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Settling in rescue cats into new home(15 Posts)
We’re picking up two rescue cats next weekend - I’m so excited! They’re both boys, and one is 3 and the other 2.
We’ve got: 2 x cat carriers, blankets, litter tray, bowls, scratching post, brushes, collars for when they go out and some toys.
Am I missing anything? Any tips on getting them to settle in quickly? We’re a household with no other pets or children and their ‘bed room’ will be in the utility.
They will be kept in for 4 weeks before being allowed our during the day (and only when we’re around).
You should consider at least one more litter tray, because often they don't like using the same one; rule that's often quoted is one per cat plus a spare. If they are going to be shut into the utility room over nights, make sure there's plenty of hidey holes etc for them, e.g. a couple of cardboard boxes. Though personally as soon as they've settled in I'd let them roam the house - very pleasant falling asleep with a warm cat snuggled up to you .
Assuming as they are rescues your cats will be chipped, I would avoid collars. I'm sure there will be plenty of people along shortly with horror stories about injured or even dead cats due to collars!
Oh, and check with the rescue what food and litter they are currently on. You can change food over time, but if you do it suddenly it can have MOST unfortunate results . Start them on the same litter too, just so they realise that your litter trays are the appropriate place.
Are they already a pair and happy with each other? Otherwise I'd be investing in a spare house...
Fishing rod toy, lint roller, and Germolene, would be my advice. And a camera.
Also, if they've been stray or underfed at any point, put their food in a plastic or tin box so they can't get at it. Our latest foster cat (found as an underweight stray) was a dab hand at ripping into catfood sachets or sacks of dried food.
@GuppytheCat yes they’re already a bonded pair - not brothers but pals
@Allergictoironing thanks for your tips! Re the collars, do you think that’s still the case even if they’ve got quick release clasps? That should break if a cat gets stuck?
I don't know of anyone who has yet made the perfect cat collar that will come off if the cat gets caught, and that the average cat can't remove themselves if they want to. With micro chipping, there shouldn't really be any need for a collar anyway.
Another thing I meant to say was don't be pushy with the attention at first, let them settle in & come to you in their own time. Many rescue cats hide for days on end until they feel safe and secure in their new homes. Mine (ex ferals) literally took months before I could stroke them at first, now they argue over who gets the cuddles and have very definite views on me dropping everything when they want attention (which is approximately all but an hour a day of their waking time )
I personally had my cats chipped but have put collars on them, so the neighbours know who's they are (if they can get close enough 😏) but also understand the 'possible dangers' of them having the collar on. I always make sure it's quite loose with a quick release, never had any problems! Plus the little bell helps you hear them if they are ever out in the dark or for whatever other reason. Think you're sorted and ready though, good luck!
@Elderflower99 thanks for your thoughts yes I like the idea of a bell to scare off any potential wildlife! Plus we bought them reflective collars. Literally can’t wait to get them here, they’re so gorgeous!!! This week is going to be looong.
How exciting. ☺️
It's great they have their own room.
If they're nervous I'd advise you keep them confined for a day or two and sit with them in there and talk calmly and stroke them/give treats.
Then once they're happy with you let them have a roam.
All the rescues I've had have either been so timid they've hid for days or nosey buggers with zero fear who are in at everything right away. No in between.
So the hidey hole suggestion is a nice one.
Check with the rescue place what they're currently eating and stick to the same for a while. As sometimes the upheaval can put them off their food and sticking to something familiar can help a lot.
I think.....Wear a t shirt so it smells of your scent and leave it in their space and rub a t shirt on them to get their scent and then rub that round banisters etc.
I am so jealous.
We have lots of rescue cats (9). I concur with birdie about the differing types of cats. We’ve had a couple that just hide (normally behind the washing machine), we let those cats just be and not hassle or bother them. The other ‘no fear’ cats are just crazy. A couple of ours were desperate to get out and after a week we relented.
Just take your time with them, dont hassle, let them come to you and buy plenty of treats and toys you can play with them ( feather on a stick).
My last two cats (one rescue, one who just turned up and moved in) both made themselves at home very quickly - the rescue boy took one look at my knee and decided that that was his spot, and just wandered round the place like he owned it. Interloper boy was desperate to move in, I tried to keep him out and find either his existing home or a new home, but failed and as soon as he had indefinite leave to remain he also thought it was his place (my two old lady cats just had to put up with him....)
We got our rescue cat a few months ago. The advice we got for taking her home was:
1. Put bed and food in a room where you will spend most of your time (ie, living room)
2. Put the litter tray close by but not close to their food or bed
3. Let them explore in their own time.
4. Don't worry if they're not eating right the first few days, just leave their food down. When cats are stressed the first thing to go is their appetite.
You can move their stuff once they are settled.
The first night we tried to lock her out the bedroom but she got very upset at this. We've since learned that she's a very social cat who doesn't like closed doors.