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How To Prepare A Room For A New Cat

November 18, 2012

Bringing home a new furry family member, or even a foster, can be a tremendously exciting time.

Photo courtesy plizzba

To make sure that your cat is as comfortable as possible when he comes home, you’ll want to set up a space where the cat will live while adjusting to your home or during its foster stay.

This space can be a bedroom, bathroom, office or spare room. Ideally it:

  • Is a separate room with a door
  • Is large enough for all of your cat’s essentials, without feeling cramped
  • Has been tidied or organized for your cat’s comfort
  • Is easy to clean – carpet, although warm and cozy, can be a pain if the cat has an accident
  • Doesn’t allow for too many hiding spots

If some of those features aren’t possible, don’t worry. There are a number of solutions for each.

For example, if the room doesn’t have a door, you may want to consider purchasing a baby gate. (This is only idea if your cat can’t jump over it, or if he can’t climb it.) Another idea, although less attractive looking, would be to purchase a wide wooden board that could be placed up against your door.

Carpet can also be problematic, especially for CH cats with litter box issues. However, my husband and I realized a good solution for this was to place a heavy painter’s tarp/linen on the floor. It protects the carpet from poopy feet, and it’s a cinch to clean.

Once you’ve decided on the best room for your cat’s home base, you can clear it out, organize it, and cat-proof the room. No joke, at this point I’d recommend getting down on a cat’s level and taking a look at what your cat may be able to get into. Are there long window blind pulls hanging down? Is there an unstable table or object (like a guitar case) that your cat could knock over? Perhaps furniture is positioned in just the perfect way for your cat to somehow reach the top of a tall bookshelf.

Here are some other ways you can make a room safer.

After all of that is done, you can place all of the cat’s essentials in the room. Be mindful in their placement. For example, you may want to put your cat’s food station on one side of the space and their litter pan on the other.

Here’s a look at how my husband and I reorganized our spare room when we adopted Ellie. I wanted to make sure it would be ready for her by the time she came home, so I got everything arranged ahead of time.

Here’s what we started with:

And here’s the result:

It was a bit difficult to rearrange since we really don’t have too much space in our apartment. So I had to get creative with where a few things would go, but as you’ll see, there’s still a wall of stuff on the right.

Having that wall of stuff wasn’t ideal, but we really didn’t have an option. My ultimate plan was that if she managed to somehow wiggle into the wall of stuff, I’d simply cover it all with heavy blankets. That way she couldn’t get suck.

I also swapped out CG’s pan (lower left) for one that was kitten-sized. Needless to say, I also added a few (dozen) toys as well as a scratching post.

Have you prepared a room for a new family member or foster? How did it go? Please share your tips!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jill permalink
    June 15, 2015 10:56 am

    Any ideas for closing off a corner of a room? We are picking him up today, and the from he will be in, has a desk with wires and all sorts of problems spots that I need to close off, any ideas?

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