On Welcoming An Older Cat Into Your Home


I’ve spent plenty of time as a cat lady, but for the last year I was catless.

It sucked.

So, after much work on my husband (he was sick of litterpans; see cat lady statement above), he finally agreed to let us get a new cat. I was planning on a kitten (my excuse being that I have a six-year-old daughter and clearly she needs a new kitten, right?) but we waited for the right opportunity, and sure enough, my friend Jana let me know that she had a cat in her yard that needed a home. She called her “Abby” and asked if I wanted her.

So we said yes.

“Abby” turned out to be a boy, so we renamed him Jackson (my daughter’s choice) and we call him Jax for short. He’s a little bit broken cause he’s missing a tail, ridiculously skinny, and perfect for our family. Here’s how we integrated him into our home.

  • Gentle Introduction 1 of 6
    Gentle Introduction
    We brought the carrier with Jax in it into the office where he was going to live for a bit and left in the office still and closed for about a half hour after the drive home. He needed time alone to relax after being in a car. Eventually, we opened the carrier and allowed Jax to climb out on his own. We left the carrier in a closet with an open door so that he could ease into things. Here he is exiting the closet and I annoyingly stick a camera in his face.
  • Bathtime 2 of 6
    Cats hate baths. I make the process easier by filling the tub first and submerging Jax into it; this eliminates the loud and scary sound of water running. Why did we bathe him? Two reasons; he was filthy from being on the streets, and when he was given to me he'd had a very close encounter with a can of cat food and he was covered in it. It also helps him stop having his outside smells on his fur so that he can be a blank canvas and absorb the smells of our home instead.
  • Let him chill! 3 of 6
    Let him chill!
    We then let him eat his fill and relax alone in the office behind a closed door. We have a dog, and the closed door was both protection and an extensive introduction period.
  • Explore His Space 4 of 6
    Explore His Space
    We let Jax get used to his new space slowly. Here he is hanging out in a window in my office, further annoyed that I'm sticking a camera in his face.
  • Cuddles! 5 of 6
    Once he was comfortable, Jax become super cuddly. He loves sitting on my desk while I hug him and pet him. He's now a happy boy.
  • …and, done! New Family Member Content 6 of 6
    ...and, done! New Family Member Content
    Ten days in, Jax has adapted well. He's had a few encounters with the dog, but they are getting along well now. Jax is spending his time eating (he needs to gain a few pounds!) and sleeping and getting plenty of cuddles. And how cute are his feet?

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