Last night I had an emergency call to pick up at cat. I met the folks at a Jack in the Box parking lot for the exchange. It was near midnight before the Cat, Minny, and I arrived safely at my place. With the help of my husband we had a very large dog kennel set up for her with small potty box, water and food, and a bed. Our house hold has four cats so we knew this was the best and safest way to acclimate her to the other cats and vise versa.
We have a dedicated indoor cat room, that is a central them to our home. The room also has an attached enclosed outdoor area, (safe from predators), connected by a cat door. We of course can access that outdoor area by a passenger door so we can clean all the cat boxes, bedding and play area.
In the past we have released feral cats directly into the mix as it was our only option. But we don’t recommend it in general. Minny will stay in the large dog crate most likely until tomorrow morning. We will simply open the crate door and allow her to do what is most comfortable for herself. We never release a cat until we know our cats are fine with the new member of our colony.
The following information, provided by PAWS, is excellent for any person who is thinking about adopting a new adult cat or even a kitten.
Helping Your Cat Adjust to a New Home
Adjusting to a new home can be a tense and frightening experience for a cat. Your patience and understanding during his initial adjustment period can do a lot to help your new cat feel at home.
The ride home
Riding in a car can be traumatic for cats. Your cat or kitten should be confined to a carrier during the ride home as well as during subsequent trips to the veterinarian. Do not let your new cat loose in a moving car or allow children to excite him. Do not leave the cat unattended in the car or stop to visit friends, shop, etc. Keep your cat in his carrier until you are safely inside your home.
The new home
Consider your companion’s past experiences. Your kitten may have been recently separated from his mother and litter mates. The kitten or cat has had to cope with the transition of a shelter and the stress of surgery. The adult cat may have been separated from a familiar home and forced to break a bond with human companions or other animals. Now he must adjust again to totally new surroundings.
Allow your cat several weeks to adapt. During this period, the cat or kitten should be carefully confined indoors. He needs to get used to you as the provider of love, shelter and food. Be sure that all windows and doors are kept closed and that all screens are secure. A scared cat can easily get out of a high open window. PAWS strongly advocates keeping cats indoors for their entire lives, but if you choose to eventually let your new cat outside, it is imperative that he stay totally indoors for at least one month, and the new kitten until he is grown.
It’s not uncommon for cats to display behavior problems during the first days in a new home, but these usually disappear over time. New cats and kittens often bolt under furniture. Some may spend hours or even days hiding. Sit and talk quietly to the cat. If you must take the cat out of his hiding place, carry him gently to a quiet protected area where he will feel secure. Be sure food, water and litter box are nearby.
What can you do to train your cat to behave better around the home?
Jackson Galaxy—a cat behaviorist with more than 20 years of experience, and the host of Animal Planet’s hit show My Cat From Hell—explains in his entertaining video The Best and Worst Ways to Train Your Cat:
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