How to Prepare for a New Pet

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How to Prepare for a New Pet

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Cats are amazing animals, but sometimes a friendship between humans and cats does not end well. The most common reason for that is a lack of understanding what to expect. Namely, some people do not prepare for a new pet well and rush into adopting too fast. Many things, such as diseases, problematic behavior, or even abandoning a cat can be prevented by a proper preparation process. However, some myths and misconceptions contribute to various problems with a cat and make the whole experience a nightmare for the both sides. Namely, many people believe that cats are independent animals that can take care of themselves. According to them, cats do not need much assistance from a cat owner. For that reason, they are not aware that their help with grooming, playing, and monitoring a cat can help this little furry friend to live healthier, happier and longer life. Moreover, taking part in cat care and physical activities with a cat can greatly improve the bonding process. Cats, who are happy, healthy and content, will be better pets than unhappy animals. Parasite control, flea protection, quality food, and regular checkups are mandatory if we want a healthy cat. To find out more about how to prepare for a new pet, the article “Bringing a New Cat Home: How to Prevent Problems from Day One” lists several ideas.

How to Prepare for a New Pet

Many cats are fearful when introduced to their new home; being moved from a small enclosure to an apartment or house is a big change. Your home also has different smells and noises than the shelter and the home where your cat lived before. Initially, confine your new cat to one room. Your bedroom or the living room often works well for this. Make sure that you provide your new cat with food, water, and a litter box (see below), and that you regularly spend time in this room with her, so that she is not alone.

Provide her with multiple hiding places. A cardboard box with holes cut in both sides (so she can go in and out each side) and a blanket placed in the bottom can be a great hiding place. Be certain to provide her with hiding places on the ground, as well as up high. When she is in her hiding place, do not disturb her. Her hiding places should be her special places, where she can have privacy if desired.

Place a scratching post or cat tree in her room. Place her scent on the cat tree by gently stroking her cheeks with a towel, and then rubbing the scratching post with the towel. This will transfer her scent onto the scratching post, thereby increasing the likelihood that she will use it.

Let your cat adjust to the room, and to you. Do not force her to stay near you if you wish to pet her. Instead, coax her to you by playing with an interactive toy or staying near her food bowl while she is eating. Once she realizes that this stranger (you) provides all the same good things that her previous owner did (and maybe even more!), she will warm quickly to you and accept your attention.

After three days, or once your cat is comfortably walking around and living in this room, expand her access to the entire house. For some cats, it may take several weeks before they are comfortable in their room and can be allowed access to the whole house.

When we think about how to prepare for a new pet, we need to address one more misconception about cats. Namely, some owners think cats will always return to their home. Indeed, cats are smart and territorial animals with the strong sense of smell that help them find a way back home. They mark their territory; they are wary, but that does not mean they will always appear at the threshold. If we decide that our cat will be outdoors, then we need to take some steps to ensure her way back. Microchipping and a collar with basic info will prevent the worst case scenario.

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