Cat Care

Taking Home an Adult Cat

Cat Care > Acquiring A Cat > Taking Home an Adult Cat

Taking Home an Adult Cat

Many of the factors that apply to bringing home a kitten are relevant to an adult cat. Similar preparations need to be made with regard to providing a bed, a supply of food and a litter tray, etc. It is necessary, however, to borrow or purchase a proper cat-carrying basket as a cardboard box is not sufficiently strong or secure.

The way in which the settling-in process proceeds very much depends upon the nature of each individual cat. An adult cat has obviously gained experiences of life that may have been mainly good or mainly bad. It may be trusting and affectionate towards people or shy and wary, and all this will influence how it behaves in its new home. If the cat is not used to using a litter tray it may be reluctant to learn, and it may resent being fitted with a collar. It is certainly advisable to keep the cat indoors for the first few days until it has adjusted to its new surroundings, but the length of time needed is difficult to gauge.

Obviously, a problem arises if the cat is accustomed to going out of doors to relieve itself, and it is much more difficult to control the movements of an adult animal than a kitten. It is a good idea therefore to introduce the cat to the garden and the immediate surroundings of the house on a lead or longer line attached to its collar. The cat should be given plenty of time to investigate and explore its environment and to become familiar with the route it is best to do this when you know that it is hungry, i.e. just before it expects a meal. The cat should have had time to appreciate receiving regular, appetizing meals, and it is to be hoped that it will be strongly motivated to return rather than to explore and possibly become lost.

All being well, the cat will appreciate its good fortune in finding a new home and people to look after it, and the settling in process will proceed smoothly. The golden rule is probably to persevere with patience and kindness, but at the same time, to let the cat know what you expect of it in terms of acceptable behavior. It is a good idea for the cat to have a health check carried out by a veterinary surgeon so that any problems can be identified and treated. At the same time, advice on a suitable programme of worming can be obtained and arrangements made for vaccination and neutering, if these are needed.