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Adopting a cat- advice on settling her in

(27 Posts)
MuggleWuggle Thu 01-Sep-16 22:28:28

We are taking home a 4yr old rescue cat on Saturday - she has been at the centre for over 3 months, apparently because people don't want black cats- she's petite & very sweet, crazy people!
I have a 5yr old & 9yr old who are v gentle but just dying to give lots of strokes- I keep trying to tell them she'll probably be quite anxious & shy at first & will need space & time.
What can I do to help her settle in and feel secure & safe in her new home? House is not big enough to give her a room of her own.
Any words of wisdom happily received.

ShutUpLegs Fri 02-Sep-16 13:27:36

We are taking a rescue cat tomorrow too. My DC are 7 & 10.

The cat will start off in the kitchen as this is where litter tray, food and bed are. We have put in an upturned box with a hole cut into it so she has somewhere to hide. Plan is to put the carrier into the kitchen, open door and leave her to it for a wee while. Then for me to go in and sit quietly and see how she responds. If all going well, DC can come and sit quietly too. No effort to play - just to let her some out and sniff. Stick with this as plan for as long as it takes her to get more confident at which point, we'll open the kitchen door and let her come further in to the house in her own good time.

The only challenge is meal times I think. I'll keep everyone else out while I prep food and others will come in to eat but not to interact with cat. I suspect cat will be in the box.

It worked last time, so I keeping my fingers crossed. If she seems stressed and doesn't relax, we'll have to think about moving her to another room.

I hope it all goes well.

cozietoesie Fri 02-Sep-16 14:12:23

Even if the house isn't big enough to give her a separate room, maybe see if you can give her some sort of safe place where she can go to get away from the DCs - well people in general - if she needs to. Somewhere high up would be good if you can manage it.

Good luck and let us know how she gets on. smile

PinkSparklyPussyCat Fri 02-Sep-16 14:16:04

I think it depends on the temperament of the cat. Our house isn't big enough to give a cat a separate room so Harry had free run from day one. He strolled out of his basket, wandered around until he found his litter tray and food bowl and then went to sleep. He never really hid or ran away. Now George, my mother's cat, is a totally different animal - two years later and he's still hiding!

Looking forward to seeing pictures of the new addition!

DixieWishbone Fri 02-Sep-16 14:23:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MuggleWuggle Fri 02-Sep-16 20:55:21

Thanks for the replies & all the great tips- will try to locate a box for her tomorrow, we know from the centre she's an up high cat so girls have cleared the top of their toy storage unit. I am telling them that she will likely be anxious & nervous to start and we should just sit and see if she wants to come to us.

Great advice Dixie, will talk to the girls about it in the morning, they are very patient but so excited too!
Good luck tomorrow ShutUpLegs, hope both our cats settle happily into their new homes.

Will update tomorrow, with a pic if I can figure out how to post one

MuggleWuggle Sat 03-Sep-16 15:18:02

Need to work out how to post a pic but our lovely girl is home with us, purring, coming for strokes and rubbing against furniture within the hour. We're very happy & it seems she may be too smile

cozietoesie Sat 03-Sep-16 16:20:18

That sounds good. smile How are the DCs with her? (And she with them.)

ShutUpLegs Sat 03-Sep-16 16:56:42

Good news Muggle.

Newcat is a solemn wee thing and very different to our kittens. She's explored the kitchen thoroughly, eaten and drunk and slept - although she only wants to sleep on a plastic bag. I'd just like to know she's used the litter try before allowing her to broaden her horizons. She likes her cheeks to scritched and bends lower and lower until she flops over. She's mainly passive and watchful but has had a couple of chases of a ping pong ball and a wrestle with the Kickeroo. If we leave her alone and she gets bored, she calls out very loudly. I can hear her upstairs so I am hoping she won't do that all night!

She is quite young and was picked up off the streets to have a litter of 7 kittens in the rescue. I don't think she has ever really played - she must have been too busy surviving. I just hope she can let her guard down as she grows in confidence.

She's black with four white feet, a white patch on the side of her chin and a white bib.

cozietoesie Sat 03-Sep-16 18:05:04

Waiting for First Use of Tray is a very anxious time, be it for kitten, mature new cat or even existing cat in a new place etc. Lots of luck to both. smile

ShutUpLegs Sat 03-Sep-16 19:17:52

yy - I am having flashbacks to Poowatch when DC2 was tiny and impacted.

