We all know what it feels like to be "the new kid on the block," right? Whether you've started a new job, joined a new gym, or picked up a new hobby, adapting to a new environment can be challenging for anyone, including animals. Cat rehoming is an admirable act, but you'll need to go a step further to be mindful of how your new kitty feels in her new home.
Cats in shelters or rescue organizations have layers of past experiences, anxiety, and fear, which can make it hard for them to adjust when they do find their new home. During the cat rehoming process, cats are prone to high stress. Be sure to be gentle with your new furry bundle of joy as she acclimates to being part of your family.
Here are four ways to welcome your furry friend into your home and help her adapt in no time.
Make Cat Rehoming a Gradual Process
Cat rehoming can be difficult for our furry friends too, so it's important to take things slow. You can help make your cat's rehoming experience positive by controlling her exposure to her new environment and letting her set the pace.
Rather than showing your new fur baby the entire home all at once, consider gradually introducing her to each room. Introduce her to just one room at first. Then wait a while before showing her another room. If she starts showing signs of wanting to leave that room, go ahead and let her into the next.
Eventually, she'll feel comfortable roaming your whole home freely and the gradual introduction will allow her to develop a stronger sense of comfort in your home at a healthy, steady pace.
A Gentle Touch Is Key
If you have children or multiple people in the home, encourage everyone to be gentle with your new kitty. This may be difficult considering you and your family are surely excited about bringing her home.
However, giving your new addition a safe place to call home that feels safe and comforting from the get-go is crucial. Keep these things in mind to keep the experience positive and gentle:
- Instead of constantly petting and holding her, let her come to you first and, when she does, pet her gently. You can even give her a few treats.
- Create a special spot just for her and introduce her to it. This will become her go-to safe place in your home.
- Speak gently when she's in the same room as you and keep noise to a minimum to keep her calm and comfortable.
Following these tips will help you keep your cat at ease. Your fur baby's stress levels are as much of a priority as your own during this transition.
Surround Her With Familiarity
According to VIP Pet Care, familiarity is key to helping your cat feel relaxed during the adjustment. When it comes to cat rehoming, the more familiar the surroundings, the better.
To help build that sense of familiarity, follow these tips:
- Find out the exact brand and type of food your furry friend has been eating at the shelter and buy a bag for her to enjoy during her first month with you.
- Ask the shelter if you can keep one of the blankets your kitty frequently used. If the shelter can't provide you with a blanket, get a new blanket free of any other animal's or person's scent and let her cuddle with it to make it her own.
- If the shelter let her play with any specific toys, find the same (or a similar) toy for her. Although the toy isn't the exact same one, your kitty will likely recognize it and enjoy playing with something familiar.
If you were to move into a new home, you'd get to pack up your belongings and take them with you. Sadly, cats don't often get to do this during the cat rehoming process. Luckily, you can help with that by making sure your kitty has some familiar gems in her new home.
Provide Her With Toys
Toys can be a stimulating yet relaxing activity for your feline. When rehoming a cat, give her a few toys to bat around. Our personal favorite options are catnip mice, a cardboard scratcher, a laser pointer, or a teaser string.
Helping your new kitty have some fun with toys will allow her to build positive associations and feel-good emotions in her new habitat.
Cats bring an abundance of joy to families. In return, thank your fur baby by making sure she's full of joy, too.
Have you been involved in cat rehoming? What are your best tips that could help others looking to adopt? Leave a comment below so we can continue the conversation.