How to prepare the arrival of a cat home
If we are about to receive a cat at home for the first time we must prepare certain things for cu>
We must take into account the basic needs of a feline regarding hygiene, comfort, health and food and getting objects that help us satisfy them before our new tenant comes home.
Utensils to prepare
Sand tray As we have already mentioned in another article there are several types of sandboxes: simple, with an edge, covered (with and without a door), automatic cleaning,… .. If your cat is small, opt for a simple tray, this will facilitate the access of the Young animal and its use without complications. Later, and according to the characteristics and particular use, we can choose the model that fits more with the characteristics of the pussycat. It is important to educate the animal in its proper use: if you make your needs out of the tray, we will pick them up and put them in the sand, in a few days this simple trick will teach our friend to “not get out of the pot”. The location of the absorbent litter box must be sufficiently independent of transit zones or of habitual use by the family.
Picker or pallet. Useful for daily removal of solid waste from the tray. With this utensil we avoid contact with the dejections, avoiding disease transmission (ex .: toxoplasmosis).
Sand or absorbent bed. The choice of the absorbent bed must be governed by quality criteria. Most cats are very select when it comes to their W.C. ... if you don't like it, they will urinate and defecate outside. For the rest, there are different minerals, of different thicknesses, binders or not, ... To start, let's opt for a sepiolite of good quality.
Brush. Choose a comb or brush depending on the length of our animal's fur. Brush your animal daily to prevent the formation of knots and the appearance of hairballs in the stomach and intestine.
Malt. Its purpose is to favor the transit of the hair that the cat swallows when it is cleaned with the tongue. It is almost essential to avoid hair jams in the digestive system. Short-haired animals should take it at least once a week, increasing the frequency (2-3 per week) in long-haired specimens.
Feeder and drinker. Choose those easy to clean and difficult to tip over. Keep in mind the height of your animal and other characteristics that can make you choose a particular feeder.
Food. A correct choice from the beginning greatly favors a correct health status of our new friend. Better to opt for a dry food (feed) as the basis of food.
Water. Always fresh and freely available. The cat is not a great drinker, but when he drinks he prefers fresh water ... that is why we can often see him licking the drops of any of the taps in the house.
Scraper It accustoms the animal to its use from small. When we observe that the animal sharpens its nails in an unwanted location we will say no ... how? with a spray of water spray or with a loud noise. To choose the scraper as a "sharpening zone" we must play with the animal using the scraper until "he realizes" that his nails are hooked wonderfully and until his odors (sweat glands and interdigital sebaceous) are "recorded" in the scraper. These methods will make the cat choose the scraper and forget about curtains, armchairs, ...
Carrier It will be necessary for the visits you make to the veterinarian, also for the holidays in which you take your pussy, for specific transfers ...
Necklace. Every time we see more kittens on the street or premises, and to be able to take them out for a walk those humans have had to put on a collar or harness and a special strap for cats. As always, better accustom the animal to its use since childhood.
Bed. It is not an essential utensil but having a bed for the cat is a good option.
Cats enjoy sleeping, so they will appreciate a comfortable mattress. There are designs of all kinds and with several textures, choose the one that you find most comfortable, as we do not know the cat we do not know what their tastes will be.
Although we already warn you that your new friend will also choose other corners of the home as they see fit.
Bath products. Another utensil that is not essential at first but that is important to know is the special bath shampoo for felines. If the next one is an adult cat, we have to know if he likes water because it will depend on this if we can help ourselves in the hygienic routine of monthly baths or if it is better not to undergo this “ordeal”. If we get used to our little kitten in the water, when he grows up he will feel like being manipulated in those bathrooms. Get a special shampoo for your cat's hair and skin, a towel just for him and a colony with antiparasitic after bath.
1. Feeder and drinking fountain
Cats in freedom perform many small meals throughout the day, therefore, the ideal is that our cat has fresh water and food available 24 hours a day. The containers must be located far from the sanitary tray and, if possible, somewhat separated from each other.
