. Sometimes windowsills can be good, coffee tables or even shelves up high can be really useful, too.
Making sure your cat has got food and water in the place where it's going to be is also important, obviously. It's a good idea to keep the food and the water bowls in two separate locations, as cats tend to prefer it this way. Make sure it's got toilet opportunities in that room, as well.
You may need to use a litter tray. It's important to put that litter tray somewhere where it's nice and quiet, and covered and private for the cat. Give it somewhere to scratch as well.
Cats will need to maybe take out their frustrations and they need to keep their claws nice and clean, as well. Providing it with a scratching post, ones like this is great because they have got places to perch and hide and they can be really useful. So when you've got your cat home for the first time and you're trying to sit with them, the important thing is to not rush your cat.
Every cat is going to take its own time to adjust to its new surroundings and you're going to need to let it do that. Don't try and force it to go out into more areas before it's ready. It's a good idea to have one room set aside with all the things your cat is going to need, and let your cat become nice and confident in that area before letting it out in the rest of the house.
Introduce other pets or other people slowly. Sometimes it's a good idea to use scent to do that. You can do what's called scent swapping.
Sometimes if you're going to move a cat to a new home, you can take something from that home like a blanket or a piece of clothing. Take it to where your cat is now so it gets used to that smell and bring that item back to that area with the cat so it's got something that smells like it. It's a good idea to use scent swapping with other animals, as well.
You can have something that smells of another animal and show that to your cat before they actually meet face to face. That can help reduce stress and help them get on better. Another thing a lot of people ask is, "When should I let my cat outside?" Now this is a really tricky one and every cat, again, is going to be an individual.
The first thing is to never let an unneutered cat outside. They can get themselves into all sorts of bother looking for mates. They often can get hit by cars and come into fights.
Also, they can get pregnant which is going to be a really big problem for the population control. What I always recommend is to have your cat make sure it knows exactly where home is. It feels nice, comfortable and secure in its home before you let it outside for the first time.
I would normally recommend that you let your cat outside in the early evening. When it's a bit quieter, go out with your cat and bring it back in again after a short period. It's a good idea to have your cat a wee bit hungry because it can help