Thank you for adopting from L.I.C.K.! We have put together a few resources to provide guidance around cat caring and to answer some common questions. The links on this document provide more in-depth information if you need it. If you have any follow-up questions, please reach out to us via email on email@example.com or on social media: Facebook or Instagram
Once you have decided that you are adopting a cat and it has been finalised through L.I.C.K., it is time to prepare for the arrival of your new cat! You want to make it as easy of a transition for your kitten/cat as possible, which can involve getting supplies that are familiar to them. We also have a list of products we suggest if your new kitty has dietary requirements or requires kitten food.
Here is a checklist of what you may need to welcome your new cat.
• Dry and wet food (water & food bowls)
° Get kitten food if you are getting a cat below 12 months of age
° Talk with the previous fosterer to get the food that the kitten is used to so that there is not a sudden change in diet along with the stress of moving.
° We do NOT recommend automatic feeders like these due to the effect they can have on cats' eating habits and health (stomach problems, obesity, etc.)
• Litter (litter box & scooper)
° Very important to get non-clumping litter for kittens
° Talk with the previous fosterer to get the litter that the kitten is used to
° You might also want to get some absorbent puppy pads or newspaper (to be friendlier to the planet) to place around the litter if they are still getting used to your litter box
• Toys, blankets, beds, scratch posts etc.
° Cats may have toys from their previous owners or fosterers which will help by having their scent with them which will help get used to their new home
° Consider not washing the old toys until the cat is more comfortable in the new setting, smells help them feel safe
• Carrier (sturdy plastic ones are ideal)
° Good to have one just in case of a vet visit or other emergencies
• [Optional] Calming scent diffuser (feliway)
° Scents are very important for cats, so these diffusers are great for calming in the first days and weeks if your cat seems anxious or stressed
• [Optional] Water fountain
° If you feel like your kitty is not drinking enough water, consider buying a water fountain to encourage him/her to hydrate more often and keep the water fresh. Irrespectively, please ensure that your cat has fresh water at all times.
If you buy things for your kitty or kitties, please consider using Amazon Smile or Give as You Live to help support us further through donations made from the companies you buy from towards our charity.
Setting Up and Settling In
It is important to set up for your kitten/cat before it arrives so that there can be as little stressful movement once they are with you. All cats are different and can adjust at different speeds, but privacy, comfort, and safety are essential for any cat’s ability to adapt to a new setting.
When the kitty comes out of the carrier, you should always put him/her on the litter tray so he/she can feel the litter under the paws and knows where it is.
Here is how you may want to introduce your cat to their new homes. If your cat seems comfortable skipping any of these steps, you can of course follow their pace.
Create a base camp (small area that your cat can claim as their own to feel safe)
Examples: bathroom, spare bedroom, corner of a big room
Place all necessities in this spot (food, water, litter, toys, bed, etc.)
Make sure to provide a hiding spot and a high spot near the base camp
Spend lots of time around the base camp, but don’t invade their private area
Introduce sounds like speaking or TV noise to get them used to it
Try getting them to wander out of the base camp on their own once they are fully confident in their Basecamp and only supervised the first times
Begin spreading out necessities around the house to places that they may have explored before
Eventually, they will begin feeling confident enough to explore on their own and get to know the whole living space!
If you are adopting a kitty as a friend to your cat, it is very important to make sure that you introduce them in a way that makes them both comfortable. A bad start to the relationship can make it very difficult for them to get along later. This is a process that will take days and in some cases, weeks. You just have to be patient. Here are some steps you can take to ensure a good introduction.
Before any interaction, let the new kitty settle into their living space and feel confident
Try feeding the two cats at the same time on separate sides of a door, so they can associate each other’s presences with something tasty
Slowly open the door more and more until they are eventually starting to eat together while being aware that the other is there
To familiarise with each other’s territories, you can put your cat in the new kitty’s basecamp while letting the new kitty explore the rest of the house
Once they seem more okay being around each other, you can let them free roam together, but make sure that both are comfortable and able to run and hide if they need
The safety of our cats always comes first, so it is very important to cat-proof the living space before even getting a cat. Aside from basic dangers, there are also plants and foods that are very common in houses but also toxic to cats. Here is some guidance around how to avoid anything that could be potentially harmful to your cat.
All windows in areas that the cat can reach should be closed or have cat netting
Cats can jump higher than you think, so be very careful with all windows
Safe Outdoor Space
Balconies should not be accessible to your cat unless they are fully cat proofed. Kitties fall from balconies often and this can injure them very badly or can be fatal.
Cats can climb up chimneys, especially when they are still timid, scared and wanting to escape, so make sure that it is closed off sturdily before he/she comes into your home.
Here are a few options for cat proofing your home:
To keep cats safe from the dangers of free-roaming in London, we highly recommend a garden cat-proofing company called ProtectaPet. They offer a range of cat fence barriers, cat enclosures and catios to enable your cat to enjoy safe outdoor access and for you to enjoy total peace of mind. If you get in touch with them, please mention LICK or use promo code 'LICK' at checkout: it will generate a £50 discount off any order over £400 and a donation to our charity. Here are many options to keep your kitty safe, with or without outdoor space. Please keep in mind that if you move, this will have to be re-considered in your new home.