We will opt for easily washable containers and with enough size so that our cat can eat and drink without his whiskers rubbing the edges, since this is very annoying for them. If you notice, your cat will often eat only the food that is in the center of the feeder for this same reason.
Ideally, opt for drinking troughs and feeders stainless steel or ceramic, being careful to correctly position the latter, as they could break when falling from a high place. Of course, we will completely avoid plastic containers. In addition, if we want to encourage our cat to drink water, the ideal is to opt for a fountain that will attract you because you will constantly have running water.
Before the arrival of the cat to our home we must have the food ready that we are going to offer, is one of the most necessary things for the cat. Ideally, inform us about what type of food you have been receiving previously, to assess whether it is adequate and we can maintain it or to make a transition process.
For change the food From the cat to a new one follow this step by step, it will help you avoid various digestive problems:
- Start by mixing 80% of old food with 20% of new food.
- After a few days, reduce the amount of previous food, for example using 60% of old food and 40% of new food.
- Follow this process proportionally for one or two weeks until the food you offer is 100% new.
It is not always easy to choose a good feed for cats. Ideally, analyze in detail the composition until you find a good quality feed based on fresh ingredients. Remember that the cat is a completely carnivorous animal, so you should reject cereal-based feed.
It will also be important to choose according to age or needs of the cat In the market we find feed for puppies, adults and the elderly, but also for sterilized cats, overweight or with different problems and health.
You can also choose a barf diet for your cat, however, when we talk about homemade recipes, we always recommend consulting with a veterinarian beforehand to avoid nutritional deficiencies or prevent different health problems.
2. Resting place
Our cats can get to sleep up to 20 hours when they are adults and, in order to enjoy that rest, they need a place where they feel comfortable and safe.
Depending on the character of our cat will have some preferences or others but usually they like covered places, where they feel most protected. In addition, they also tend to look for high places where they can control everything.
In the market you will find all kinds of beds and accessories for your cat, but this will often leave aside that beautiful and expensive bed by a box with a blanket inside.
The "nest" type bed is one of the essential elements for cats, especially if live with other animals, as it will serve as a refuge if you do not want to interact or want to rest completely without being disturbed.
The quintessential accessory of cats is the scraper. This allows them, apart from fix your nails, exercise and mark your territory. If we do not provide a scratching area, they will most likely look for them on our sofas, curtains, furniture, etc.
If we want you to use the scraper, it must normally meet a series of requirements that all cats prefer. First of all it must be located in one of the main areas of the house, if we leave it hidden in a corner our cat will look for another object where to do the manicure.
In addition, it is convenient that the scraper be high enough so you can stretch completely when using it and stable so he doesn't move when he jumps on him. If we also opt for a scraper tower (or feline residence) with several heights this will serve as a gym and help you stay fit helping you avoid being overweight.
At this point we want to clarify that de-isolation (apart from being illegal) is never an option. If our cat does not use the scraper, we can use catnip or valerian (herbs that attract cats) to encourage you to use it or place pieces of food or your favorite toys in different parts of the scraper.
Of course, during the first days of the cat at home, completely avoid scolding him If you sharpen your nails on your furniture or sofas. They need an adaptation process and punishments, apart from being very ineffective, can make your relationship worse. It is best that you try to distract him and approach his scraper with the use of the mentioned elements.
In the market we will find many types of sanitary trays and the choice, in most cases, will depend more on our cat than on us. The closed trays They are very comfortable because they avoid odors and so much sand comes out, but sometimes our cat will reject it because they usually prefer bare trays.
In addition, we must ensure that the edges are low to facilitate entry and exit, and should be located in a quiet place, without drafts and away from feeders and drinking fountains.
Ideally, we have as many trays as cats there is one more at home. That is, if we live with two cats, the ideal is to have 3 sandboxes. Of course, sometimes, if we have several cats in a small flat, it will not always be possible to have many sandboxes. In this case, regular cleaning will be essential if we do not want to make your stools in inappropriate places.
The carrier is a basic element to move with our cat safely. Although we are not going to travel with him, we will need him to go to the veterinarian, in case of moving or in case of an emergency. It is a security element indispensable.
