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Bringing home a new cat is exciting, especially if you’ve had to go through a lengthy adoption process. However, don’t sit back and expect the hard work to end. Follow this basics guide so that you know what to do when you bring home your new cat.

Create a Safe Space

Renowned cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy calls this your new cat’s “base camp.” When you bring your new cat home, keep it in a closet or bedroom where it has everything it needs (food, water, litterbox, etc.) but doesn’t have access to the whole house. This gives your new feline friend a chance to adjust to its new surroundings incrementally instead of all at once.

Be Gentle and Patient

Your new cat may not want to cuddle right away, and that’s perfectly fine. Let it get to know you at its own speed, even if it’s more timid than you would like. One way you can help is to leave some of your dirty clothes in its base camp so that it can learn your smell.

Use Calming Pheromones

Cat cheeks contain important pheromones that they use to mark their territory. Some companies have created an artificial dupe for these calming pheromones that you can spray or diffuse near your cat’s base camp. Just like with catnip, not all cats react the same to these products, so you should always test them out in a small area first.

Go To Follow-Up Vet Visits

To ensure your cat is in good health as it adjusts to its new home, go to all follow-up visits with your veterinarian. Thinking of skipping that spay or neuter procedure? Don’t! According to Animal Medical Center of the Antelope Valley, spaying and neutering can prevent your cat from developing cancer and helps increase their lifespan. Some kitties may also need to have their vaccinations updated post-adoption.

Keep Other Pets Away

To prevent your cat from becoming overwhelmed, let it fully adjust to its base camp before you introduce other cats and dogs living in the house. When you do so, introduce them from opposite sides of a door so they can smell and hear each other but not see one another. Introducing smells and sounds first will help both roommates stay calm when they finally see each other.

It can be hard to know what to do when you bring home a new cat, especially if the adoption process hasn’t been easy. Save yourself time and energy by following these important guidelines.

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