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.. People, the house & the garden

 

After some initial space & time settling in of perhaps several days depending on the cat, human members of the familly can pay your new companion visits.

 

Enter their room & sit quietly on the floor nearby to begin with. Allow them to come to you & don't chase them around the room (however slowly) or corner them. Dependant on their character the time it takes them to relax & feel confident in their surroundings, with new personalities & any household noises will vary greatly.

 

If you have other household pets, please see 1st impressions

 

Once you believe that they are confident & relaxed enough to venture further into the house, Check that all external doors & windows are securely closed. It is recommended that a new cat is introduced to a household gradually, perhaps being given wider access to more rooms one at a time over the days. Being gradually allowed to freely explore rooms as they are opened up, will provide a memorable mental picture of the new territory (where the safe places & bolt holes are).

 

Your new cat is likely to demonstrate to you that this method is effective, they will probably return to the settling in room for security & their own comfort. You can leave the doors to the introduced areas open for them to explore as they wish.

 

You can also move familiar items such as toys from the settling room & place them around the house, but leave a bed or blanket in the room for their security. If they are to be re-located, another litter tray should be placed in the target location while the temporary tray is moved gradually closer to it. The temporary tray would ideally be moved a little closer day by day, until they are using the preferred secure location - see Litter tray positioning

 

After some weeks, you may wish to give your cat access to a garden.

Wait until your cat is good & hungry & looking to you for food, it is then far easier to encourage them back into the house with treats or a meal.

As a precaution if your garden is enclosed, you can look for any obvious gaps in fences or walls & temporarily block them. This is so your cat doesn't easily disappear through them into unknown neighbouring territory straight away, causing anxiety by leaving eye sight. 

If you feel that your cat is truly confident enough & feels at home in its new environment, you can open the door to the outside world. If you stand by your door & make continuous clicking noises with your tongue, your cat will know exactly where you & safety is as it explores. Supervise them to begin with, to get them back in call in the familiar way (perhaps with a food associated - rattling of biscuits) that should have developed naturally over the weeks.

Cats respond well to clicks, their hearing homes in on them as they are a natural prey sound. This is one reason - besides familiarity & positive association - that they are tuned in & often come running from afar to the sounds of cat biscuits pattering against a bowl.

It is advised to give them limited outdoor access to begin with, for periods of time that increase during each outing. This is to try & avoid over excitement stemming from a cats famous curiosity.

Of course they are agile creatures & if they decide they want to go exploring, there is little to stop them. As long as they are hungry & know where home is they shouldn't go far. Rattle those biscuits & call them warmly, without anxiety.

If you want cats to come to you with a rattling of biscuits or a particular call, you must reward them in some way every single time for the positive reaction, perhaps with a treat or positive attention. Cats are not pack animals, they need some incentive to respond appropriately.

Some cats will be wary of leaving the house, especially under our watchful gaze. When you first allow cats outside access, try not to make them anxious or they will perceive threat & be reluctant to explore or worse may become jumpy and bolt with any sudden movements or noise. Just relax & allow them to do the same, and explore intheir own time and only if they choose to. 

Once they feel at home in the house...

Once they feel at home in the house...

If they express an interest...

If they express an interest...

Under supervision at first...

Under supervision at first...

They can be introduced to the garden

They can be introduced to the garden

to enjoy the natural world.

to enjoy the natural world.

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