Choosing to add a little feline to your family is a big step for both you and the cat. When you adopt a cat, you need to do so with the intentions of it being part of you for a lifetime. Whether you have just adopted a cat or considering getting one, the following information will help you with the questions and concerns you may have.
If you have not decided on which type or breed you want and you are searching the web for cats for adoption, until you actually see the cats in person, you may not feel that special bond necessary to want to become its forever home.
Cats, both young and older, are sensitive to a new surrounding. Depending on how much human interaction a cat has had, some cats often hide in a closet or under a bed for days sometimes even weeks when brought to a new place.
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In this article, you will find information on what to do when you first bring your new kitty home and the steps to take if you have one lurking around you would like to train. Buying a cat from a shelter and training a feral cat or like night and day. Keep reading to find out more…
- 1 Before Your Cat Comes Home:
- 2 The First Day
- 3 The Next Following Weeks:
- 4 Should I take in a Stray Cat?
- 5 The Difference Between Stray and Feral Cats
- 6 Places to Adopt Cats Near Me
- 7 FAQs:
- 8 Conclusion
Before Your Cat Comes Home:
Cats are very territorial and adding one to a new house leaves them feeling uneasy. There is all the unexplored space, and to a cat, they want to know what is lurking there. When you first bring your cat home, make it a small area just to call his or her own for a few days.
A laundry room or even a bathroom works perfectly. You will want to leave behind plenty of cat amenities, like a litter box, food, and water. You will need to make time to spend with your new cat so make sure there is plenty of room for you to visit as well.
When getting the litter box ready, you will want to fill it with one or two inches of litter and put it in his room where he can use it in private. After all, doesn’t everyone deserve privacy when they potty?
By giving him privacy, it will help prevent litterbox aversion. When setting up his feeding station with bowls and food, keep it away from the litter box. Cats are funny in where they prefer to eat and close to their potty is not an idea they are keen on doing.
Cats love to get their alone time in small areas. You need to make a safe haven that he or she ventures to when needing to be away from humans. If you brought your cat home in a carrier, that might be the best place.
Another thing you can use is a box with the end cut out because cat’s love to nap in empty boxes. Many cats prefer a simple empty box with a towel or soft cloth, and they will call it home. Once again, make sure there is plenty of room to move around.
Also, make sure you place the box where your kitty can see the door of the room where her hiding spot is so that no one startles her.
Cat’s need to keep their claws worn down and this happens when they scratch on stuff. Beings you prefer that it not be your sofa or chair, get your cat an acceptable scratching pole or area. You can get some ideas from our best cat scratching post guide on buying the right type.
Some idea scratching items is rigid cardboard pieces placed on the floor or scratching post that is tall enough that the cat can extend upward to scratch. You can encourage your new cat to use the post with a sprinkle or two of catnip or even dangling a toy from the top. Eventually, she will learn what to do and get the hang of things.
You may consider getting something for the kitty to scratch on in every room where there is soft furniture. Blocking the furniture with a post is a good idea as well. One deterrent is to get some sticky tape such as this type to apply to the areas where the cat wants to scratch to dissuade scratching.
Keep in mind that cats need to climb and have a great view of the area below for stalking and catching prey. Do not be surprised to see your kitty friend on top of cabinets, entertainment centers or anywhere high. Therefore, be sure to move breakable or valuable items that she will not knock off and break. Trust me on this one; she will knock it off.
Look close around the house for holes or accessible ductwork and be sure to cover these. The last thing you want is to have the rescue unit come to remove your kitty. Cats love to be up high so they can stalk their turf. The best way to provide this thrill is to buy a cat tree such as this one from Go Cat Club and let her purch up high often making this her favorite resting place.
Be sure to teach other family members the ground rules about your new cat. Make the rules clear that they do not startle her or frighten her in any form. Be patient before introducing other animals to the new cat. Do not be surprised if in the beginning none of your pets likes one another. This step requires time and patience.
The First Day
Now, you should be ready to bring your new family member home. Hopefully, you will do so in a cat carrier to make her feel as safe as possible. Keep in mind; your new kitty has seen much excitement and change. If she has her own little safe place to linger until she feels safe enough to venture out and about, you are doing her a huge favor.
When you get her home, take her straight to her new room. If it is a bathroom, be sure to close the toilet lid. To make her first day a little less traumatic, restrict her exposure to people even though everyone will want to ooh and ahh over how precious she is. However, make it one person’s duty to sit with her on her first day and not the entire family.
