Bringing home a new cat is always exciting. You have a new furry friend to play with, train, and love. For your new cat or kitten, however, a drastic change, like being adopted into a new family and home, can be distressing for the first few days.
Some breeds will do better than others. Here we’ll look at how to help a Russian Blue adapt to a new home.
Russian Blue cats are generally sweet in temperament but naturally shy and apprehensive of change. They will adjust to a new home as long as they are slowly introduced to the changes. This includes introducing the physical space, the people, and other pets.
In this article, we’ll go over some steps you can take to help your Russian Blue adjust to their new home and begin blending into the family quicker!
Preparation and Introductions
The introduction to their new forever home ideally begins when they are physically still in their old home, whether with a previous owner, a shelter, or even a breeder.
If possible, arrange to meet your new Russian Blue a few times while they are still in their old home. This establishes a relationship between you and your new family member.
It’s important for cats, especially shy Russian Blues, to build a bond with their (new) owners. This is done by introducing your voice and scent.
These introductions will reduce the stress of moving because the cat will have started to trust you before it’s time to move to their new place physically.
In some cases, it might help to give the cat some blanket or cloth with your scent on it and leave it with them until the day comes to pick your new Russian Blue up.
The Car Ride Home
The day for the actual move has come. Your Russian Blue will move with you to their new home., starting with the car ride.
Car rides are generally stressful for cats, especially if they’re not used to them. Luckily, you can do several things to make this as pleasant as possible.
That’s right; you can take steps to help your new Russian Blue cat adapt right from the start.
Confining your cat to a carrier for the ride home is essential. It may seem counterintuitive, but this will help the cat feel more comfortable in a safe and confined space.
It helps them to feel protected and will be better able to relax. It is also crucial that you do not make stops or leave the cat alone in the car if you can avoid it. Make the ride home as short as possible and drive safely.
Another step to make the car ride comfortable for your new Russian Blue is to keep any children that come along calm around the cat as best as you can. Explain to your children how this situation may feel for the cat and urge them not to yell or play with the cat in the car.
First Time At Their New Home
Once you have gotten your Russian Blue home safely, it is time to help them begin the adjustment to their new surroundings and new family. It would help if you took several steps to ensure they are safe and comfortable.
Separate any other pets in the home
If you have other pets in the home, such as another cat or a dog, you must put them in another safe spot in the home when moving your new cat in. This is only temporary until you can get your new cat settled and comfortable before making the introduction to other pets slowly.
Confine your new Russian Blue to a smaller area of the home
When you bring your cat home, all of the new spaces can be overwhelming to them at first. To help mitigate this, you should confine your new cat to one room of the home where their “home base” will be with their toys, bed, food, litter box, etc.
This allows them to get used to their home’s new sounds and smells. It also ensures that they are separated from other pets in the beginning.
Usually, this phase lasts for 3-7 days, depending on your cat.
Introduction to other family members
The first step you should take is to introduce the cat to all the human family members living with them.
During this step, let your family members know, mainly children, that it is crucial to be gentle with your new cat and not to get overly excited as that may stress the cat out.
Keep introduction sessions short; 15-20 minutes is ideal; watch your new cat for signs of her getting overwhelmed.
You will want to avoid stress for the new cat during the first few days. If you see your Russian Blue getting overwhelmed at any point, go slow or pause the introductions.
It helps to introduce family members one by one instead of in a large group, all together.
During the introduction, it is okay to pick the cat up. However, it should be done slowly and gently. Sitting on the floor with your new Russian Blue can be a great way to let them roam around freely and approach you when they are ready.
It’s best to let your new Russian Blue approach everyone on its terms, rather than being picked up and handed from one person to another.
Russian Blues are known to often choose one person as their favorite human. Find out how to become your cat’s favorite person.
Make slow introductions to other pets
Once your family has spent some time with the cat and you have gotten them somewhat used to their new surroundings, you can introduce them slowly to other pets in the home.
Introductions to other cats and dogs can start before the two physically meet. When your Russian Blue is in their own room, you can give a visual introduction through a window or allow them to smell each other from under a door.
When meeting physically, if you own a dog, it is helpful to make the introduction with the dog on a leash so they do not corner the cat, whether out of curiosity or playfulness. If your dog exhibits aggressive behavior, you must correct it quickly.
To help your cat feel more at ease, they should have a place to go that is out of the dog’s reach, such as a cat tower.
If you own another cat, you can introduce them slowly and let them “meet’ each other on their own time and terms. Never force interaction and allow them the time they need to get acquainted.
If you own any rodents, birds, or fish, they should be safely confined from your new Russian Blue cat. These smaller animals may bring out the hunting instinct in your new feline friend.
Give your new Russian Blue a comfy place to sleep
You should also ensure your new cat has a comfy bed or even a box with blankets, preferably in a corner or place where they feel protected.
Your new cat may not want to use it during the first couple of days. Eventually, they are likely to make themselves at home. Having a comfortable place to rest helps her to relax.
Make sure your new cat knows where their things are
Another critical step in introducing a Russian Blue cat to a new home is to ensure they understand where their food, water, and litter box are.
Even though you will likely not keep all their things in one room once they have adjusted to the new home, you should ensure they have everything they need in the room you are starting them out in.
Your cat may initially hide, but if you can, try to pick them up and bring them to their water bowl, so they know where they are and have food access. Do the same thing with the litter box if they can’t find it on their own.
And once you give your Russian Blue cat access to the entire house, you can move their things to where you plan to keep them permanently. Just be sure to show them where each item is once again and take them there a few times to ensure they remember.
Watch for signs of stress and intervene
During the first few weeks of introducing your cat to their new environment, it is vital to be vigilant and watch for signs of unusual behavior. If you see your cat in a stressful situation due to children or other pets, intervene quickly and separate your cat from the situation.
If your cat seems stressed to the point it is affecting its overall health, you may need to pay a visit to your vet.
Our Final Thoughts
Introducing your new Russian Blue cat to its forever home doesn’t need to be stressful. If you take the steps mentioned above, your new cat will be a part of the family in no time!
Remember to take it slow. The timelines and steps mentioned above are tried and tested by myself and many other cat owners, but every cat is different. Your cat may need less or more time.
Take it slow and let your cat take the lead, don’t rush. Especially for Russian Blues, it is crucial to let them settle into their new home and feel comfortable.
If you still have questions or are looking for more personalized advice, your vet can help you.
Not convinced yet? Have a look at 23 Reasons Why You Should Get a Cat.
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