Bringing home a new pet is an important phase for you and the pet. It is the time where you understand each other to build a bond.

Desiring to share beautiful moments with your new companion. However, you want to be careful not to spread a disease unknowingly.

In this article, we talk about how to keep your new cat apart for a moment, how to introduce him to members of your household and your resident cat. Read on…

How Long Should A New Cat Be Isolated?

Once you adopt a new cat, whether, from a shelter or a rescued stray, it must be physically isolated from your Resident Cat for 10 to 14 days to ensure that he is not hosting a contagious disease.

He must be carefully tested by a veterinarian for diseases and parasites.

He must also be tested for FIV – the feline equivalent of AIDS, which is communicable between cats, and FeLV – feline leukemia, which can be contracted between cats, before it can be safe for him to stay around your Resident Cat.

Stray or shelter cats can have URIs – Upper Respiratory Infections or “kitty colds.”) Therefore, it is better to not expose your Resident Cat.

How Long Does It Take A New Cat To Adjust?

The entire process of moving into a new space can be a very challenging experience for your new cat because it does not have an existing bond with you.

Cats are known for not liking change, hence, they need a lot of time to adjust to their new environment.

In some cats, it could take a few hours, while in others it could be weeks, or even months, especially for the more scared cats. Patience does it.

The following advice below will help to ensure your new cat becomes familiar with his new surroundings:

  • Bring a piece of clothing or bedding to the adoption center and leave it with the cat you are re-homing to get him used to your scent before you pick him up.
  • Take his litter home with you when you pick him up, as it will hold his scent and make him feel more at ease.
  • Set up a space for your cat, complete with a litter box, food, water, toys, and a comfortable bed.
  • When you get home, shut the door to your cat’s room and leave him alone for an hour or more.
  • Do not evict him from the room.
  • Allow him to exit on his terms, and keep the door open so he can return to his haven.
  • Use soothing tones.
  • Allow lots of time for him to adjust. As long as he’s eating and using his litter tray, he’ll be OK.
  • Play is a good bonding tool

Whilst your cat is trying to make himself comfortable, he may put up certain characteristics like:

  • Not eating
  • Diarrhea
  • Not interacting
  • Scratching
  • Spraying
  • Hiding

All these show that he is stressed and that can be prevented when you are patient and attentive to your cat’s needs.

When you give your cat enough space to eat, sleep, and go to the toilet in peace, all by himself, alongside safe hiding places, you will make your cat feel like he has everything under control.

Eventually, your patience will pay off and your cat will gain confidence and stop exhibiting these behaviors.

But if the behaviors persist, you need to reach out to your vet for advice.

How Do Scared Cats Adjust To A New Home?

To help your new cat settle in its new home, these guidelines are essential:

  • Make a separate room for your new cat.
  • For 2-3 days, confine your cat to one room. This gives the cat a sense of safety and security, as well as allowing him to develop his territory. It also makes potty training and cleaning a lot easier.
  • Ascertain that the space is peaceful, secure, warm, and well-ventilated.
  • Make the room as ‘cat-friendly as possible.
  • Fill the room with water, food, toys, a litter tray, a scratching post, and a hiding spot for the cat.
  • When water is not near their food dish, many cats choose to drink it. Combination meal and water bowls should be avoided.
  • To assist your cat or kitten in settling in, provide a bed or a soft blanket.

Litter Tray Position

  • Keep the litter tray in a hidden corner. It should be at least 1.5m away from food, water, and bedding.

Cat Proofing

  • Remove any potentially hazardous wires, curtain cords, or anything that your cat or kitten could eat or tangle in.
  • Remove any items that are sharp or could be dangerous.
  • Remove anything breakable or anything you don’t want to be scratched from your cat’s environment!
  • Keep the toilet lid closed if the room contains a toilet.
  • Make certain that your new cat isn’t terrified.
  • To avoid frightening your new cat, ask everyone in the home to be quiet.
  • On busy days, such as Christmas or a birthday, avoid introducing your new cat.

It is not a problem if your cat hides for some days; you should expect it. Allow your cat to explore the house gradually.