Instead of forcing yourself on her, let her come to you with you sitting on the floor. Let her make the acquaintance on her own time and not push her. If she is not welcoming the idea of coming to you, leave her alone and try later.
Some cats are going to be more frightened than others. She may very well resort to her hiding hole and not come out when you are around at all. That is just fine, give her this time. She may choose to stay hidden until the house is quiet such as night time.
When it comes to her eating, she may not eat much or at all when you first bring her home. The best thing to do is offer her the same food she was accustomed to eating at her prior home or the shelter. You will get more significant results if you can keep some things that she is familiar with close to her.
Make sure you change her water often and ensure she is drinking. If you notice she has not eaten in a few days, seek medical attention with your vet and make it sooner rather than later.
The Next Following Weeks:
Do not be alarmed if it takes your kitten time to adjust and want to mingle with the people in your home. Be patient and let her make the first moves towards loving on you. It will happen on her terms.
During the first week of bringing her home, make her a wellness appointment with your vet. Take any records with you so that the vet will know what she needs. As she adjusts, she will begin to show signs that she is ready to step out of her comfort zone and explore her surroundings. From there it only gets better.
To make it even more exciting, buy her toys and scratching poles to play with and use. To make her really happy, put a box in the living room and watch her make it her comfy spot. When she sees her new family is a pot of gold, she will be just fine and happy to blend right in with everyone.
Should I take in a Stray Cat?
When spring comes around, there is always a litter or two appearing in almost all neighborhoods. There is nothing worse than a person taking a mother and her kittens to a strange area and putting them out to survive on their own.
That is why you should think long and hard about whether you are ready for a long-term commitment and not just when your cat is a small, sweet kitten. Finding a momma and her babies happens a lot. Especially if there is a rural area right outside of the city limits that appears animal-friendly.
People that live in a busy town or city that finds their cat has given birth often chooses to drop the momma and babies off to a country area instead of providing her and the babies care. That is more common than what you would imagine.
The first thing to do is search the area to see if you can find her mom and other kittens. If there is a litter, you should take them to the shelter close to you. Here is a link to locate the closest one to your area. Rescuing homeless strays or feral cats seems like the right move for most of us.
You should contact the local shelter to see if someone has reported their cat missing. Try to figure out the kitten’s age and wait to see if her mother comes for her. If not, taking it to the shelter is the right move.
When it comes to feral and stray cats, knowing the difference between the two is vital. Most people think the two are the same. However, they are different in many ways.
The Difference Between Stray and Feral Cats
One of the fundamental differences is that stray cats have at one time in their life lived with humans. These felines somehow have been separated or abandoned by their owners and have not been on their own for an extended period. These are still approachable and fine with being touched and held by people.
Feral cats, also called “wild” cats are just that, wild. Theoretically, these are domesticated felines that have regressed to a free-living or untamed state. The majority are born in the wild and have never been around humans. Some are strays that for some reason went back to the wildness over time.
Feral cats do not trust humans and typically will not allow anyone to get close to them. They will refuse food if a human is nearby and their eating habits tend to be in a hurry and sneaky. Feral cats and kittens usually hide in whatever they can find during daylight house then roam around hunting at night.
They choose out-of-the-way places to sleep and rest—in whatever areas they know they will be safe and not disturbed. These cats live in colonies in places where they can have shelter, water, and food, such as garbage dumpsters.
If you have a semi-feral cat lingering around your home, you have a chance of turning her into a family pet. A semi-feral cat is one that may make eye contact with you and be vocal whereas a full feral will go to great lengths to avoid any contact with people.
So, if there is a semi-feral kitty you have decided to make a house pet, by following these steps, you will soon have her trust you. She will eventually give in to you wanting to make her feel safe and part of a family.
1. Let the Kitty Make the First Move:
Do not rush her or try approaching her. The more you are around where she is, the more comfortable she will be with trusting you. It took the feral cat we adopted over one month to trust me.
2. Keep Her Wanting to Come Back for More:
Your next move is to offer a non-threatening, relaxed environment that will ensure the kitty she can enjoy spending one-on-one time with you. That is what will have her coming back for more attention. Mealtime is the best time to try to initiate a little interaction.
3. Slowly Sooth Her to a Life with Humans:
Keep in mind that there are numerous things people take for granted that are routine aspects of life that can frighten a human-friendly cat let alone one that has lived in hiding its entire life. Sounds such as opening and closing doors, music and voices all send a scary alert to run away as fast as possible.
