Preparing for Your New Cat

Bringing a new cat into your home is an exciting adventure. Whether you’re a first-time cat owner or adding to your existing fur family, creating a welcoming and safe environment for your new feline friend is essential.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to prepare your home for your new cat’s arrival.

Establishing a 'Safe Room'

An easy way to ease the the transition for your feline friend is by setting up a ‘safe room’. This room provides a secure and comfortable space where your cat can adapt to their new surroundings without feeling overwhelmed. Whether you’re bringing home a kitten or an adult cat, the principles of a safe room apply.

The compact nature of a safe room helps your cat feel secure and reduces the overwhelming feeling that a large, unfamiliar house can bring, while curbing the need to hide. In a ‘safe room’ your cat can better acclimate to your home’s sights and sounds in a small, controlled setting. This also allows you to closely monitor essential activities like eating, drinking, and litter box usage.

  • Picking a Room

    Quiet and Isolated: Opt for a quiet, closed-off area with minimal foot traffic and noise. This ensures a serene environment for your cat’s initial adjustment.

    Secure Door: Your chosen room should have a door that can be securely closed to prevent any unintended escapes.

    Limited Hiding Spots: To foster interaction and observation, it’s best to pick a room with few hiding places.

    Bathrooms, bedrooms, or other small, easily accessible spaces work well as safe rooms.

  • Setting up the 'Safe Room'

    Equip the safe room with essential items such as food and water dishes, a litter box, a scratching post, and a selection of toys.

    If your new addition is a kitten, kitten-proof the room by inspecting for potential hazards, like small objects that could be ingested, heavy items that might topple, or cords that could be chewed on.

Cat Supply Checklist

Cat Supplies to Have Before Bringing Your Cat Home

  • Cat Carrier

    Please bring a carrier with you. We ask that you bring a large carrier. The plastic carriers with metal doors are the safest. Here is an example We do not recommend the cardboard carriers (they are not sturdy enough)

  • Bedding

  • Cat Treats

    • We find most cats like Temptations
  • Food and Water Bowls

    • We recommend staying away from plastic bowls –  plastic harbors bacteria more than metal or ceramic bowls will
  • High Quality Cat Food – Dry and Wet

    • Stay away from color dyes or brands that get recalled often
    • Make sure the first ingredient is a main protein like chicken or turkey
  • Scratching Post and/or Scratching Pad

    • We recommend twine or cardboard as opposed to Carpet
  • Toys

    Balls, mice, catnip toys and other forms of mental stimulation.  Stay away from toys with tinsel or too much string.

  • Litter Box

    • Covered or Uncovered depends on what you and your cat prefer
  • Litter

    We recommend

Items Provided by Baypath

  • Food for Transition

    About a week’s worth of the food they have been eating to help with the transition to a new food (if desired).

  • Current Bedding (if desired)

    We send along any favorite toys or bedding that the dog has (if they are clean and desired by the family).

  • Resources & Reading Material

    We love to provide any education and support possible to adopters. Please let us know if there are particular topics you are interested or like to know more about! We send all adopters with fun and engaging reading material for all ages (including picture books for young children!).

Baypath Humane - Ruby & Opal

Preparing Your Family

Bringing a cat into your family is an exciting journey. Understanding a cat’s cues and boundaries is not only educational but also enriches the family’s bond with their kitty companion. Here are some steps to help ensure a harmonious relationship and a safe environment for your kids and feline friend.

  • Finding the Right Match

    The shelter staff at Baypath will play a vital role in helping you find a cat that is suitable for your family. Some topics to discuss during your match making call may include the cat’s temperament, age, and compatibility with children and/or other pets.

  • Establish Boundaries

    • Establish rules for interactions with the cat, like gentle petting and respect for the cat’s personal space.
    • Educate kids about the importance of not disturbing the cat during naps or meals.
    • Designate areas where the cat can play and relax without interruptions.
  • Playtime

    • Show kids how to engage in interactive play with toys like wands or ball tracks.
    • Emphasize the importance of not using their hands or fingers as playthings.
  • Understanding Body language


    • Demonstrate how to pet a cat gently, starting with the back and neck.
    • Encourage kids to approach the cat calmly, letting the cat sniff their hand first.

    Cat Cues: 

    • Teach children to recognize signs of a stressed or annoyed cat, such as flattened ears, hissing, or growling.
    • Explain that when a cat shows these signs, it’s essential to give them space.