You’ve done it! You just adopted a feline companion. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of saving an innocent creature from the shelter and bringing it back to your home to receive love for the rest of its life.
It’s an exciting time for both you and your new pet, but before you invite all your friends over and let your cat out into the house, know that there are some precautions to take with your new cat. Whether your new pet be a tiny little kitten or an adult cat, there are a few things you need to do to help ensure the health of your new pet.
1) Take a trip to the vet
Depending on where you adopted your cat from, he or she may have been vaccinated. Some pounds administer the basic vaccines like rabies and FLIV, but not others. Even if your cat has been fully vaccinated, it’s still crucial to take your cat to the veterinary office in the first couple days of adoption. It’s important to get a full physical exam, check up to see if your cat has any problems like fleas, heartworms, or any other health conditions, and get any vaccinations still needed. Upper respiratory conditions and eye infections are very common in cats adopted from the shelter, and treatment is simple and fairly inexpensive. Just do your best to get your cat into the vet as soon as possible to make sure his or her health is in tip top shape!
If you have other pets in your house, don’t just let your new cat free into their surroundings. First of all, your new cat should be quarantined for about 2 weeks before being introduced to any other animals. A bathroom or laundry room will work nicely. Set up a bed, a food bowl, water bowl, and litter box (as far away from the food as possible) so your new cat has its own miniature home for the time being. Quarantine is necessary to ensure your new pet doesn’t pass on any lingering illnesses to your other pets. Put a towel with each of your pets and after a day, switch them so the pets get accustomed to the new animals’ scent. Allow the pets to smell each other through the door of the bathroom or laundry room, but don’t let them get face to face just yet. Once the quarantine period is over, you can introduce them, but make sure you do it slowly and cautiously. It’s best to put pets together for only a short period of time at first to gauge their reactions and make sure no conflict occurs. Over time, you can let them be together for longer and hopefully they will be friends before you know it!
3) Don’t force it
If your new cat is scared coming out of the shelter, as many are, don’t try to force him to be friendly with you or your other pets. If he wants to hide under the bed for weeks, let him do just that. Forcing it will only scare your new cat more. Give him or her time to get used to all the new sights, sounds, and smells in your home and over time and let your cat come out on their own schedule and he or she will be more comfortable with their new surroundings.
Adopting a cat is such a joyful experience and it can bring about years of fun and companionship. Following these three tips can help you make the best of your cat’s new situation and help make sure he or she is happy, comfortable, and healthy in their new home!