Taking a new cat home

Few people like to be out their comfort zone – and cats are much the same. Adopting a cat and welcoming it in to your family is a massive step for you, but it’ll be just as big a change for your new feline friend. Many cats will take to their new surroundings with ease, but here’s some useful tips just in case it isn’t all plain sailing.

If you’ve adopted from the Scottish SPCA, our experts in our animal rescue and rehoming centres will have given you a heap of helpful guidance to try and make this part of the rehoming process as smooth as possible. 

How can you make your cat as comfortable as possible?

Consider the best time to adopt a cat. The Scottish SPCA always advise against adopting any animal when the humans they’ll be living with are outwith a normal routine, such as Christmas. This could mean taking the cat home at a time when the full family are around, which won’t always be the case. And that’s before you mention any potential festive parties. 

In fact, our advice would be to avoid introducing your new kitten or cat to lots of humans over a short space of time when you first adopt. It can be overwhelming for the new furry family member and they may go in to hiding and struggle to adapt to their new surroundings, which a situation everyone wants to avoid. Leave the cat be to do its own thing until they are fully settled. 

Your new cat may spend lots of time hiding, but don’t worry about that. It’s purr-fectly normal behaviour in those first few weeks in a new place. 

Make your cat feel safe

Create a safe space within your home for the cat to retreat to whenever it feels like it needs to. This should have a comfy bed to sleep in and, if possible, make sure the litter tray is nearby or in another safe, quiet place. 

Even if they are housebound, cats are adventurous souls. They like a good vantage point, a high place where they can take everything in. Make sure your cat has access to safe places above the ground too. 

You may find your cat loses their appetite as they adjust to their new home – but persevere. Keep plugging away with the same type of food and eventually your cat will come good as it builds a sense of trust. Chopping and changing food will only add to any confusion the cat has about being in a new environment. Routine and consistency are so important.