Welcoming your new cat home
You’ll want to welcome your new feline friend into a warm, friendly environment where they’ll feel safe and comfortable, so a little planning will actually go a long way to settling them in.
Before your new cat comes home
Whether you’re bringing home an adult cat or a tiny kitten, they’ll still have very similar needs, particularly on the admin side of things. Here are a few things to get sorted before they arrive:
- If you don’t already have a vet, ask local cat owners to recommend one, and get your new cat registered straight away. It’s much less stressful to know they’re on the books already, in case they are ever unwell or if they need to be neutered.
- Chat to your vet about insurance policies that will cover any unexpected veterinary costs.
- While you’re there, arrange to have your new cat or kitten permanently identified with a microchip in case they ever get lost.
With the admin out of the way, it’s time for some fun – shopping! You’ll need:
- A secure cat carrier.
- Two bowls – one for food and one for water. Opt for easily-cleaned ceramic or glass bowls over metal ones – some cats don’t like reflections or shadows in their bowl as they feed or drink. Make sure it’s big enough for them to lean in and lap from without their whiskers touching the sides, as this can put some cats off.
- A litter tray and litter. It’s best to use the same type used by the breeder or rescue shelter, at least until they’ve settled in, so that they recognise it – and, importantly, know what to do with it!
- A cat bed – many prefer an igloo-style bed for snuggly security, or one elevated from the ground (e.g. as part of an activity centre).
- Grooming equipment, particularly if they’re longhaired.
- A scratching post made of tree bark or a sisal string-wrapped pole. Scratching helps keep your cats claws in good condition and a dedicated post should hopefully distract them from your furniture and carpets.
- A range of toys. Their favourite games will be ones that involve you, like dangly soft toys for them to chase and pounce on. This gives them a safe outlet for their natural hunting behaviours.
- Food. Feed your new cat or kitten the same diet they’re used to from their breeder or rescue centre for at least a week, and only switch them gradually to another diet later if you prefer or if there are health reasons for doing so.