Bring Kitty Home
Congratulations on your new feline family member! Thank you for choosing to adopt your kitty from All About Cats Rescue & Adoption. We hope that this furry baby brings your family great joy for a very long time.
This supply list will help get you prepared to bring home your new kitty:
❑ Bowls: The bowls should be made of ceramic, porcelain, or stainless steel. It is best to stay away from anything that is plastic because it retains food odor and can cause cat acne. Elevated bowls are a great option to help the cats eat more comfortably and promote better digestion.
❑ Food: Our kittens are eating Science Diet Kitten and our adult cats are eating Science Diet Adult. They should have a diet that consists of both wet (canned) and dry food. Do not switch the dry food “cold turkey” because it could upset the kitty’s digestive tract and they might get diarrhea or vomit. Dry food transitions are done over a 7-to-10-day period gradually increasing the amount of new food while reducing the amount of the previous food each day. For further information on cat food ingredients click here and cat food reviews.
❑ Carrier: The adopter will need to provide a carrier at the time of adoption to transport the adopted kitty. If bringing a carrier from home, please make sure the carrier is clean. New smells can be overwhelming and stressful to cats moving to a new home. Also, make sure to clean any blankets or pads inside the carrier. Some cat carrier recommendations are Pet Gear and Petmate.
❑ Litter Box: The rule of thumb is one litter box per cat plus one. Some cats may not like using an enclosed litter box so consider one that is open. Please see the kitty advice for more information on proper litter box setup.
❑ Litter: Unscented, scoopable, clumping clay litter is preferred by most cats. Avoid using plastic liners or litter additives. For litter check out, Arm and Hammer, Dr. Elsey’s, and Purina Tidy Cats.
❑ Toys: Some toys to consider: balls with bells, Crinkle balls, kickers, furry mice, mouse, springs, sponge balls, and tubes. Interactive toys: Turboscratcher, Catit Senses Circuit, Cat Dancer, Go Cat Da Bee, SmartyKat Hot Pursuit, and a Laser Pointer. Please do not leave out feather toys, strings, or rubber bands unattended that the kitty could swallow.
❑ Scratching Post or Cat Tree with scratching surfaces: Most cats will scratch a variety of textures like sisal rope, cardboard, and carpet. The scratching post should be tall enough for the kitty to stretch up and must not be wobbly when the cat rubs against it. We like SmartCat Pioneer scratching post, Animals Favorite cat scratching post, Trixie Baza cat tree, and Go Pet Club cat tree. Rub catnip on the scratcher to encourage your kitty to scratch such as silvervine or a catnip spray like KONG. Please see the kitty advice for more information on scratching.
❑ Grooming Supplies: Brush, comb, and nail clippers (for trimming claws). Additional grooming tools for removing excess fur, mats, and tangles use the FURminator and rake. Please see the kitty advice for more information on shedding.
❑ Beds: Cats sleep anywhere from 16 to 20 hours a day and most enjoy sleeping on beds. Make sure your cat has a bed that is an appropriate size. The most preferred shape is round since a cat sleeps curled up, a round bed will sort of “hug” the body. A super soft and deeply padded bed is irresistible especially during cold weather, and adding a heating element is enjoyable to most cats. Check out the Aspen Pet self-warming bed, Kitty City cat bed, and K&H Pet Products thermo-kitty heated cat bed.
Adjust to a New Home
Adjusting to a new home can be a tense and frightening experience for a cat or kitten. A cat’s basic reaction to stress is to run and hide. You can help ease the transition to a new environment by providing a safe haven for your new kitty that will serve as a safe zone. All too often people will let the kitty immediately explore their entire house. It is very common for them to hide under furniture because they are scared which could result in litter box aversion. It is best to establish a small enclosed space away from the resident pets to serve as a home base which will help the kitty feel more comfortable and secure. The best space is usually a spare bedroom or office.
Be sure to keep the kitty in the carrier while you set up the home base room and make sure to put everything the cat needs inside this room. Place their water and food bowls far away from the litter box. Open the carrier and let the cat decide whether it wants to explore or remain inside the carrier. Many times, a cat might remain inside the carrier for hours. Give the kitty time to adjust to the new territory. Help the kitty feel more comfortable by spending time in the kitty’s home base environment. Lots of love, treats, and playtime will help the kitty adjust just do not force it.
Once the kitty is comfortable with the home base, slowly introduce the kitty to the other rooms of the house for short amounts of supervised time and then let the kitty go back to the home base room. Cats usually begin investigating at night, making short explorations interspersed with rapid retreats to their safe haven. It is rare for a cat to explore new territory without hesitation. The kitty needs to be allowed to adapt to a new environment at its own speed. The length of time needed to adjust to a new territory will depend on the cat’s temperament, past experiences, and whether there are other animals present in the new home. Please make sure to see our tips for successful introductions of a new kitty to resident animals. If no other animals are present in the household, then the adjustment period on average usually takes two to three weeks, but for some cats, it can also take several months. Your patience and understanding during the initial adjustment period can do a lot to help your new cat feel at home and ease the transition into a new environment.
