Seven Streams
How To Welcome a New Family Member
into Your Home




The day you finally get to bring your new cat or kitten home can be a very happy day, or a
very frustrating day, depending on how you go about it.
There are many different techniques that can be used to introduce your new pet
into your houshold, but the one common denominator for them all I would say,
  is that too slow is better than too fast, particularly if there are other pets
already residing in your home.
  Most Norwegian Forest Cats adapt easily to their new homes,
especially when they are still kittens.   Sometimes older cats take a little more time,
but adjust easily once they feel comfortable in their new surroundings.

For purposes of clarification, we have named your new pet "Olaf":
Here is our recommendation for the quickest and safest way to bring Olaf home:

Before Olaf arrives home, have a special place prepared for him, possibly your bedroom.
Make a space in a secluded corner for his carrier to be placed.  Make sure the carrier has a nice, fluffy, comfortable bed in it. Next to his carrier, put his food and water dish (full),
 and not too far away in plain sight, a litter box.  (This is only
temporary, until he becomes familiar with his new surroundings).

In my experience with cats, they seem to be first of all territorial.  They want to know what their boundaries are.  This can be disappointing to some people at first, because in their minds they have visions of their new little kitten running into their open arms and snuggling up.  This sometimes happens, but not very often.  Usually, the kitten wants to first find out about their new living conditions. After this is established in their minds, they will show an interest in you.

There are exceptions to this rule, but not very many I don't think.

When you arrive home with Olaf, carry him in his carrier into the special room you
have prepared for him, closing the door behind you. Set him down in the secluded corner,
and open the door of the carrier.  Allow him to come out when he is ready,
resisting the temptation to drag him out to see what he looks like. Please keep in mind
that Olaf has not been eagerly awaiting this day for months, like you have.  Pictures of you
and your family have not been tacked up on the wall around his bed, for him to
gaze at longingly, like the pictures you have framed and hanging all over your home of him. 

At this point you can either leave the room entirely, or go sit in a chair
or lay on the bed quietly, while he explores the new area.  The reason it is best
to confine him to one room at first, is basically to get a good idea of what his reaction
is going to be to his new home.  (When Jadon Raine, one of my older boys, went to his new home, 
the new Mom set him down in the kitchen and then didn't see him again for 24 hours.
She found him hiding behind a box in the closet the next afternoon. 
This surprised me, because he was one of the sweetest, most fearless and friendliest cats
 we've ever had. It only took him a few days to settle in after that first initial trauma.  Had she put him in one room at first,
he might not have felt so overwhelmed and lost, and it would have been easier for her
 to locate him, especially if she kept the closet doors closed.

If Olaf chooses to hide under the bed for a while, this is because he feels safe there.
If he has a whole big house to deal with, and other pets as well, it can be too much for him all at once.  Allow him to camp out under the bed if he so chooses.  With his carrier in the corner, he might not feel that is necessary.  The point here is, give Olaf all the time he needs to make the adjustment to his new home comfortably, avoiding any type of stress that might
 cause him to be afraid.

When you are sure that Olaf is comfortable with his new territory, and is getting to know you,
it is safe to allow him to come out into the rest of the house. This could take 5 minutes or it could take 2 days.  If you have other pets, you can bring him in his carrier out into the Living Room,
set him down, and let the other pets come and check him out.  There might be a bit of growling
and hissing, this is perfectly normal.  When things have calmed down, you might want to carry Olaf
back to his secluded corner, set him down and open the door.  This time, open the door to your bedroom, and let the pets come in or go out as they please.  It's best if you oversee this part of the adjustment carefully, just to make sure everybody is going to get along.

Not all cats require this much care when bringing them home, but it is wise to follow this type
of procedure just in case.  Our first experience bringing a new pet into our house was not a good
one, because we did it unwisely.  We all paid the price, permanently.  Our beloved Phoebe, who was an indoor rescue, became an outdoor rescue, because she didn't take to the new kittens.
(To put it mildly).  In fact, to this day, she despises them.

Oh the other hand, When we first brought Alasse home,
I had a big cage set up for her in the middle of the Living Room.
  I set her in the cage, with food and water and litter box, and just let the other
cats come up and sniff her and check her out.  They all seemed very interested, nobody seemed angry or threatened by the new girl.  Oakley (who was a young indoor cat at that time), took one look at her and said "Wow, she's beautiful!  Can we keep her?"  Alasse took one look around her cage, and said "Get me out of here, NOW".  So for her, there was no adjustment period necessary.
She fit right in seamlessly with the whole household.  I think this is generally the way it happens with
Norwegian Forest Cats, they are very adaptable to their new homes.  But it never hurts to give each one the opportunity to start off slowly.

Cats are curious by nature, they like to investigate everything in their environment,
and love to play.
It is helpful to have a variety of safe cat toys for them to play with, such as small
furry mice (natural fabrics are best), wands with feathers and teasers, (to be put away
after every use), and ping pong balls for them to bat and chase after.  Wal Mart has
a pet section where you can find cat toys, and any pet store carries them.  Just because the
pet store offers cat toys for sale does not necessarily mean the toys are safe.
Use your good judgment, don't buy them toys with small parts that are likely to
fall off, or that can be chewed off easily.

Cats love small, enclosed spaces.  Offer them a box to play in, and they can be
occupied for hours with it.
Be sure to keep all string, thread and yarn away from them though.
They can easily swallow these, which can cause serious problems.
If you find a string hanging out of your kittens mouth, or coming out the other side,
please do  not pull on it.   Take him into the vets, to have it safely removed.
It could be tangled up inside of him, and pulling on it could be very dangerous.


Norwegian Forest you can't have just one!