The Basics of Owning a New Cat

Congratulations on your new cat and for saving a life! We provide our adopters with all the information we have on your new pet. Unfortunately, we don’t always have a complete background on our animals. We pull our adoptable pets from shelters in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, so sometimes we know very little about their past, and the behavior they exhibit in a shelter is sometimes different than it is in a home setting.

Your cat may need some time to adjust to their new home. Remember that while they are in our care, they are in a small condo with lots of unfamiliar smells, people and routines. Once they are adopted, they are put in a carrier, and go on a car ride and are now in a home. This can be a very frightening experience for even the most calm and confident cat! Many cats hide for a few days while they get used to their new home. It may take time for them to relax and feel secure. We understand you will want to spend time with your new cat — to cuddle and play with them — but be patient while they adjust. Let them come to you!

Litter Box Training

When you first take your cat home, you need to show your cat where the litter box is located. We recommend setting your cat up in a small bedroom or bathroom — any small room with a door that can be closed. Make sure they are set up with a litter box, food and water. Provide your new cat with multiple hiding places in the room you choose. This gives them time to adjust and get used to their new space. After a few days, or once your cat seems comfortable, expand their access to your home. For some cats, this process takes much longer. Give them time to adjust!


Cats that are stressed, and especially cats from shelters, often develop signs of an upper respiratory infection (URI). These symptoms include sneezing, coughing and runny eyes or nose. An URI is similar to a human cold and will run its course before your cat gets better. When cats aren’t feeling their best, they might stop eating. Always try feeding canned food or adding something with a strong odor, like tuna, to their food. If your pet continues to not eat or drink, is lethargic, has difficulty breathing or the discharge from their eyes or nose becomes heavier or changes in color from clear to yellow or green, you should call your veterinarian as soon as possible.

We give new adopters folders with information on new cat ownership. In your adoption folder, we also include a free vet exam certificate as well as 30 days of free pet insurance. This can be handy whether or not your cat comes down with an URI. We encourage you to take your cat in for a basic check-up to meet your new vet, as well as enrolling in the trial for pet insurance to see if it is a good fit for you.

If you have any questions about your new cat’s health or behavior, do not hesitate to reach out! You can call us at 310-933-6863.