Living and loving life with your new feline family member
Post-adoption and life at home
Congratulations! Thank you for choosing to adopt!
We would like to help make the process as smooth as possible for you and your new friend. All the cats and kittens that we rescue are saved from kill-lists, so they have naturally endured stress and uncertainty in their lives. Our foster homes create a safe and loving environment for them, but they will take some time to decompress after their stressful experience in the terrifying pound environment.
Here are some tips on how to best settle your new best friend into their furever home: When adopting a cat, the first month or so is very important for setting up your new family member for success. The first days and weeks should be used to establish a strong bond between you and your cat, let them settle in and navigate their new home, and create healthy routines.
Set up a space for your cat beforehand
We recommend initially putting your new cat in a spare bedroom or bathroom. Have a litterbox, water and food bowls set up before bringing your cat home.
A spare bedroom with separate areas for the cat litter box and food and water bowls is preferable to opening the entire house to the cat in the first week or so.
In addition to your standard cat supplies, you should also provide your kitty with a variety of enriching cat toys until you learn which they prefer.
Let Your Cat Settle In
When you adopt a new cat or kitten, you can expect that he or she will need time to adjust and acclimatise to their new environment. It is perfectly normal that they will be scared, uncertain and shy at first. The amount of time that your cat takes to decompress is very indiviual. We usually say it takes 2 weeks, but some cats are more sensitive and scared, and can take longer. Once your new cat feels more comfortable, you will start to see their personality shine through.
“Understand that the [new] cat may be timid in his or her new surroundings and may not show all of her normal play behaviour or other personality characteristics at first.”
- Dr. Megan E. Maxwell
Establish Structure and Routine
Providing structure and routine is a great way to help your cat smoothly transition into their new home.
We strongly recommend regular times for feeding, grooming and play.
Slowly Transition to New Cat Food
When you adopt a cat, you will need to properly transition her to the cat food you plan to feed her regularly.
We recommend the following brands as their dry foods provide a balanced diet:
Royal Canin, Hills Science Diet or Advance.
When transitioning any pet to a new diet, it’s best to do it slowly—over the course of 5-7 days—to prevent gastrointestinal upset.
Keep your new cat separate from your other pets
If you have other pets in the household, you should keep them separated until your new cat has had time to decompress and settle into a routine. Cats can be sensitive creatures, and quite territorial at times! It’s important to avoid contact for at least 2 weeks, until your new cat is settled and adapting to their daily routine.
Be patient and give them time, and you’ll set your new relationship up for success. Note that not all cats will initially get along. This can take some time to establish a friendship. And sometimes a friendship may never really blossom - it’s more of a ‘I’ll tolerate you’ sort of situation.
Here are some important videos to watch about introducing cats:
Here is a video about introducing cats to dogs:
Ensure your cat(s) have enough stimulation
We all want out cats to be happy and enjoy their lives, so be sure to provide your cat with:
• adequate exercise
• plenty of horizontal and vertical space
• scratching posts and toys to play with
• places for hiding and sleeping
• windows to look outside
• regularly cleaned litter trays
• fresh drinking water and food
Your cat or kitten may have recently been desexed and need sutures removed. If this is the case, we will tell you what date the sutures need to be removed. You can take your cat to one of our vets or your local vet to remove them, or you could remove them yourself.
Watch this video to find out more:
Developing cat allergies
You or a family member may notice that you have an allergic reaction to your cat. This does not mean you need to instantly return him or her to us. There are many ways to cope with allergies: visit a naturopath, take antihistamines, exposure therapy.
Got a question? Get in touch!
If you have any questions or concerns about your new cat's behaviour, please do not hesitate to contact your adoptions co-ordinator. When you adopt from us, we are there to support you and the animals forever. 1 week, 6 months, 10 years - it doesn’t matter. We made a promise to protect the animals and we will always uphold that promise.