So that our cat does not have a negative view of him, the ideal is that he is usually available as a place of rest or eating, so when we visit a veterinary visit it will be much easier for him to enter. Can associate positively the carrier leaving tasty food prizes inside or their favorite toys. The use of a fluffy blanket or the like can also be very interesting.
For the carrier to be safe and comfortable it is preferable that it be removable, this way it will be easier to take it out in the vet and we can clean it easily. In addition, it is recommended that it be rigid and plastic to make it safer in the event of a car accident and easily cleaned.
6. Window protection
Cats are gossips by nature and they love it investigate, explore and discover new smells If we live in an apartment we must protect our windows because the falls are much more frequent than we usually think. Parachute cat syndrome is a sign of that.
Our cat is not going to jump into the void without a reason, but he may try to hunt something or just stumble and fall, so it is better to take precautions. It does not work with placing a mosquito net, as these are not strong enough, we must opt for a specific mesh for these cases that we can find in many pet products stores and make sure to place it well.
7. Environmental enrichment and stimulation
Finally, and not least, it is essential to talk about the enrichment that a cat requires, as well as physical and mental stimulation. All this will impact on your emotional well-being and avoid behavioral problems.
Environmental enrichment for cats consists of different factors that will provide a better quality of life, we talk about visual stimuli or smells, for example. The use of catnip, walkways and feline structures are an example of this.
The game with us is also important, as it allows them to socialize and exercise. Remember that cats do not have fun playing alone, so spend some time each day doing game sessions With him it can be very beneficial to stimulate him. We can use intelligence toys, food dispensing toys, fishing rods or simply a massage and relaxation session.
Do not forget that cats, although they are more independent than dogs, are animals very sociable and they need to relate to be happy. Spend time with your best friend and provide the best quality of life as far as possible.
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Let your animal walk around the house at your leisure when you arrive. You need to observe and smell everything from the home and, of course, start to leave its smell so that later you feel that space.
If you have other animals in the home You will have to carry out a presentation process that will vary in duration depending on the nature of the animals.
Choose a veterinarian before you get home. The guidelines for choosing it can be: that it is close to home, in case an emergency arises, that your neighbors have talked to you about animals, that you know that you have a great awareness of animal protection, and that their prices are average from veterinary clinics.
When your cat comes home you can do a quick review and then go to the vet and tell him what you have observed. This review includes:
- Hair: clean, soft, without dandruff, without baldness… A clean and healthy hair is a clear indication of health.
- Eyes and ears: the eyes, without scum or other secretions, should be bright and "awake." The ears without secretions, without wounds, without baldness ... Frequent scratching is a symptom of problems.
- Year: the area around the anus must be clean, with no feces left. The opposite could be indicative of diarrhea and that some pathology is affecting the feline.
- Gums: pink and clean teeth.
- Tips: straight, "compact", without bulges or deformations.
- Behavior: if you are a puppy you should be active, playful. If you are an adult you can be leisurely but suspecting that you are downcast, weak or very nervous is a symptom that something is happening to you.
After this observation, transfer your feline to the veterinary center so that they can open the card, submit it to a rigorous review and set the vaccination and deworming guidelines.
The new cat's choice
If the cat or cats that already live at home were separated from their mother and siblings very soon, and have not had a relationship with other cats in all their development, it is normal that at first they find it more difficult to adapt to this new situation. If on the contrary, that cat has already lived together with other cats, although at first it seems that he rejects it, the adaptation will be easier. If you are in the first case, the ideal is to choose a kitten less than 6 months old because the process is usually faster and easier, but it is also true that adults are less likely to be adopted and also deserve a chance.
Creating the territory of the cat
Remember that the cat is territorial and that it will be necessary to “build” the necessary areas in the house. Upon arrival, try to create these areas in a single room, before the cat is ready to go out to the rest of the house.
If you have more cats in the house, consult this method of incorporating a second cat into the home.