Hoolit Sat 03-Sep-16 20:19:53

Hi, we took in a cat from a shelter he hid in the kitchen for a day then wandered about before hiding under the sofa for the best part of a week.
He then only came out in the evening for a week or so because we have a dog we shut the living room door and he took the carpet up, which is what he does if he can't get in a room!
He's been here since May and he's fab, he's affectionate but generally likes to be near you and just a little stroke.
So I'd warn the dc that it might be a little while before they get to handle him smile it's hard when you'd just like a snuggle lol my youngest is 12 and you know when she's coming as he scarpers cos she insists on picking him up despite the odd scratch and repeatedly being told hmm
Btw he went in his bed once and that was to piss in it!
So my advice is let him come to you. Good luck and let us know how it goes

MuggleWuggle Sat 03-Sep-16 22:26:16

Thanks all for replying, good to get a bit more advice. & others stories. Feel like I'm becoming crazy cat lady already- so many pics on my phone & having to stop myself sending copious amounts to friends & family. My poor friend with cats is bearing the brunt of it as I have seemed it acceptable to inundate get as she has cats of her own!

ShutUpLegs- I'd imagine yours is doing well if eating, sleeping & playing even if she is still a little solemn. Sounds like she's had a hard time of it & will probably blossom in a warm home with lots of TLC. I too am worried about toileting- she doesn't seem to have done anything in her box & I can't find any evidence elsewhere- really hoping I don't wake up to crap everywhere in the morning.

She has been amazingly chilled today, even with the kids when they sit still & let her brush past rather than homing in on her like 2 cat seeking missiles. She's been more energetic this evening & spending a lot of time looking avidly out of Windows- suspect the 3 week outdoor ban will be hard for her.

Wishing all of you & your cats a good nights sleep (or hunting- cats not you)

Allergictoironing Sun 04-Sep-16 07:04:12

Took my rescues nearly 48 hours before they did anything in their litter tray (or out of it, thank goodness), even wee, so don't worry. Many cats like privacy when they do their thing especially if unsettled, so there's a good chance you'll wake up to tray usage this morning or tomorrow morning.

ShutUpLegs Sun 04-Sep-16 09:11:22

Newcat achieved Tray Use as we went to bed last night so this morning the kitchen door is open and she's out exploring. She was fostered in a very small flat so our bigger house is very thrilling and she's quivery with Smelling All The Things. Windowsills are also exercising a fascination and she is shaping up to be a Jumping Up cat - the DCs are going to have to learn to tidy surfaces or risk damages.

cozietoesie Sun 04-Sep-16 13:01:39

Good news. smile

Have you removed anything precious but delicate of your own?

ShutUpLegs Sun 04-Sep-16 13:35:28

AFter a decade of parenthood, I have nothing precious or delicate anymore. Or if I have, its in storage.

cozietoesie Sun 04-Sep-16 13:54:42


ShutUpLegs Mon 05-Sep-16 08:12:16

How are getting on Muggle?

SO much for Newcat being solemn - she's clearly feeling happier and now exhibits the classic evening cat madness. Yesterday, she galloped from the top of the house to the ground and back again, repeatedly shying at imaginary threats and generally being Wild. She's laying claim to certain windowsills and shelves and is being picky about food.

I'd say we are well on our way to be being under the paw again.

TeaRexit Mon 05-Sep-16 08:32:16

Lovely stories. We are having a lay in. DD on one side, me on the other & Dcat snoring in the middle grin

Lancelottie Mon 05-Sep-16 08:36:21

May I remind you that there is a Mumsnet Rule that pictures must be provided when mentioning new furries?

Thank you.

ShutUpLegs Mon 05-Sep-16 10:00:15

Well, Newcat is proving hard to photograph, being mostly black. Pics of her asleep with paws hidden mean she is a blob, pictures of her awake mean she is a blur. I will keep trying.

ShutUpLegs Mon 05-Sep-16 16:31:56

So here's an interesting new development. Took the kids to get emergency lunch supplies and returned to find that Newcat has stripped out two panes-worth of sealant from the (admittedly knackered and ancient) double-glazing in our bedroom.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 06-Sep-16 21:02:18

Sealants popular here too. You can get your claws right in and pick it off.

Allergictoironing Tue 06-Sep-16 21:09:35

Hmm, I may have to have a look at the corner of the French doors that hides behind a curtain then - Boycat spends and awful lot of time round there and I have heard slightly suspicious scratching type noises...

Then again, I can't see it replacing his first love of tearing strips off the wallpaper at sofa-back height grin.

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