Moving somewhere new is scary for everyone, including cats! Help your new kitty’s transition from the shelter to your home by setting up a kitty basecamp. Here’s how.
- Create your kitty basecamp in a small, easy-to-clean room. Bathrooms work great.
- Feed them when you enter so they associate food with you.
- Provide places to rub, relax, and scratch. Kitties like to saturate their space with their smell.
- Set up a perch where they can sit up high. Also give them a smaller space to hide and hole up.
- Offer toys, especially the kind you play with together. Play is a great way to reduce stress.
When you approach your kitty in basecamp, extend a hand. Wait to see if they lean in for a pet. If they flinch or growl or hiss, give them time. Bring a book and stay a while.
If you own other pets, exchange their toys back and forth, introducing them by scent before introducing them by sight.
After a week or two, expand kitty basecamp by moving items from the room out into your home. When your kitty starts exploring, they’ll smell themselves in other parts of the house, reducing stress.
To learn more and see a real-life example from a behavior specialist, watch our video How to Set Up a Kitty Basecamp.