Preparing for a New Cat or Kitten
Let’s get ready to brrrrrrrring a cat home!
Preparing for a cat is kind of a big deal! We’ve even been known to throw a kitten shower or two to help us gather supplies for our cats and kittens at ASAP! But to start, there are two things you’re going to need immediately.
One – your phone. Call your local veterinarian and book an appointment in advance! Let them know you’re planning on bringing a new pet home. They’ll be able to offer you some solid advice, and help you identify any issues to be aware of. If you don’t already have a vet, call around, ask your friends, and read reviews.
Two – your wallet. Yep. Your new cat or kitten is going to need a sweet little set up to live their best life in their new home. Even if you already have a cat or other pets in the home, getting some special things just for the new one will make a world of difference for everyone. Let sharing happen naturally, not forcefully! We wish love was enough because we can offer that in abundance, but since it’s not here are a few key items to put on your shopping list:
- Litter Box (you really don’t want to forget this one)
- Food and Water Bowls
- Food & Treats
- Scratching Post
- Toys! (catnip optional)
- A cozy bed
- A secure cat carrier
- A breakaway collar – especially if your cat goes outside (which we don’t recommend)
ASAP can provide you with a small amount of food that your cat is currently eating. You can either keep them on the same diet, or slowly transition them to a new food.
Additionally, any pets already in your home are going to need to be prepared as well! ASAP has a very helpful service called the Dog:Cat Test, which is basically how it sounds. In a safe, monitored environment, a trained volunteer will assess your dog’s reaction to cats (if your dog hasn’t lived with cats before). If necessary, we can provide training tips if it doesn’t seem like your dog is ready for a feline sibling.
Some cats jump into their new home right away, while others need a longer adjustment period of a week or more. We recommend allowing them to have their own space in a room separate from all other household pets for a few days. Allow everyone to get used to each other’s scent and all the noises that happen in your home through your daily routine. It will take some patience to help them feel like your house is a home, but their unconditional love and companionships is definitely worth the wait!
It’s expected that your cat will be hiding the first few days, but if they aren’t eating or drinking, or if they are throwing up or have diarrhea, please contact ASAP or your local veterinarian.
Cat Proofing Your Home
You’ll also want to cat-proof your home! Cats— especially young kittens—can’t get up to all sorts of shenanigans and end up where you least expect it! Check that cleaning supplies and medications are secured, house plants are safe and not toxic, and electrical cords are tidy. Make a plan for coming and going from your exits and entrances to ensure that your cat doesn’t get outside if you plan to keep them indoors (which we recommend).