If you bring home an older cat, he may be afraid of his new surroundings and confused about where he is. Give him quiet time to explore and get comfortable. Do not invite friends and neighbors over to look at him, because this may make him nervous. Show the cat where the litter box, food and water dishes, and scratching post are, and then let him settle in at his own pace. Talk to him in a soothing voice and give him something to eat. If he seems interested, play with him for a while so that he begins to bond with you.
An older cat has a history that you may not know about. He may have left a loving family or a long time companion animal behind before he came to live with you, or he could have been mistreated or abandoned. If you happen to know the previous owners, or if you learned about his past when you adopted him, you can make settling in easier. If you know his name, use it often and it will give him a sense of comfort. If you do not, give your cat a chance to get used to his new one.
Before you bring a cat or kitten home, you need to make preparations for his arrival. Stop at your local pet supply store and purchase all the necessities your kitty will require to settle in comfortably. By planning ahead, you can have everything set up and ready for your new family member so that this transition into an unfamiliar place is a safe and stress free experience for him.
Make sure that your cat or kitten has had a veterinary checkup and has received all the necessary vaccinations before his arrival or shortly thereafter. This is especially important if you have other pets in the house. While your cat is getting his physical, you can stock up on any additional supplies that the vet may recommend.
The first item that you must purchase is a cat carrier. You will need one in which to bring the cat home and take him to and from his veterinary checkup. Cardboard carriers or metal cages are not recommended for cats. A determined feline easily can claw his way through the sides of a cardboard enclosure; and they are not very sturdy. Also, most cats dislike them because they are dark and do not provide enough ventilation. Wire cages are not comfortable for cats to sit in, and they are big and bulky for owners to move.
The ideal cat carrier should be made of sturdy plastic and have a locking, grill type front door. This will enable the animal to see where he is going, plus it ensures that the enclosure has good airflow. Buy one that has a secure handle and a solid base; it also should be well designed so that it is easy to maneuver and so that it allows the cat to be places inside without difficulty. You can put an old towel or sweatshirt on the floor of the enclosure so that your pet has a soft place to sit while traveling.
Some older cats will adapt to a new home right away, while others may hide under the bed for a day or two. Be patient, and give your feline companion plenty on love, praise, and encouragement while he makes the adjustment to living with you.