Cats are sensitive souls, so moving to a new house is very stressful. Whether you are adopting a new kitten or an adult cat, she is going to be unsure about the whole thing for a while. Starting out on the right foot from day one, however, can vastly reduce the length of time and the amount of stress it takes your new kitty to start feeling at home. In honor of the American Humane Association’s Adopt A Cat Month and The SPCA’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month (June), we have rounded up a few items to have around on day one that can help make your new cat feel at home faster.
#1 – iCalmCat
Makers of the iCalmDog now have a kitty music system! The vet-tested music is particularly helpful with helping cats adjust to new environments and new situations. The sonic anchoring theme in the serene music of iCalmCat brings the calmness needed for feline health and behavior. Throughadogsear.com
#2 – Private Space
Be sure you have set up a space that’s private and quiet for your new cat friend to go to when he first arrives. The veterinarians at Love That Pet explain that giving your cat a sanctuary helps them acclimate on their own time and at their own speed. Many cats will retreat back to these spaces during times of stress, providing a self-soothing place, the company explains.
This can be a cozy cubby in a closet, a covered cat bed in the corner of a less busy room, or a cat tree that has a hiding spot.
#3 – Tunnels
Tunnels were also suggested by several vets as a great way to allow your cat to explore their new surroundings “in secret,” which makes them feel more at ease. This will help your new kitty get used to your home quicker. This Jackson Galaxy tunnel is just opaque enough to give your kitty cover, while still letting you see where they are at.
#4 – Feliway
Some kitties express their outrage or fear of a new home with some not-so-nice displays including urine marking and scratching. Feliway is clinically proven 90 percent effective at curbing these instincts, while calming your cat down (which is what stops the behavior). Even if your cat doesn’t display such obviously signs of stress, Feliway can help any kitty feel calmer about the transition and it definitely can’t hurt.
#5 – Assorted Toys
Jackson Galaxy uses toys a lot on his show, My Cat From Hell, as a way to help cat and owner bond. That’s because playing sparks your kitty’s instincts and gives them an outlet to express themselves that they just love. You can help strengthen your bond with your new cat quicker through play. Since you won’t know what type of player your cat is, buy an assortment of toys: toys on wands, battery operated toys, kicker toys, balls that roll, catnip infused toys, etc., so you can see which peaks your new kitty’s interest.
#6 – Multiple Boxes
You are probably thinking, one cat, one box. But transitioning to a new home can be hard on kitties and, as we mentioned above, cats can decide that going outside the litter box is a great way to show their discomfort. Cats are picky when it comes to their bathrooms – type of litter, type of box and location can make a difference. So, having a few different boxes in different locations and even different litters can help your kitty show you which combination he prefers with less risk of an accident happening.
#7 – Scratching Places
Don’t forget the scratching places! Again, you may not know what your new best friend likes in the way of scratching, so give him a few options at first – otherwise he may decide your leather couch or curtains are more inviting! Be sure to place one in or by his “private space,” so he doesn’t have to go far to use it if he doesn’t feel like it at first.
#8 – Anti-anxiety Coat
For the kitty that is super stressed, consider having on hand an anti-anxiety coat, like the CalmCat. The coats are designed to apply constant pressure to a cat’s torso, which has a calming effect. They are only meant to be worn for a limited time – following the manufacturer’s directions is important for effectiveness.
#9 –High Spots
Don’t forget that almost all cats love heights! Be sure you give your new kitty a way to get up off the floor. Whether it’s a cat tree, cat shelves, a window seat, etc., being able to get up high can make a cat feel much more comfortable.