Cat-proofing your house and making as many arrangements as you can ahead of time will help you have more time with your new cat once it is home!
Below we have listed some suggestions of things to do prior to bringing your new cat home. These suggestions have been divided into three main categories:
- Cat-proofing your house is important in reducing the risk of accidents that might happen when you bring home a new cat. This includes removing potentially dangerous items that can be chewed or swallowed (e.g., electric cords, needle and thread, rubber bands, paper clips, children’s toys) from anywhere they can reach (or jump up on for cats).
- Getting supplies before you bring your new cat home will help you feel more prepared for your new cat and will allow you to spend more time with your new cat once it is home. These supplies can include: food, dishes, bedding, scratching post, litter box and litter, litter scoop, toys, and so on! For a more comprehensive list of supplies, check out our budget page.
In addition, if you have other pets, you might want to consider doing the following:
- If you can, set up a separate room for the time being. Allowing your new cat to have full access to your house might make it feel overwhelmed. Setting up a small space will allow your cat to get used to one area at a time and allow for a slow transition. This area should have all the essentials for your new cat – check out our budget page for a list of initial supplies. Cat-proofing this room is also important so that your new pets don’t get injured or stuck when they are exploring their new room.
- It would be a good idea to have different belongings for both pets. Sharing is sometimes difficult for pets, especially at the beginning. Giving each pet their own toys, bowls, bed, and scratching posts or litter boxes for cats, is very important in reducing anxiety for new and resident pets.
- If you don’t already have a veterinarian, it would be beneficial to begin trying to find a veterinarian that you feel comfortable with and can see yourself establishing a positive relationship with. A positive relationship between you and your veterinarian will help you feel comfortable to openly discuss your pet and any problems you may be experiencing with your pet. It might be helpful to talk to pet-owning friends and family members to see if they have recommendations. You can also check out the "Got a pet? Get a vet" website. Once you find a veterinarian, it is a good idea to schedule your new pet’s first appointment.
- We encourage you to begin thinking about your plans for socializing your new cat. “Socializing” a cat means getting the pet used to a variety of experiences (e.g., different people, animals, sounds, etc.) in a positive way. It is particularly important for these experiences to be things your cat will encounter on a regular basis in your home or with your lifestyle. For more information, go to our socialization page.
- It is important to have a carrier to bring your new cat home in. Make sure to bring no other animals; this is already a big change and your new cat may be very stressed.
- Familiar smells can help to calm animals. Bringing your new cat home with a blanket or bedding that they were using before will help lower their anxiety.