Thinking of adopting a cat? As exciting as this can be for you and your family, it is important to consider the experience from the perspective of your new furry friend. Moving to a new home and meeting new people is likely to be stressful for cats but there are many things you can do to make things easier for them.
Beth from the Preloved team adopted Pancake (otherwise known as Panks) after seeing that he needed a home on Preloved. Pancake has been so kind as to tell us the story of his adoption from his perspective so we can learn on how to help your new cat adapt quicker.
“There’s two of the human-people at the door. I pounce down the stairs – I am elegant, I am beautiful, and maybe if I flirt with them they will give me more food.
The girl-human seems nice and I do my best cheek rub against her ankle. But enough of that – the big-man-human is putting food in my bowl. I eat it quickly before the other cats steal it.
Wait – why am I being put in the scary carrier that takes me to that place the humans call ‘the vet’?
I’m not scared. I’m not hiding, just sitting with quiet dignity under this strange bed. I always strive to act with a sense of dignity befitting my name – Pancake.
I’m not sure where this new under-bed is. There are strange new smells – smells of boy-humans and wood and gardens. One of the boy-humans has set out something which smells mouth-wateringly like tuna in a bowl by the bed, but I just don’t really fancy moving yet.
The girl-human, tried to crawl under the bed and talk to me. I am bemused by these humans sometimes. When she left I realised she had left my pink fluffy blanket from the old house behind. I’m not scared, just bemused. I swear. I curl up on the old blanket and sniff the familiar old smell and feel a bit better.
The smell of the tuna is too much so I edge out. No-one is around, so I tentatively start to eat the tuna. It is the nectar of the gods, it nourishes my soul.
Nothing is better than a bowl full of tuna. The ginger-boy-human comes into the room, but the tuna tastes so good, and he is very non-threatening. He just smiles and sits on his bed. I give him a sniff and jump up next to him.
‘Hello Panks,’ he says gently
‘Hello, boy-human,’ I think. I can still taste the tuna and he carefully scratches me behind the ears.
Maybe this strange new house isn’t too bad.”
Tips for adopting a cat:
Whilst adopting a cat and taking them to their new forever home can be one of the most rewarding experiences, in the short term it can be very stressful for our feline friends like Pancake. Follow these tips when adopting a cat to make sure your new pet is settled in and comfortable as quickly as possible
– Bring blankets, toys and a litter tray from their old home so there are some familiar smells around
– It’s normal that they will hide for a few hours – don’t force them out and let them familiarise themselves in their own time
– Make sure they are eating and know where their litter tray is
– These things take time – feeding, playing and patience are what will ultimately win the trust of your new cat
If you’re considering adopting a cat, have a look at the cats that need homes on Preloved