Welcome! How to Get Your Home Ready for a New Cat

Con-cat-ulations! 

Deciding to adopt a cat is a big deal—and one of the best you will ever make. But even though your heart is ready to welcome this new family member, is your home?

Get your home ready for the new cat you’re adopting by keeping the following tips in mind:

List of things to do when you adopt a cat

5 Ways to Prepare Your House for a New Cat

  • Set Up a Room for Them
  • Buy New Litter Boxes
  • Catify, Catify, Catify!
  • Cat Proof Dangerous Areas
  • Install Pet Cameras

Set Up a Room for Them

It’s probably not the best idea to let your new cat have free run of the entire house when they first come home. Instead, introduce them gradually. Start with a home base (like a bedroom) set up with all of the essentials:

Wet Food

Giving your cat healthy food will help set them up for a healthy life. Talk to your vet about which food to feed your new cat, and make sure you are stocked up. Don’t forget to get some treats, too!

Gray cat licking lips

Rainbow LOVES all kinds of wet food!

Water Fountain

Make staying hydrated fun for your new feline friend by giving them a water fountain. Not only will a filtered fountain help keep your cat’s water clean, but the motion will encourage them to drink. 

Toys

Every cat needs toys! Not only are they fun for your kitty, but they are also a great way for them to get exercise. Interactive toys, like wands, are also purrfect for helping you bond and build trust with your new cat

Gray cat in pile of wand toys

Our girls have a lot of toys!

Quiet

You can’t buy peace and quiet at the store, but it is something you will need to give to your new kitty as they adjust to life in your home. 

Buy New Litter Boxes

While not glamourous, this step is one of the most important. You need to have at least two litter boxes for your new cat (the general rule is one litter box for every cat in your home, plus one). Keeping them clean and in an open area will help encourage your cat to use their litter box and help give them a sense of ownership over their space. 

Catify, Catify, Catify!

Catification is the act of making your home cat-friendly. This process can take many forms and fit any home decor style. The basic idea is to give your cats plenty of room within your space to feel confident, relaxed, and happy. Here are some ideas you can easily implement for your new family member:

Scratching Posts

Your cat will want to scratch her claws on just about everything in your house. Furniture, carpet, walls…nothing is off limits! Give her a human-approved place to do this (and protect your belongings) by placing scratching posts throughout your home. Many companies offer ones that are modern or disguised as stylish decor.

Cat Trees

I get it—you probably didn’t envision a giant faux-fur covered cat tree in the middle of your living room when you bought your house. But let me tell you—you need one. Cat trees give your cats a place to relax while also serving as a perch for your kitty to view their new kingdom from. 

Two cats snuggling

Rainbow and Belle have a cat tree in pretty much every room of the house—but they’re usually in the same one together!

Beds

There is no such thing as too many cat beds. Treat yours to a few different varieties throughout your home so that they always have an option when they’re ready for a nap. Purrsonally, my cats love hidey huts that let them take a break from the distractions of the world from time to time. 

Two kittens laying together

Since they were kittens, the two of them have always claimed my bed as their own!

Cat TV

No, you don’t have to buy your cat a new flatscreen tv. You just have to open up your blinds! Your cat will get bored if they don’t have something to stimulate their mental energy while you’re working or away. An open blind will let you kitty enjoy all of the entertainment that the neighborhood birds and squirrels have to offer. 

Cat watching tv

We may have spoiled our girls with the hours of bird videos we let them watch…

Cat Proof Dangerous Areas

There’s no doubt that you want to keep your new family member safe. Start off on the right foot by cat proofing some areas of your home like:

The “Unders” of Furniture

Cats can get stressed out and sacred when they first join a new home. When they do, one of the first places they will go is underneath furniture. This can be (at the least) annoying for you and (at the most) dangerous for them. Try to block your kitty from your furniture’s unders by using storage containers or even wooden planks. 

Cords

Cats are notorious for chewing electronic cords. Try your best to hide any in your home or wrap them in pet safe cord protectors. Sometimes my cats will still chew on these plastic sleeves, and while not great, it is better than them chewing the actual cord. 

Plants

Many types of plants can be poisonous to cats. Because of this, it’s best if you don’t let your cat near any. Play it safe and keep everything outside and out of reach. 

Tortoise shell cat in plant

Fake plants, only! (Even then, make sure they are out of reach from your kitty!)

Unsecured Shelves

Cats are climbers. And jumpers. Even if you think your cat won’t be able to reach something in your home—you’re wrong. Be extra careful to secure everything in your place, including shelves, cabinets, etc. and put away any valuable items that you don’t want swatted to the floor. 

Install Pet Cameras

While not a “have to” this is definitely a “want to”. We have a couple of Nest cameras set up in our home that help us keep track of the cats while we’re gone. Most of the time we will just be sent notifications of the girls stretching in-between naps, but on some occasions we will get a real treat—like Belle trying to jump to the top of an armoire. 

Cat on nest camera at night

Belle loves to say “hi” to the camera when we’re away!

Cat jumping to top of furniture

And here’s proof that she’s not always cute and innocent!!

How to Prepare for a Foster Cat

Bringing a foster cat into your home is a little different than welcoming a kitty who will be living there furever. Depending on their medical history and temperament, some fosters will need their own private area in your home away from other pets. Bathrooms or guest rooms are often purrfect for this. You’ll also want to consider setting each new foster up with a brand new blanket and toys—something that will bring them comfort while they are with you and that you can send with them to help them transition into their furever home once they are adopted. 

Are you planning on adopting a cat soon? Tell us what you did to purr-pare your home in the comments below!

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