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The first day you welcome a new cat into your home is an exciting and joyous occasion. This is your cat's first day in a brand new world, and for you it's a new addition to your family. It's reason to celebrate, but it's also not a day that should be taken lightly. Welcoming a new cat into your home requires a bit of preparation to make sure that things run smoothly and that your new feline companion makes an easy transition to the new environment. Take the following steps to give your new cat a perfect homecoming.
1. The first step you need to take is before your cat arrives in the first place, which is to prepare your house for its new guest. "Kitty-proof" your home to make sure your cat can't wander into trouble. This means no sharp edges, loose pills or small, choke-able objects that your curious cat might find interesting.
2. Secondly, make sure your place is well-stocked for the new arrival. You'll need food and water, and dishes for both. Whether you're feeding your new cat wet or dry food, make sure to stock up on plenty of both. A litter box (and newspapers, until your cat learns how to use the former) is also vital. Also, assuming your new cat isn't declawed (which is a whole other issue, entirely), make sure to have a scratching post on hand for those busy claws.
3. It's also vital that you have a game plan for where your cat is going to stay for his first few nights in the new place. Remember that cats can be timid, excitable creatures, and it's usually best to keep them isolated in a relatively small place until they get comfortable with the sights and smells of their new surroundings. So have a room set aside for your cat.
4. Another vital preparation is in the event that you have kids or other pets that might be curious as to their new housemate. For the ease of everyone involved, give your cat at least a few days before introducing his new family members. And keep a close eye on any encounters for the first few days, at least. Again: your new feline is going to be intimidated and perhaps a bit erratic for these early days, so the idea is not to let him get too worked up.
5. Finally, once you've determined that your cat has grown accustomed to his limited surroundings for those first few days, open up the house and let him explore. If you live in a relatively calm neighborhood, exposure to the great outdoors comes next. Keep him on a cat leash for his first few trips outside, for obvious reasons. Once he's accustomed to his surroundings, your new cat will fall into the rhythm of his new life and you will fall into his!