Objects necessary for the welfare of the cat
Once the cat is accustomed, he must have access to different vital elements for his well-being:
- Considerations prior to the arrival of the cat
You also have to take into account the needs of each cat. When you take him home, you should inform him of his health by taking him to the veterinarian, and performing the necessary tests and vaccines.
If he kitten is an orphan and is small, you should try to stay with the mother. If it is impossible and you take care of their care, follow these specific tips step by step.
If he cat has a disease or needs specific care, Be sure to provide what your veterinarian has recommended.
You can also use pheromones Cat specials to spray objects and help you adapt better to the new home.
And above all, Give it much love, be patient and be understanding. It is a new house where everything is unknown, so it may take a while to feel comfortable. The cat's own character will also determine how to interact with him.
Before introducing the new cat
It is important to know that not only will it be a great change for cats that are already at home, but also that the new cat that enters the house will also have to undergo a change of environment, new spaces, accept new members of the family ... For all this, the ideal is that, if possible, a week or a few days before introducing the new cat, begin to take home some blanket or bed of that cat so that ours begin to Recognize your smell.
In addition, for some years there have been synthetic feline pheromones in the market, in several formats (although for this in particular we recommend the diffuser format) that help them to better cope with a stressful situation as in this case. We talk about these pheromones in another article that you have available on the blog called ‘Feline pheromones. What they are and what they are used for ‘. Ideally, put the diffuser a week before starting the process so that the mininos relax.
Visit to the vet
It is important to visit the veterinarian with the new cat before introducing it at home. Unfortunately, many street kittens are sick even if they do not appear and can be a danger to cats that you already have at home. You have to perform a general examination of the animal and rule out that it has internal parasites, fleas or mites. These parasites are highly contagious among cats (also from cat to dog) and thus prevent them from spreading to the rest of the family, it is very unpleasant for fleas to enter at home and, unfortunately, a high percentage of kittens that come from the street They have fleas and mites in their ears (we have even seen it in kennel kittens).
On the other hand, if the new kitten is more than 6 months old, we also recommend performing the feline leukemia and immunodeficiency test, a highly contagious virus among cats. In that same consultation you will be better informed, adapting to each particular case, how to pass in the best possible way this process of introducing a new cat at home.
You know that we always recommend castration of cats to avoid unwanted litters and diseases and, in the case of cats, unwanted behaviors such as marking with urine. In this case, it is also advised, since it will be much easier, to introduce new animals to the family if they are neutered, to reduce the territorial behaviors associated with sex hormones.
We already have the new cat at home, what do we do now?
Well, first At this point, you have a lot of patience because this process can take from weeks (in most cases) to a few months, and it is very important that you do not force the situation.
You have to enable a room at home for that new cat. If possible, a room in which cats that are already at home do not have their things (think it is their territory) or transit frequently. There the new cat will stay with its feeder and drinker, toys, a bed and, further away, a sandpit. This space will be your home for a few weeks, the door must always remain closed, so we will avoid conflicts between the cats and at the same time they can start to hear and smell. As usual, at first they will want to hide, so it is recommended that you cover the spaces that remain under the cabinets so that they do not get in, and thus prevent them from being harmed.
We recommend that during the first week that the new cat is at home, only exchanges of toys and blankets are made. After spending the first week, we can start making the first visual contacts. This point is very important, since they must always be done under your supervision and with the new cat inside a carrier. It is normal that the first reactions are not good, there will be snorts but, day by day you will see that they are less. When your cats are calm watching the new tenant, you can offer them prizes to normalize the situation. This point also requires several days, my advice is that you do it for one or two hours a day, but always under your supervision.
The next step, as long as we have passed the previous one, are the first contact shots. In the same way, it must always be with you ahead and always with the possibility of separating them if a conflict is created. If the cat is very calm, puppy or stays relaxed, you can approach with the new cat in his arms and let the rest of the cats come and smell him. If not, you can use a carrier or some harness. It is very important to avoid fighting, if the first time you reach this point you see that it can end badly, you must leave it for the next day and with shorter times. With the passing of the days that are smelling and there is no conflict, you can already let it drop from your arms and have contact. Many times, the first days are ignored, but it is better than any fight.