Transportation from the shelter or breeder is pure stress for the cat. So she will be very scared when she comes to her new home. Of advantage is therefore in the beginning a quiet cat room for the cat alone, from which the cat can later explore the whole apartment.
Equip the cat room with the important cat supplies. These include a litter box, filled food and water bowls, a scratching post and a cat bed or cat den as an alternative to a carrier. Ask the shelter or previous owner for a familiar cat blanket or the previously used cat litter for the litter box, so the cat will recognize something familiar to her in the new home and be less stressed that way. Put the familiar blanket already in the carrier. At home, close the door to the room and then open the door of the transport box so the cat can come out on its own and explore the surroundings. Some cats come out quickly, others take longer. In any case, stay in the room with some distance from the transport box, so that the cat can get used to your smell. Brave cats even dare to sniff their new human. Allow this, but in no case take the cat in your arms, so as not to scare him. You can try to animate the cat to play with the cat fishing rod, because this will keep the distance. After that, the cat will thoroughly explore the room and get familiar with it. Once that is seen, you may open the door to the room, expanding the cat’s range of motion.
If the cat does not come out of the carrier even after hours, leave the cat room for a while so that the cat feels undisturbed. If you’re still curious about how the cat behaves when you’re not in the room, install a wildlife or indoor camera in the cat room that you aim at the cat’s range of motion. Completely shy cats will not come out until people are asleep. Therefore, acclimating a cat can be a long process, depending on the cat’s character, in which you will need to invest a lot of time. Go about your daily routine at home. However, try to avoid loud noises so as not to frighten the cat. If you are near the cat, talk to it. She can tell by your voice if you are friendly or not. A few treats can also help the cat relax. Until the cat lets itself be touched, it may well take longer. As long as the cat is eating and drinking, that’s fine.
How can I tell that the cat wants to cuddle? If the cat wants to be stroked, then it nudges its preferred human with its head against the hand or strokes around the legs. If the cat does not let itself be touched even after weeks, it has probably had bad experiences with people. Give the cat the time it needs to settle in. Place the food bowl, the water bowl and at some distance the litter box near the hiding place. Find out what the cat ate before and get the same food. It is also possible to lure the cat to the food bowl with snacks.
Taking too long to do this? Speed up the process by sitting in the cat’s room several days in a row and reading a book aloud. This way the cat will get used to your presence and your voice. However, you should consult a veterinarian in case of conspicuous behavior, for example, if the cat does not eat, even at night and if you offer the favorite food or dry food. Check with the previous owner or the shelter for information on eating behavior there. Young cats should eat within 24 hours. For older cats, the window is 48 hours. Refusal of food may be a sign that the cat is in pain. Vomiting and diarrhea, on the other hand, can occur with stress and a change in food. Add some healing clay to the food then to settle your cat’s stomach.
How the cat explores the apartment
The cat will explore everything thoroughly, crawling into every corner and climbing every cupboard and shelf. Allow the cat to do what it wants. If the cat knows its territory, it will feel safe. If you want to deny the cat an area, then show the cat the border with light blowing. Snarling is similar to cats hissing at each other.
When may the first free walk take place?
The cat must be fully acclimated and integrated into the family before being allowed outside. The minimum acclimation period is two weeks, even longer for anxious cats. If the cat is already waiting impatiently at the front door, it is a sign that it is ready for its first outdoor visit. Possibly, the first free walk can be done for safety with a harness and leash, if the cat lets it put on. The advantage: If the cat is frightened, it can not run away. For cats. who quickly panic, a harness is not an alternative.
Managing a cat’s aggressiveness
Cats are not just shy and need to shed their fear in a new environment. Often their behavior can turn to anger with scratching and biting. How do I recognize aggressive behavior? The cat’s pupils are dilated, the fur is erect (also on the tail), the cat makes a cat hump and shows its teeth. The gaze is fixed on the object of attack. Possible causes for the aggressive behavior can be:
- food envy
- insufficient physical and mental exercise
- lack of available territory and lack of retreats when keeping multiple cats
- stress and anxiety reactions
- illnesses and pain
It is worth ignoring the aggressive behavior without raising your voice, because the cat will not relate the reprimand to its behavior. If the cat attacks another person or a conspecific, in exceptional cases it could stop a splash from the water gun. If the cat shows behavioral problems, then see an animal therapist.