Day 1 in a new home is scary for cats – maybe a few days after that too.  Your new cat doesn’t know what just happened to them.  Although it’s tempting to immediately try to include them with the rest of the family, we recommend starting them in a small, enclosed space to start such as a bathroom or small bedroom.  Make sure they can easily find their litterbox, food, water, and they can hide if they get scared.  This lets them start to get used to the sounds and smells in your house.  A small space may feel confining to you, but to them it feels safe because it gives them fewer places they have to check for danger.  You should visit them often to reassure them they aren’t alone and let them start to get used to you.  Failure to do this could result in aggressive behavior toward other animals and people, or urination outside of the litterbox to create a defensive barrier.  

If you have other pets, it’s very important to give your new cat time to adjust to his new environment before introducing him to other animals in your home.  Get small cloths, enough for each pet, and wipe one on each animal’s mouth.  Put the cloths near the other animals’ food dish so when they meet for the first time, they associate the other animal with something positive (food).  Let animals smell and play with each other under the door as a safe early introduction activity.  Make sure to be calm and relaxed when introducing animals as they can smell the chemicals you release when you are nervous or stressed.  After a few weeks, let animals meet each other for short periods of time slowly lengthening the time they are together.  Do not leave them unattended together until you are sure they are getting along.  Some animal pairs can never be left alone together.  

This is a great article with additional information on introducing your pets.

Choosing a food for your new cat is important – if you know what they were eating before you got them, you should slowly switch over – see formula below.  If not, be aware that food changes can cause diarrhea and vomiting temporarily but should resolve within a few days.

Cheap food ends up being very expensive in medical bills later.  You can easily Google “is (name of cat food) good cat food”.  Look for review sites that aren’t owned by cat food companies.  Many cheap foods are the equivalent of feeding your cat fast food every day.  

Provide either filtered water or filtered water fountains to reduce the chance of your cat getting urinary crystals which is painful and expensive if vet visits are required.  This condition may require surgery.  

Switching food: For every 1 cup of fod, you normally feed your cat, reduce that to 3/4. Add 1/4 of the new food into the old food. Continue this ratio for 2 to 3 days. Over the next week or so, increase the ratio to 1/2 & 1/2 of each type of food. After a week and 1/2 to 2 weeks, you should be able to switch completely over to the new food. 

 The 8 Best Kitten Foods Of 2022: Unbiased Review – All About Cats

  • Probiotics – your new kitty will likely be nervous with so much change and this can kill important gut flora.  Probiotics are crucial for the first week to help avoid colds, diarrhea, and other minor medical issues from a stress-weakened immune system.
  • Catnip – catnip is not only essential for play, it also has calming qualities.  Sprinkle a little in areas you want your cat to enjoy.
  • Toys – Every cat needs 5 things: they need to hunt, chase, kill, eat, sleep.  If we fulfill these needs, we’ll have a happy cat.  It is important to use a variety of toys to find what will stimulate your cat.  Many cats will even play fetch with balls, especially if you give them a treat when they retrieve the ball.   Be careful of yarn, which your cat can’t spit out, strings left unattended, or anything small your cat may ingest. 

 Cats should not be solitary or hiding all the time.  This is a sign of a bored or unhappy cat.  Many cats don’t realize they want to play so you need to figure out how to stimulate their activity levels.  Cats need activity just like dogs.

  • Toothbrushes and water additives will help clean your cat’s teeth and help you save money in future dental work.  
  • Microchips – if they aren’t registered, they don’t work.  It is essential to register your microchip. is a free microchip registering service.  Even indoor cats get out and lost occasionally.
  •  Your cat should have been vaccinated at least two times (2-3 FVCRPP vaccines) even if they are indoor only and not exposed to other animals.  There are deadly diseases in our environment that you can track in on your shoes and can last in your home up to two years.  It is essential that you repeat the vaccines annually to protect your cat.  Cats over 4 months also need to have regular rabies vaccines.  Rabies shots are very inexpensive at vaccine clinics and must be done by a veterinarian.