Thank you for opening your home to a Feline Fine Cat Rescue cat! Now is the time to help them get acclimated to your home and help them feel safe in their new environment. Letting your cat get settled is mostly done by giving each other space. Decompression can take a few weeks to a few months depending on the age and experience of the cat. Cats are highly bonded to their environment, so relocations are especially stressful for them. Remember to be patient and calm, and overall, let them come to you!
- Give your cat a small, safe space to call their own. For the first few days or even weeks, a bathroom or a spare bedroom is a great place for a cat to start to adjust. This room should contain all the essentials – litter box, food, water, a place to sleep and a toy or two.
- Find hiding places! The first order of business for cats in a new space is to find places to escape or hide. Be sure to block off any areas where you wouldn’t want a cat to hide – behind appliances, cabinets, closets, etc. And give them access to appropriate hiding places – boxes, beds, cat trees, etc.
- Be patient! Your home is full of so many smells and noises that your feline friend has never experienced. They may need a day or two in their safe space before they’re brave enough to explore.
- Keep a routine. Cats like to know what to expect! Feeding them wet food or other delicious treats twice a day is a great way to be sure they’re eating and helps them associate you with great things.
- Play! Catnip, wand toys, kickers, feathers, ping pong balls. Cats love to show off their inner predator!
- Confine your cat when you leave. Making sure your cat is in their safe space when you can’t supervise them is a good way to keep them safe. You know the saying about cats and curiosity…it’s a little dramatic, but unsupervised curious cats don’t always make the best choices.
- Snuggle and hang out. Let your cat come to you during the decompression period but letting them get lots of rest and cuddles is a great way to bond.
- Please don’t host a ‘Welcome Home’ party for your cat! Meeting a bunch of new people in a new environment is overwhelming. Keep your cats’ circle small at first an expand it as your cat feels comfortable.
- Cats don’t love baths! Cats are self-cleaning! It’s an excellent feature.
- Yelling is scary! Yes, sometimes they will do something you don’t want them to do but yelling at them is confusing and doesn’t help the cat decompress. Remember we don’t speak each other’s language. Showing your new cat what to do instead is a very helpful tool, rather than getting upset. Is she wrestling with your shoelaces? Play with a wand toy! Scratching the couch? Show kitty their very own scratcher!