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Advice for bringing rescue cat home; what's this about a bonding room?

(20 Posts)
Ocho Tue 05-May-15 13:26:02

[well I can't quite believe I joined MN for baby advice 9 years ago and now 3DCs later here I am asking...]

We're adopting a juvenile boy cat (8 or 10 months ish? I can't remember!)

I've read that you put all there stuff in one room of the house first and keep going in to bond with them.

Any practical advice for this please? How long would you keep him confined? At the rescue centre he was dying to get out his kennel thing, so if he wants to dash out, shall we just let him?

Anyone been there, seen it, done it?

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 05-May-15 13:48:18

Do you have other cats? And /or other pets? The answer will depend on this.

givemushypeasachance Tue 05-May-15 13:49:24

I think the idea is that cats can feel quite overwhelmed by suddenly being plonked down in a huge great house, especially if they're used to having quite a small space to themselves in a rescue centre. By starting them off in one room that can be kept a bit quieter (e.g. not all three kids at once in there getting excited and trying to hug him!), with boxes to hide in and such, the cat can establish that as their territory. Then after a day or so if they seem confident you can open the door and they'll explore on their own terms, having somewhere they feel safe they can retreat too if it gets a bit much.

With my pair one of whom was quite shy, I kept them in one room for a couple of days - though Monty spent much of that time hiding from me down the side of some shelves, so there was limited bonding happening! I just sat in there and ignored him but did some work or sometimes read out loud for a bit to get him used to the sound of my voice. If your boy is pretty social and happy to play then I doubt you'd have as much trouble as with a more scaredy cat, and it's just about giving him somewhere safe to use as a base room for the introduction to the family home.

Ocho Tue 05-May-15 14:08:45

No other pets, just three kids aged 3-9

butterflyballs Tue 05-May-15 14:18:24

When we brought our rescues home, we put them in our bedroom with everything they needed. We kept the door closed as we had a cat already and a cat flap. They settled in and one hid behind the wardrobe and the other was very relaxed and lay on our bed. The timid one would venture out to see us in the evening.

We then opened the door to let them explore over the next few days and once they were allowed out let them have free reign of the whole house. One took up residence in teens room and the other in ours. Resident cat is out a lot but sleeps where he feels like.

Ocho Tue 05-May-15 14:26:35

Thanks guys.

So, do you think it would be better to have him in our bedroom where it would be quiet in the day but we'd be there at night, or shall I bring him into the dining room where I'll be just quietly working during the day but it'll be quiet at night?

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 05-May-15 14:27:24

ASBO cat wasn't nervous at all and inspected the house thoroughly on his first night. It depends on the cat.

Ocho Tue 05-May-15 14:29:35

OK, I'm overthinking this aren't I? smile

chipshop Tue 05-May-15 14:37:01

I really worried about this as our downstairs is pretty open plan, but when our four month old kitten arrived he explored the whole house that night and got to grips with where his tray, food and water were straight off.

DidoTheDodo Tue 05-May-15 14:59:17

Our two (similar age to yours) were in the dining room in a kitten cage for a day...then they came out of the pen (quite happily, their choice) and within two days they didn't want the pen at all. The theory was that we would allow them access to one extra room at a time, but within about 4 days they were rushing all over the house (ok it's a small terrace) as if they owned it.

Oh, they DO own it!

KwazyKupcakes Sun 25-Sep-16 22:56:47

Reanimating this thread!

DH and I are getting two cats - 9 years old, their current owner isn't able to look after them any more.

We have quite an open plan downstairs, and the second bedroom is basically full of bed - doesn't seem a runner. But we have a third bedroom that used to be a child's but that we just use for laundry - nothing in it, 8ft by 8ft.

Is it ok to use a really small room for two adult cats as a bonding room? Not really another option bar conservatory which probably isn't the most comforting as its see through!

Thanks - exciting but daunting!


cluelessnchaos Sun 25-Sep-16 23:00:51

How about the bathroom? Easier to clean if any accidents and I'm guessing if adults they won't be quite as skittish. you could stage some towels and set up a box so they could hide if they like. Give them some time alone to get used to the new smells then offer some nice food. If they seems settled after the first couple of days feliway spray/plug in is brilliant

KwazyKupcakes Sun 25-Sep-16 23:30:45

One bathroom - carpeted (we moved recently - carpet in bathrooms baffles me...) and obviously used a lot, so may not be much good for them?

Plan to set up a chair with towels so they can hide or get higher, and there is a built in cupboard which they can explore... I'm just worried about them getting bored?!

Shall research Feliway - does seem to have cracking reviews on Amazon...

KwazyKupcakes Mon 26-Sep-16 08:13:19

Oh and I should have said - the suggested (v small) bedroom has a hard floor so hopefully ok for wiping up messes!

Weedsnseeds1 Mon 26-Sep-16 08:47:57

We put a huge box from a dishwasher in the living room with a towel draped over to leave a little entry way, with an igloo bed inside. He lived there for a couple of months, under the dresser for a week or so, then in a wardrobe for another couple of weeks. Then he decided he was a dog and started following me around the house. He didn't talk or play for months but is now a friendly and confidant cat.

FuzzyWizard Mon 26-Sep-16 17:57:20

I adopted a cat 6 weeks ago. We set up a bonding room. It was our spare bedroom. We put food, tray, water in there and put some blankets in some of the cubbyhole Ikea shelves we have and a blanket on the sofa bed. Our cat wasn't remotely shy. This picture is from a few hours after she got home up on my lap. She did spend a lot of the first couple of days in that room rolling around on stuff and rubbing her cheeks on the corner of furniture to mark her scent. In a couple of days we allowed her out onto the landing, stairs and dining room and then each day to another room. She probably would have been fine with the whole house at once but I just wanted to head off any potential problems with finding the litter tray or getting stressed and spraying or peeing. Chances are it would have been fine without the bonding room but if I hadn't done it and then we'd had issues I would have kicked myself as once cats start going outside of the litter tray it can be really hard to get them to stop.

FuzzyWizard Mon 26-Sep-16 18:15:31

I meant to say we spent quite a lot of time in there from the outset. I think a rooms where you work quietly during the day would probably be perfect.

KwazyKupcakes Tue 27-Sep-16 21:16:50

Thanks chaps! Much appreciated.

Expect the pair of them to be coming home at the weekend! smile

allsfairinlove Wed 28-Sep-16 02:01:25

fuzzy now those are some awesome toe floofs if ever there were!!! grin

iloveeverykindofcat Wed 28-Sep-16 08:01:54

I have always played it by cat. My posh (unrescued, bought) cat barely came out of her carrier the first day. Then one room only. Then gradually adapted to the rest of the house.
My rescue girl sprang out of her carrier like and immediately stomped all over the house like a conquering lion, and has done the same thing in the 2x house moves she's experienced.
Feliway is good though. I'd get it plugged in asap.

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