Take advantage of feeding time to be the opportunity to perform slow and speak softly. Use slow tasks to desensitize the kitty to prove you are not a threat.
4. Respect Her Space:
This step is one of the most crucial ones. Once you have the kitty in your home, there is much work left to do. The kitten will be nervous and will need a place to hide when she feels overwhelmed.
Our feral cat it now seven months old and she still runs and hides in my daughter’s room when someone comes over to visit. My kids at times still scare her. Give her space and respect that space because this will prevent her from feeling trapped or cornered.
5. Calming Remedies Work Like Magic:
Just like a hot cup of tea and a hot bath takes the edge off of our stressful days, offer your kitty the same privilege. Items such a pheromone sprays like these from Comfort Zone or catnip such as this product from Catnip by Cat Crack will help soothe your new kitty until she gets used to the change.
6. Be Patient!
Here is the most vital thing you can offer a semi-feral cat-time, and patience. Some cats may take a few weeks to become ok with you and your family while others could take months. Mine still does not go right up to my kids. She has been around them for seven months and is still afraid at times. As of now, I am her life-line, and she clings to me. However, it took months and so much time and patience on my part to get her to feel safe.
What I can say is I have had several cats in my life, but this is the first feral cat I have ever had and training her was stressful and exhausting. However, today, she is the joy of my life and the sweetest little feline I have ever had.
We have two cats, the once feral cat and the one we adopted from the shelter. They both are a joy to have, but when you have personally taken a once wild, scared kitten and give her enough love that she feels safe to belong to our family, the bond is unbelievable.
Whichever you decide to adopt, a feral one around your home or one from the shelter, make sure you are 100 percent committed to loving it for a lifetime not just during the fun, cute times.
Places to Adopt Cats Near Me
Whether you live in a large city or a small town, finding the best place to adopt a cat can be challenging. You want to go where you know the animals have had excellent care and not a breeding mill. After research, the leading places close to me are as follows:
- The Humane Society of Rome-6247 Lamphear Rd, Rome, NY 13440
- Stevens-Swan Humane Society-5664 Horatio St, Utica, NY 13502
- PetSmart- 4731 Commercial Dr, New Hartford, NY 13413
- Dewitt Animal Hospital- 5620 Thompson Rd, Syracuse, NY 13214
- HumaneCNY- 4915 W Taft Rd, Liverpool, NY 13088
Finding places in your area is more accessible than what most think. I found those places by using this Google tool. You simply type in what it is you are searching for and let Google do the work. If there is only one result right in your immediate area, try typing in surrounding towns and cities for more results.
Pay close attention to the reviews and remarks made by previous customers. People who took the time to leave a remark whether they leave a good review or one that is not so good, are doing you and other future customers a favor.
For instance, if you visit a website of one of the results Google pulled up, and there are ten comments, but six of those are bad reviews, you may want to skip doing business there. Check their site for updates and their policy for adopting animals.
Be sure to ask for all paperwork that comes with the cat, such as shot records and vet information. You want a healthy cat so therefore make sure you know every detail about the cat’s health status before adopting.
Q: Are there many cats in shelters even today when the adoption rate is increasing?
A: In the US, approximately 3.2 million cats end up in shelters, and of those, about 860,000 wind up euthanized. The adoption rate is high but more and more people neglect getting their cats fixed, so the rate of reproduction is an alarming number. You can help by taking your cat and having it fixed as soon as it is old enough.
Q: Will my older cat be ok with another cat?
A: Adult cats typically adjust better to a new kitten than a new adult cat entering its domain. Cats are territorial and what is his is his, and he is not open to sharing with another cat. Get a new kitten instead of an older cat to keep peace in the household.
Q: With the number of cats living in shelters being so high, how fast are the adoption rates?
A: There are about 1.6 million cats adopted each year in the U.S.
Everyone sees little kittens, and usually feels a bit smitten by the kitten’s sweetness and heart stealing cuteness. Just keep in mind, that cute small ball of fur is going to grow up and went is does, you no longer own the household, your grown feline does.
Make sure you and your family are ready to make the lifelong commitment to raising a new kitty and having it in the family for a lifetime. Whether you buy one from the shelter or a feral kitty is lurking around your home that you want to train to be yours, you are saving that kittens life.
Do your homework on the places you find in your area to adopt a cat. Make sure they have a good reputation and not a cat mill out to score money selling sickly animals. Use the Google map to find as many places as possible to help you find the perfect little feline addition to join your family. Whichever one you choose, you will be happy you did.
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