Getting Cats acclimated to new people and new environments

Whether you are working with frightened kitties getting acquainted with new people or welcoming a new cat into a new home, it is important to remember a few tips on getting your feline acclimated properly. As a refresher, the whole JLP team held a meeting to discuss these issues to make sure we are giving the best service to all of our fur clients and to make sure everyone is comfortable when these situations do arise.

It is important to introduce your cat to their new home gradually, restricting them to one room at the very beginning.  It is also necessary to isolate other animals from your new cat for the time being. Make sure to supervise children and warn them to always be gentle with the cat. It is important for them to feel safe and to have their very own space if they feel threatened and need to take “shelter”.

When introducing new people to your “scaredy” cat, the main thing is to always speak in a soft and gentle voice when calling out for the kitties. Making clicking or “psstpsstt” sounds to get their attention and perk their interests can also be helpful.

If the kitties do actually come out we let them approach us and let a hand out for them to sniff to make sure they are comfortable with us on their own terms and also that we are not towering over them.  If they are receptive to touch, sometimes scratching them under their chins and faces can act as positive reinforcement. It is important to try to walk lightly on your feet and walk gently so you are not making any scary noises or vibrations.

When looking for the kitties, it is important to search high and low. They love to be up in high, dark spaces, which is why it is important to search for any open closet doors.

You can also look low under beds and couches. Sometimes you may need to gently tap the couches in case they are stealthily hidden in them, so they can run out.

Treats are the biggest motivator as well as wand toys or catnip. Make sure to provide your feline’s favorite cat treats or wet food of choice when leaving so the pet sitter will have a better chance of getting acquainted with your cat.

Ideally, the cat will have a more controlled environment, so it is easier to find the kitties in the first place and possibly even a designated room for them to have their little safe haven. Providing their own litter box and food next to them in these areas, makes them more comfortable, faster.

It is important to take some time sitting on the floor in their special area or room so they can come out and get comfortable with you or the new person coming to watch them. Sitting with them may take a lot of time and patience but can be essential in getting them to be more comfortable with you.

Playing music for them or any white noise will help in cases of new people coming into the area, so they will not be easily startled by loud noises.  Providing a cat tower so they have a point of safety can also be greatly beneficial as they naturally love to perch.

It may take some time and patience but following these tips can help your cat get acclimated to new people and new spaces in no time!

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