Adopting a New Kitten or Cat

Listen to the podcast for the FULL conversation here where we talk more about what you should consider before adopting, things you can expect of your new adopted cat, tips and tricks on introducing your new furry family member to your home, and more: Ep. 6 – Adopting Cats and Kittens


You found the perfect feline and are in love. After inwardly debating with yourself if you are ready for the commitment of bringing home this adorable furriness, continue reading to learn about what you should expect and be prepared for.

1. Hiding

When bringing your cat to their new home, expect that they’ll hide. Cats are habitual creatures. A new space means their usual routine is broken and it may cause them to stress. Even if they were the most affectionate cat when you met them at the shelter, their new home may now be too much stimulation for them. Hiding will provide your new cat with comfort, so allow them that space. You do not want to force them out of hiding and increase their stress level.

2. Hissy 

You thought you got such a sweet cat but then you bring it home and your cat suddenly turns feral on you? Don’t worry! Your cat didn’t turn feral, or aggressive, or mean. Again, they are stressed from being in a new place. They are seeing new things, hearing new noises, smelling new scents. It’s sensory overload. This may cause them to feel defensive and therefore hiss or lash out at you. Try not to take it personally or feel like your cat had a personality switch. Until your new cat feels comfortable in their new home, expect that they may continue to be on alert and be defensive. 

3. Not eating

Your cat may not have a big appetite upon their arrival to your home. Continue to provide fresh food and water and monitor their eating habits and health. Your new cat may nibble on their food and as they grow more comfortable, their appetite will slowly return. When cats are stressed, it’s also much easier for them to get sick. It’s also possible your cat may have an old illness that will flare up due to the stress of moving. Even if your new cat is hiding from you, it’s important you continue to make daily observations of your cat. If anything concerns you, no matter how small, be sure to reach out!

 

At Valley Animal Center, many of our cats are rescued from other shelters and each of our cats has a story, both happy and sad. If we haven’t stressed this enough, your new cat will need a lot of time and space. Kittens might be quicker to adjust in comparison to an adult cat, but just like humans, cats and kittens are all individual creatures with their own personality. You may get a cat that adjusts quickly in a few days or weeks, but you may also get a cat that won’t feel comfortable until months or even years have passed by. 

Your new cat/kitten will require a commitment from you and tons of patience. Don’t give up on them and also don’t give up on yourself. Understand and believe that your new cat is always watching and observing you! Your continued and consistent care and love will bear results, even if it may feel agonizingly slow to you.

 

Listen to the podcast for the FULL conversation here where we talk more about what you should consider before adopting, things you can expect of your new adopted cat, tips and tricks on introducing your new furry family member to your home, and more: Ep. 6 – Adopting Cats and Kittens


Anjanette is a Cat Care Associate at Valley Animal Center and she currently assists with their nursery and foster program. She has been working with cats in the shelter setting since she graduated from  San Joaquin Valley College in 2016. Since high school, she has volunteered at an animal shelter and has also had experience working with dogs, pigs, chickens, and goats from being with Future Farmers of America. Anjanette fell in love with cats when she started working with a cat only rescue in 2016 and she can’t imagine herself not working with animals in some capacity. Her dream is to open her own shelter in the future. Her present goal, however, is to reduce the cat stray population in the Central Valley through her work with Valley Animal Center. Anjanette works with cats all day and goes home to her own cats, Willard and Princess Tuna.

Lindsey has been with Valley Aimal Center for almost 2 years. During her time in the Army, she volunteered with the Oahu SPCA for 2 years and realized her passion for animals. She knew it was the career field for her. Fast forward to life in Fresno, Lindsey has worked in both the Dog and Cat Adoption Centers and has fostered multiple orphaned kittens and puppies while working at Valley Animal Center. She spends most of her free time with her dog Hank, who was her foster-fail from VAC and her 4 cats that are a rag-tag bunch of rescues as well. Lindsey plans to always work in the animal rescue field and maybe even open her own shelter one day. Seeing displaced animals find their furever homes is one of her favorite things and being part of their journey to a better life is what makes her happiest. Originally from Hawaii, Lindsey will soon live wherever the road takes her as she will be living in a self-converted school bus with her dog and cats with plans to travel the country soon.