After spending 2-3 days in a room, introduce your cat to the rest of the house gradually. Introduce him to one person at a time so that he does not get overwhelmed.

Secure your new cat inside. Even if you would eventually let your cat roam, you still need to keep him inside for a while to learn that this is his new home:

Shut the doors and windows, except you have a screen to shield them from running out. If your cat is yet to be desexed, do not allow him outside until after he has been desexed.

An adult cat may be kept inside for a minimum of 3-4 weeks (maybe longer for timid cats)

Kittens: keep inside for a minimum of 6-8 weeks. Kittens should be supervised outside until they are old/big enough to protect themselves.

How Long Does It Take For A New Cat To Get Used To Another Cat?

Pets’ first impressions are just as crucial as human first impressions. The result might be rewarding for both your feline pals if you provide a calm and steady introduction.

Here are some pointers and precautions to make cat-cat introductions more enjoyable for all parties involved.

First, keep the cats apart. For at least seven days, keep the new cat in a separate room with food, drink, comfy bedding, litter box(es), and everything else he needs to be happy and healthy.

This allows the cats to become familiar with each other’s scents without having to face one other. While the cats are separated, encourage healthy interactions between them.

Feed them treats or canned food near the door that separates them from doing this. You can also switch bedding every few days so they can get a better sense of each other’s scents.

During this time, some hissing is normal, but do not punish as punishing the cats for hissing or growling can create a poor relationship between the other cat and you.

Allow the cats to visit each other once the hissing has stopped for a few days. If no hissing occurs within the first seven days of your new cat’s arrival, simply open the entrance and let the cats explore.

Neither cat should be forced to meet the other. Have some treats on hand so they can start having fun together straight away.

Allow both of them out as long as they appear relaxed. Don’t be shocked if you hear some hissing when they see one other.

If the hissing continues after 2 minutes, or if there is any sign of danger, like ears flattened, chasing, screaming, or swatting with force, separate them.

Bring the cats together again when they appear to be calm. If the hissing lasts over seven days, things need to be done more slowly.

Allow the cats to see each other while maintaining a physical barrier, such as by stacking baby gates in the doorway, opening the door an inch or two and keeping it open with a doorstop, or installing a screen door.

Continue to feed the cats treats on opposite sides of the door. If one cat refuses to eat, move the food away from the door until the cat feels safe enough to do so.

Praise them for maintaining their composure when they see one other. Continue this for a few days until the cats are no longer tense around each other, then open the door and proceed as before.

Note that the first meeting should take place while the cats are relaxed, such as right after a meal or play session.

You must also maintain your composure. Cats can detect stress, and your worry may translate to anxiety in them, resulting in a tense encounter.

While you’re home and supervising, gradually increase the amount of time the cats spend together.

You should be able to give both cats free range of the house overnight and when you are gone, once they have spent 4 or 5 hours together without incident.

The typical time it takes for the cats to learn to tolerate one other is a few weeks, but it might take months.

For a few weeks, keep the new cat’s litter box and food place separate in his room. Having multiple resources for multiple cats is strongly recommended.

If the cats are getting along after a few weeks together, you can try to skip the extra food and water bowls if necessary, but keep an eye out for any signs of antagonism or stress and return the bowls.

The normal guideline for litter boxes is one per cat plus one, so it’s best to keep the new cat’s box, though you might move it if you prefer a different place.

Play A Game Of Biting

Play biting is a common occurrence in kittens. Playing is just practice for kittens before they go hunting, and hunting requires biting.

Your cat’s play instinct is inbuilt, even if he’ll probably never grow up and need to hunt. Adult cats who were not adequately educated as kittens may also engage in play biting.

Sources:

Pawsbink: Bringing Home A New Cat or Kitten

Anticruelty: Introducing a New Cat to Your Other Cats

Maddiesfund: Helping a Shy or Fearful Cat Adjust to Your Home

Spca: Bringing your new cat home

Paws: Introducing Your Cat to a New Cat

Ncac: Settling your cat into their new home

Petfinder : Tips for New Cat Owners | Petfinder

Metroanimal: Adding Another Cat To Your Household