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Guidelines on Adopting a New Cat or Kitten

  1. Keep in mind the expense involved in introducing a pet to the household: food, vet fees if the cat gets ill or needs vaccinations, kennelling if you go on holiday, etc.
     
  2. Make sure your house is safe and secure, especially if you want to adopt a kitten. Look at things that can be knocked over or things that could hurt a cat and adjust those.
     
  3. Prepare a quiet place where your cat can feel secure while adjusting to its new home, such as a spare bedroom. Provide bowls for food and water, a place to sleep, a litter box, a scratch post and some toys.
     
  4. Use a secure carrier to take your cat home in and don't let it out until it is in its safe room. It is all too easy for a frightened cat to escape and you will then probably never find it.
     
  5. Keep your cat in its quiet room for at least a few days (in the case of scared cats it may take longer) before gradually introducing it to the rest of the house. Do not get impatient or angry if it is scared – be gentle with it. Only once it is completely familiar with the house and has been with you for at least two weeks, let it go outside while you are present.
     
  6. Keep it separate from any other cats/dogs in your household for about a week and then let them get to know each other while you are around. There may be hisses initially, but ignore them. The animals will eventually sort out their own status.
     
  7. Be aware that your cat needs to be groomed regularly, especially if it has longish hair. Cats do not like and do not need to be bathed, but benefit from regular brushing.
     
  8. Young children may unwittingly hurt or frighten your new pet. Teach them how to be gentle and caring. Never hit a cat.
     
  9. Always pick your cat up with both hands – one to support the hind legs.