The Ride Home

Many cats do not like traveling. Here are some tips that will help your cat have a safe and calm time during the ride home. 

Keep your new cat in his carrier no matter how much he is crying—it is the ONLY safe way to transport your pet. Have an adult carry the cat in its carrier to your vehicle to eliminate “swinging” of the carrier. Use a seat belt or tether to secure the carrier in your car. 

Do not allow children to tease or excite the cat. Have them keep their hands and fingers to themselves! Never allow them to open the carrier to pet the cat. 

Do not leave the cat in the car unattended, even for a short stop to shop. Cats can over-heat very quickly. 

Keep the cat in the carrier until you are safely inside your home with the doors shut. Once home, the cat will need time and a quiet place to settle.

What to Expect While Settling In

Do not be alarmed if your new cat exhibits any of the following behaviors in the first few days. 

  • Not eating 
  • Exploring
  • Upset tummy, vomiting, loose stools 
  • Hiding (sometimes for days) 
  • Not using the litter box (See litter training) 

Things You Can Do to Help

Be calm, be patient. At first, keep your cat in a small room, such as the bathroom (make sure the toilet lid is down!), with the litter box at one end of the room and food and water and a bed at the other, to give him time to adjust. Gradually give your pet more freedom as he successfully goes back to and uses his litter box. Allow several weeks for your new pet to adjust. 

Never drag your new cat out of hiding. Use a lure such as food or a toy to encourage your cat to come out. Spend quiet time just sitting in the room to help the cat feel comfortable in your presence. 

Keep your cat indoors. Check for open windows and loose screens, as a frightened cat could easily escape. It can take weeks or even months for your new cat to feel at home. 

Initially, keep your new cat separated from other pets. (See introducing your new cat.) It is best not to introduce your kitten/cat to your home during very busy times such as birthdays and holidays. If you do, provide them with a quiet area away from the action and limit over-handling of the new cat. Cats get bored, so provide lots of fun toys, perches and social interactions with you to help your cat adjust. If you have a windowsill with a view of the yard, open the curtain or blinds so your cat can get a view of the world outside.

Provide plenty of fresh water and high quality food. 

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