Tips for Bringing Your New Kitty Home

You have found the perfect cat. She’s everything you were looking for and more. Now what? Is there any preparation that should be done before you bring your new kitty home?


There are some guidelines you can follow to help the transition go a little bit smoother.

Before Bringing Your Kitty Home: Setting Up ‘The Space’

Cats are territorial animals. Bringing a cat into a new environment can be extremely stressful. There’s so much that’s new and different from their previous ‘home.’ And, your cat is going to be unsure of what to do with all that room to roam.

Before bringing your cat home, find a space that can be dedicated just to him for a few days (or weeks if necessary). Most kitty lovers usually utilize the bathroom or laundry room for this phase.

Once you have found the perfect space for your new kitty, add all your cat’s special goodies to the room. Add the litterbox. Add food and water. Add toys. And, if you’re really wanting to furnish the area completely, grab your cat a scratching post.

Now, you have your space all figured out. But, your cat might want an even smaller space to escape to within that room. A cat carrier is generally the best choice here. So, if your cat is feeling overwhelmed or scared at any point, he can run into his ‘safe haven.’

Before Bringing Your Kitty Home: Kitty-Proofing

Now that you have set up the space where your kitty will call home for a few days, start exploring the rest of your home with a cat’s eye view. What could your kitty get stuck in? Is there any way she could escape? Are there any items that should be moved so your cat doesn’t damage them?

Cover up any holes leading to ‘unknown’ areas.

Think of everywhere your cat could potentially hide. Then, you won’t panic immediately if you don’t see her for a few hours.

The First Day of Kitty Being Home

The first day can be extremely easy for your cat or ridiculously overwhelming. You don’t know until he arrives and is able to explore.

Once you arrive home, immediately take her to the space you have made for her. Open the cat carrier. Let her come out at her own pace. Don’t force her to do anything she doesn’t want to do.

If there are other people in your home, the visits should be kept to a minimum. One or two people in the room at a time is overwhelming enough. But, you do want her to acclimate to everyone in the household. Observe how she feels around you versus others. If she’s comfortable, she is able to move a bit faster in the process.

Once she comes out of the carrier, take a seat on the floor and let him come to you. Again, don’t force her. She will come on her own time.

If she doesn’t approach you during this phase, don’t panic. Leave her alone and return later.

Some cats may only come out at night, too. If your kitty doesn’t want to see your during the day… you could try in the evening when life is quieter.

It’s also important to keep in mind- your newly adopted kitty may not each much at first. Or, maybe not at all. When she is ready to eat, be sure to provide her with the same food she ate at her previous home or shelter to avoid stomach upset.

The First Week After Arrival

Within one week of adoption, you should take your cat for a routine visit with the veterinarian. Just to make sure all is well. If you have a copy of immunization records from the shelter, bring those to the vet so he or she can have them on file.

You may also find out what types of toys your cat prefers during the first week (don’t panic if it takes two weeks).

And, if you can, grab a cat perch to place up next to the window. This could be your cat’s favorite place in the home and she would still be out and about to be social.

The Bottom Line

Most of all, it’s important to understand that each cat is her own unique ‘person.’ Some cats are shy. Some cats are outgoing. No cat is the same. Some cats take only a few hours to acclimate to a new home. Some cats take weeks. You never know. But, one thing is for sure. If you are patient and you put time into your new kitty, you won’t regret doing so.