Welcoming a new cat into your home is really exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking: What if she hides, or seems afraid of you? Don’t worry if your new friend is a bit standoffish at first – cats are notoriously independent creatures, but they do want to befriend their humans! Here are a few ideas for getting your relationship off to a great start.
Start with a safe zone.
Cats can be easily overwhelmed in new environments. When you are ready to bring your cat home, consider preparing a cat-friendly room in your house with all the feline essentials: food, water, a litter box, something to scratch, and a cozy bed. You can introduce her to the rest of the house later, when she is more comfortable.
If your cat immediately runs under the bed, that’s OK. Let her come out when she’s ready. Chasing her or forcing her out of a hiding spot will only make her distrust you.
Make sure she knows who is feeding her.
One of the fastest ways to bond with your cat is to get her to link you with dinnertime, so be sure your cat sees you put the food out. If the bowl of food just mysteriously shows up on the floor, she might not make the connection.
Speak to your cat using a soothing, gentle voice – even if you don’t think she’s listening.
Let your cat get used to the sound of your voice, and start to associate your voice with good things like being fed or pet.
Gently pet and brush your cat, if she will let you.
Touching and grooming your cat is a great way to bond. It’s likely that your new cat will be more receptive to being pet on the top of the head than on the belly or paws, so start there and see how it goes.
Cats have a biological need to play, so try out different games to see which ones your cat likes best. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy toys, either – cats usually love playing with things you already have around the house, like boxes and paper towel rolls.
Take cat naps to a whole new level.
These tips should help you and your new feline friend hit it off. We hope you will have a long and happy life together!