Behaviour tips for cats

Bringing Home a New Cat

It’s normal to be so excited about your newest household member that you invite them to explore their entire kingdom right away. This can be very overwhelming for cats as they should acclimate to new surroundings very gradually. 

 

  • It’s best to set up a safe room for your cat that is quiet and full of their essentials – 2 litter boxes, things to climb, a carrier to hide in, safe toys, and food and water. 

  • You can visit your cat multiple times a day. Sit on the ground and ignore, go on your phone or read a book.  Bring yummy treats when you visit to feed or lay on the ground for the cat to pair yourself with something good. Keep visits short. 

  • If your cat is more outgoing and coming near you, offer some food in your hand and see if they allow a short gentle pet. Let them sniff your fingers/hand and try a very gentle pet under their chin/cheek. Pet for 1 second then remove hand to see if they ask for more. 

  • For more shy and nervous cats, you can try adding pheromones into their room like using feliway diffusers. 

  • You can try having some play sessions with your cat by using non-contact forms of play such as feather wands (never using your hands to encourage play biting). 

  • Once your cat is coming out more and interacting, you can start opening their door to explore more of the home. Only start with small areas, this might mean blocking off other spaces or closing other doors. 

  • You especially want to block off small, dangerous areas they could crawl into like behind furnaces. 

  • Once your cat has more of the home, move more of their supplies out of their safe room and ensure they still have lots of things to climb and hide in.