Have you recently welcomed a new feline into your home? Whether it's your first or your third, there are several tricks and tips that can help you and your feline smoothly adjust to the new environment.
When welcoming home a cat, be sure to have a food bowl (filled with dry food) and a water bowl (with fresh water) prepared and setting where they will remain. In addition, be sure to have a litter-box ready to go. In general, most cats prefer large, uncovered litter-boxes with unscented scoopable/sand-style litter. It is important to keep the litter-box in a separate room from the food/water bowls if at all possible. Most cats do not like to eat/drink in the same area as they use the restroom.
When placing the litter-box in it's permanent location, be sure to keep it away from the furnace, dryer or any other noisy areas. Cats like to use the litter-box in uninterrupted areas. Some cats will refuse to use the litter-box if they are placed in the wrong location.
If you are concerned that your cat may scratch your furniture, purchase a scratching post and/or scratching pad. These can be purchased for as little as $10 at your local WalMart or Target store. If you find that your cat is still scratching your furniture, you can order an amazing product called SoftPaws. SoftPaws are gentle plastic caps that cover each of your cats nails, allowing them to scratch on anything they choose, without leaving a mark. They come in any color or size desired for your cat and they stay on for approximately 5 weeks before they need to be replaced. You can put them on yourself or have your veterinarian do so. You can order softpaws for under $20 on sites such as Amazon. This is a wonderful alternative to laser declaw as it does not harm the cats and it keeps your furniture looking new!
If you have other pets in the home, be patient. It is not likely that the new cat will instantly love your prior pets, and visa versa. It takes time, and again patience is the key. There will likely be hissing and growling- this is normal and it is important that you know this up front. Of course if you only have a dog- and you have just adopted a cat- be sure that your dog does well with cats prior to adopting a cat into your home. Otherwise, it is a waiting game. Be sure to give your pets equal attention so that one pet does not feel left out. And if you are introducing a second cat- it is helpful if you place a second litter-box in the home so they do not feel they have to compete for space. You can also place an additional food bowl and water bowl during the first 2-4 weeks as your new cat transitions. This can help ease the process for both cats- and for you!
There are countless tips and tricks that can help with the transitioning of a new cat into your home. However, by following the above steps, you are on your way to creating a happy, healthy home environment for everyone to share. The most important element is patience- if you can find that, the rest will work itself out. Congratulations on adopting your new cat-- there are many purrs coming your way!