For a printer-friendly version, download our “Bringing Your New Cat Home” or “Bringing Your New Dog Home” instructional packet. They cover everything from introducing your new cat to other pets, nutrition and behavoiral problems.
Bringing Your New Cat Home
First thing’s first…
If you are concerned about knowing the personality of your cat, think about adopting an older cat instead of a kitten. Usually with a little older cat (~10 mo and up) what you see is what you get personality-wise. All kittens will be playful, but a cuddly kitten may grow into a more aloof adult.
If possible, for the first two or three days at home, put the cat with a litter box, food/water bowls, bed and toys in a room or two that can be closed off from the rest of the house.
Make sure you don’t open the carrier until you are in that room.
Put the cat in the litter box – they will jump out, but now they know where it is.
If the room is your bedroom, only put a kitten on your bed at night if they are big enough to safely get up and down on their own or you may have a mess in your bed. If you don’t want them to sleep with you on the bed, make sure they have a place that is their bed. Most cats will play and explore some at night.
If they are too small to sleep with you, give the cat some of your dirty laundry as a bed so they can bond with your scent.
Let the cat explore at their own pace.
Cats are like people when it comes to their bathroom – they want privacy and they like it to be clean. Make sure the litter box is not in the middle of all the action and that it gets cleaned regularly. Scoop it daily and empty and fully clean it once every 3 months or when it needs it. When cleaning, make sure to use an ammonia-free cleaner – dish soap works well.