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Old 05-07-2010, 12:30 AM
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Exclamation IMPORTANT: Read this before you bring a new kitten/cat home

Of late, I have been hearing of sad stories regarding the cats and kittens that have been rehomed. They have either escaped from their homes to become strays, or have fallen to their deaths.

It is very disheartening, and I would like to share with everyone the points below for serious consideration before bringing home a new cat or kitten IN ORDER TO PREVENT YOUR NEW KITTY FROM ESCAPING TO TRY TO RETURN TO HER FORMER HOME/SHELTER.

Cats are creatures of habit. They do not take very well to sudden change. They find being moved from one house or neighborhood to another very stressful.

Imagine what it must be like for the poor cat if she also has to get to know new owners as well as confronting changes in food, water, household routines, and rules. They experience difficulties when they are introduced into a new home. So, if possible, keep to the same food and routine that you new cat was used to.

They need to become thoroughly familiar with new surroundings before they feel comfortable. An entire apartment or house can be overwhelming all at once. Many cats will hide under beds or furniture, sometimes for days. It will be much less stressful for your cat to learn about you, your family and your home a little at a time. This is even more important if there are multiple people and/or pets in your household.

When you bring your cat home, place her in the room you have fixed up for her with her food, water, litter box & scratch post. Keep this room closed off, and let her explore that area first. Let the cat come out of her carrier on her own; do not try to coax her or tip the carrier to force her out. Cats are curious and most will soon come out to explore their surroundings. If the cat seems very timid, you can leave the room for a while and check back later. If you really want to stay in the room, get a book and read. When the cat is ready to come out, stay where you are and let her come to you. Talk in a soft, reassuring tone, pet her if she seems interested. Leave the open carrier in the room, so that she has a safe retreat if she wants one. Give her time to learn that she can trust you.

To establish the best relationship, she must be comfortable with you, with the sound of your voice and with your touch.

As she explores the room, talk to her. It doesn't matter what you say; it is the sound of your voice that matters. If she already has a name, repeat it in a calling tone and use it in different phrases. If she doesn't have a name yet, and you have already chosen a name, use it repeatedly in the manner described above so that she becomes familiar with the sound of her name.

Have a variety of playthings placed throughout the room. Once she has finished exploring, get a toy and initiate some play. Make physical contact while playing by petting her back and picking her up gently and setting her right down, so that she learns to associate your touch with the play.

You can try picking her up and petting her in your arms, but if she starts to squirm and obviously wants to get away, never force her to stay. Put her down immediately and distract her again with a toy.

After a bit of play, take her back to her food and water, and encourage her to eat and drink by dipping your finger in the water and taking a piece of food and putting it to her nose. This will establish an important, positive association between you and her food and water by showing that you are now the "provider" of her needs.

It is also important to pet and scratch her when she is calm or resting to get her used to your touch outside of playtime, so that she associates you with soothing, pleasant interaction as well.

After a few days, start to introduce her to the rest of the home. Place some toys outside of the room spaced far enough apart to encourage her explore and to show her that her "comfort zone" has expanded.

Open the door making sure it won't accidentally get closed, so she can retreat to her familiar space if she gets scared. Depending upon her personality, she will either readily come out to explore, or be apprehensive at first to venture out of the "safety zone." Either way, let her make her own decisions.

Eventually your new cat or kitten will be comfortable with the entire house, and a positive relationship of trust and security will be established between you.

And lastly, do NOT forget to ensure that all doors and windows are locked as your new cat or kitten is likely to want to escape and return to her former home/shelter at the first chance she gets.

~~ Added on May 7, 4:13pm ~~
For tips on integrating your new cat to existing cats, go to post no. 8

Last edited by blackie007; 05-07-2010 at 04:13 PM. Reason: to add a link to post no. 8
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