The first few days
When the cat first gets to its new home, it may feel stressed or lost as it is in unfamiliar territory. It will likely look for a spot where it can feel secure which is why we suggest placing the cat in a room where it will feel safe and has easy access to food, water and litter. Even if the cat hides for a few days, you need to make sure that it has eating and has used the litter box. It does happen sometimes, that the cat won’t eat at all for the first few days in their new home because cats are usually not hungry when they are stressed. They need to be in a calm environment where they will gradually feel comfortable. You should try to give it something really tasty and easy to digest such as chicken baby food and make sure they always have fresh water available. If you are not sure that the cat is drinking its water, it is better to give it canned food rather than dried to make sure it does not become dehydrated. Once they found their appetite again, you can offer them another choice of food. Sometimes cats will not urinate or defecate when they are stressed so place the litter box in a quiet corner where they will feel safe and secure.
When you have other cats at home…
Some cats adapt quickly, but if this is not the case in your situation, we recommend that you place the cat in a closed room where it will feel secure, with food, water and litter. After a day or two, when the cat is calm, let it out of the room and allow it to roam around the house while any of your other cats (or cat) are placed in this room where they can get used to the odor of the new cat. Do this for several days until all the cats get used to the scent of the others. You can then introduce all the cats to each other. If you see they are still aggressive, leave them together for just a few minutes at a time until they learn to tolerate each other.
I would love to get a kitten but I already have an adult cat at home. Whet should I do so that its arrival will be a happy one?
Placing the kitten in a closed room for two or three days with its food, water and food so that the older cat can sense its presence without direct contact. Then, Let the kitten explore the rest of the rooms under your watchful eye. The adult cat will probably act territorial and hiss or give a smack with its paws. It may be necessary to put the cats in different rooms at night for a little while to give them a break, especially if the seem nervous and anxious. But they should adapt to each other within just a few weeks.
The cat doesn’t have the personality you expected?
You were probably expecting that you could pet your new cat, have him sleep on you lap or play with him for many hours. But that’s not the case. Each cat has a unique personality and it may take time for you to discover it. When you first take the cat home, it will be stressed and feel lost and likely the way it acts in the first few hours will be much different from the way it normally cats. Cats which hide and are afraid of everything are usually affectionate and gentle cats-but also timid. Give it time to get used to you. Leave it alone to explore its new home.
Usually, at first, timid cats come out at night and do their exploring. Later, it will feel brave enough to come out during the day but will still react to the slightest noise. As it becomes more confident, it will come and sniff you and may allow you to pet it and feel confident with you. Cats who spit, growl and attack in defense, want you to know how tough it is and that it is the one in control. Let it come to you when it decides it is time. Play with it to help socialize it.
Adopting a cat requires as much adaptation for its new owners as for the cat and takes both time and patience. You may feel a whole range of emotions during the first weeks but don’t forget, you have taken in a living creature with its own personality and who deserves as much respect as you. A cat is not a robot you can program as you wish nor a toy to sit quietly wherever you want it to. But, never fear, you will learn to live together in mutual harmony.