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Bringing a new kitty home

June is Adopt A Cat Month and there is plenty to be excited about when you are heading to pick out a new cat or kitten to bring into your home. To make the transition easier for the both of you it is important to make sure you are prepared for the new addition before bringing him or her home.

Cats are especially sensitive to new environments and generally take longer to adjust to their new surroundings than a dog would.

Following these simple guidelines can help your new adopted kitty adapt more easily.

When cats are brought into unfamiliar territories they may become uneasy and quickly find a small dark place to hide. It’s best to prepare a small room in advance to allow them to adjust slowly without being too overwhelmed. Equip the room with fresh food and water, a litter box, a comfy bed or blanket, and some toys for entertainment. As your cat becomes familiar with the small area you can open up more space, a little at a time, to allow them to explore and adjust at their own pace.

Providing a scratching post will give your kitty an appropriate place to maintain their nails without trying to use your furniture. A cat’s claws are very important to them. Scratching allows the cat to stretch the muscles and tendons in their legs. Cats also have scent glands in their paws, which are stimulated by scratching. These glands leave behind the comfort of a cat’s natural scent and helps them feel relaxed in their environment. Keeping at least one scratching post in each area your cat has access to, will help your cat feel at home and give them a place to scratch, stretch, and play without getting into trouble.

Be patient as your new kitty takes time to adjust. All cats are different and some may take just days, while others may take weeks to adjust to each new change in a home. If there are other pets in the home, allow them to meet gradually. Smelling under the doors is a great way for them to start getting acquainted with each other before meeting face to face. Like people, all cats have different personality traits and some will hit it off quickly. Others may take some time. Hissing, growling, and swatting are normal when meeting and will subside with time.

Finally, the fun part, be sure you spend lots of time with your new kitty. Bonding is an important step for adapting to a new environment. If you move at the pace of your new and current pets everyone should adjust just fine. We have many adoptable kitties looking for their forever homes. Stop by the Adoption Center to meet them or contact us at 859-873-5491 or manager@woodfordhumane.org.

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