Jackson Galaxy video on basecamp & introducing a new cat to your home.
Our cats and kittens are fully vetted at the time of adoption to their new homes. We do recommend visiting with your veterinarian within the first month after adoption to establish full responsibility for your kitty’s medical care. Please make sure to bring your adoption records with you to the vet visit. Our rescue has provided electronic copies of the cat’s adoption records that you can share with your veterinarian.
- If you have adopted a kitten, it will have received age-appropriate vaccinations at the time of adoption and we will provide instructions if further vaccinations are necessary. It is imperative that you follow that vaccination timeline otherwise, the kitten will have to start over with the vaccines and it will be the adopter’s responsibility to complete this program. Please reach out to us if you need a vet recommendation.
Register the microchip with 24PetWatch. If your cat becomes lost, registering the microchip with your current information will give your cat a greater chance of being returned. Take photos of your cat which is important if your cat ever goes missing, you will have current photos to show people and share on social media. Store the photos with easy access and print a few photos to have on hand should you need them.
For the safety and well-being of your new cat, it is extremely important to cat-proof your home:
- Certain foods are toxic to cats. Chocolate, onions, garlic, chives, nutmeg, salt, raw eggs, grapes, raisins, xylitol, and raw meat including fish should not be given to cats. Keep cats away from baked goods, dough, yeast, and any baking products. Most cats are lactose intolerant so dairy products like cheese, milk, cream, and yogurt should be avoided. Drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol should never be shared with your cat. Check out human foods that are poisonous and toxic to cats.
- Many common flowers are poisonous to cats. Flowers like lilies, daffodils, hyacinths, kalanchoe, azalea, hydrangeas, tulips, oleander, chrysanthemums, poinsettia, and daisies. Check out flowers that are toxic to cats.
- Some essential oils are toxic to cats. Cinnamon, citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, and ylang ylang should be avoided. Do your research before using essential oils. Make sure not to leave these oils open or exposed sitting around the house. Keep potpourri out of reach. Check out essential oils and cats.
- Cover electrical wires & cables. Cover electrical cords or wires, like phone chargers and USB chargers. Secure dangling electrical cords with duct, electrical, or even packing tape. Check out how to cat-proof wires.
- Secure blind cords. Secure drawstrings, window blind cords, and any other loose strings. Put a knot in the middle, use a clip or tuck them behind the top of the blinds to keep the cord where the cat cannot reach.
- Craft supplies out of reach. Put away needles, yarn, thread, and ribbons. Cats should not have unsupervised access to these items because it can lead to a choking or if the cat ingests it, lead to internal issues.
- Secure breakable items. Cats love to jump and explore so move valuable breakable items out of reach like china, vases, and figurines to eliminate a major accident. Consider getting a museum wax called Quakehold which is used to secure antiques and collectibles from falling.
- Lit candles. Be careful not to have a lit candle anywhere your cat can access to avoid an accident that could lead to a cat with singed whiskers and fur.
- Store medications. Put away all medications and supplements that could be extremely hazardous if your cat ingests them.
- Cover trash. Close up garbage or recycling items security so your cat does not get curious about the contents inside. Keep dental floss out of reach by securing the bathroom trash.
- Store chemicals. Keep cleaning supplies and insecticides behind closed doors. Consider child-proof locks on accessible cabinet doors. Automotive chemicals like motor oils, windshield fluid, and antifreeze can be very harmful to cats.
- Check big appliances. Cats love to seek out warm spots so big appliances are enticing. Always be sure to check the inside of your washer or dryer before turning it on because you never know who might be inside. Some cats may not recognize a hot stove until they have singed their paws or tail. To be safe, place foil or double-sided tape around the stovetop to keep your cat off the hot surface.
- Fix doors & windows. Make sure all doors and windows work properly and close securely. All it takes is a second for a cat to dart outside from a lagging door. Check for any loose latches or knobs. Be aware that some cats are able to open doors with handles. Replace any broken or torn screens and make sure the screen is made of heavy gauge steel.
- Secure kitty. If the door is kept open for prolonged periods of time like when bringing in the groceries, be sure to keep your cat in a secure area while you leave the door open. Additionally, if you are having any work done on your home, please make sure to secure your cat in a safe, quiet place until the work is complete.
- Stressful events. Be mindful of any high-stress situations that could cause your cat to run away. Loud noises like fireworks, thunderstorms, or loud parties can cause anxiety and panic in some cats. It is always best to keep your cat in a safe, secure quiet place including the food, water, and litter box until the threat is over.
Jackson Galaxy video on how to cat-proof your home (room by room).