Protect a pet (affiliate link)
Nets for cats (no drilling option shipped from Germany)
NEEZ poles for cable nets no drilling
Lots of plants can be dangerous for cats, so check this list to make sure that none of plants can be harmful, some common plants that are toxic to cats: ferns, zebra plant, cheese plant, avocado, Jasmin but please check the full list for more details, please also see this guidance from PetMD (with photos)
Lilies -- even just the pollen can be fatal for cats, so make sure that there is none in or around your house, it is not enough to put them up in a shelf, please rehome them before the cat gets to your home and clean around the area
Onions, garlic, green tomatoes, avocado, grapes, sultanas, nuts, raisins are poisonous and can lead to anaemia or kidney failure
Alcohol can cause liver damage
Raw meat, meat fat and eggs can cause salmonella, pancreatitis and E. coli
Bones can splinter and cause an obstruction in the inside of the digestive system
Chocolate and caffeinated drinks cause severe symptoms
Milk and dairy products are very dangerous to cats, cats are lactose intolerant, contrary to popular belief
Food scarps human food is not meant for cats, these can contain seasoning that could be toxic and could cause vomiting, an upset stomach, diarrhoea and even anemia
Dog food does not contain the right vitamins and nutrients that cat need
Liver a big amount of liver can cause vitamin A toxicity that can lead to death
Too many treats can cause obesity and even diabetes more info on Pets WebMd.
Other toxic items
Essential oils are toxic to cats, so do not keep diffusers or oils anywhere they can reach or where they might fall down
Candles with scents and incense can also be toxic and dangerous, please check before using
Kitchen - Kitties can sometimes jump on the counter (even when they don't normally do so)
Make sure bins are secured (including organic) some kitties have been stray cats before and sometimes can be used to look for food in the bins and eat food that could be toxic to them (e.g. garlic sauce, onions)
Never leave a hob on or hot unattended, preferably keep your cat on a separate place when cooking
Store toxic items out of cat's reach in a safe place
Secure cabinets with child locks if necessary
Keep emergency telephone and address for your cat's 24 hour emergency hospital's details in a visible place (and carrier in a visible place) if someone is taking care of your kitty.
Unless a cat has a good reason to be outdoors (and has been rehomed and approved as an outdoor cat), and a safe cat proofed outdoor space in which to do so, we advise against it. We have seen cats who have had terrible run-ins with foxes, cars, and even malicious humans. There is lots of evidence that shows cats can live healthy, full lives indoors and that this can potentially even increase their longevity. Some kitties who are accustomed to going outdoors, and in these cases we will find them an adopter who can safely offer them this option. If you have adopted and have been approved for an outdoor here are the safety measures that we recommend:
Never leave a cat out at night, this is when most cats get into trouble
Consider the environment, if there are buses and cars nearby, consider alternatives like catios. Remember that cats can travel very long distances
An un- neutered kitty should never go out
Flea and de worm regularly, outdoor kitties need more regular worming than an indoor kitties
Keeping vaccinations up to date is even more important for outdoor kitties
We highly suggest getting insurance as soon as possible as most insurance providers won't cover the first 14 days. For cats with pre-existing conditions, you may want to consider looking into a policy with pre-existing condition cover. Here are some options for pre-existing conditions pet insurance. Please read the conditions carefully to ensure that your kitty has the appropriate insurance cover.
Even though L.I.C.K. handles most of the vet visits necessary before you adopt a kitty, there are some vaccines, treatments, and check-ins that you may have to do, so it is best to register for a vet as soon as possible. Especially as vets currently have longer waiting times than usual.
Deworming medication, dosage, and timing should be discussed with your vet
Kittens should be dewormed monthly until they are 6 months of age
Adult cats should be given dewormer every 2 to 6 months
Flea medication can also be given by a vet
Usually should be done monthly, depends on flea medication
Vaccinations need to be booked for specific times with your vet
First vaccines can start from nine weeks old
Second round at three months old
After this, kittens and cats will need vaccination boosters
Please check with your vet around any restrictions for waiting times between vaccinations as well as with neutering
Adult cats require 2 vaccinations around 3 weeks apart, so please consider this when making the booking for the first vaccination.
Please note that because of the current climate, it has not been possible to get vaccinations for all kitties. We appreciate the patience and understanding around this as we sometimes need to prioritise some cat’s medical issues over others’.
It is important to locate 24hr emergency services as soon as possible. Keep the details in a visible place (and carrier in a visible place) if someone is taking care of your kitty.
It is essential that you neuter your kitten as soon as possible (kitties can get pregnant from around 4 months old), especially if you have a female and male cat living in the same space. It is also good for them to go through the procedure as young as possible since it allows their bodies to adjust to the change much more easily and be happier. Consult your vet and book as soon as possible as some vets have waiting times for appointments.