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Preparing for Adoption

Congratulations on your new family member(s)! Adopting a cat (or more!) is a very rewarding experience that will provide you with many years of memories, love and companionship. Whether you’re a first-time cat owner or a long-time cat owner, each cat is completely unique, so we wanted to put together a guide to help you prepare for the arrival of a new cat(s) and address any questions that might come up along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Bringing Your New Cat Home
Health & Wellness

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What should I do to prepare my home before bringing my new cat home?

Before bringing your new cat home, make sure you have the following supplies ready: food, food & water bowls, litter box, litter, treats, toys, scratching post or pad, cat bed and/or blankets. If you are adopting a pair of cats or you already have a cat(s), you should make sure you have at least 1 litter box per cat, plus an extra (suggested). Cats are very territorial and by having their own litter box, they won’t feel the need to “compete” with the other cats in the home. If you are adopting a shy cat or a kitten that’s being separated from its litter for the first time, consider using a Feliway plug-in. Feliway releases an odorless pheromone that helps calm cats and reduce stress. It takes up to a week for you to start seeing changes. Prepare a spare bedroom or bathroom that has a door separating it from the rest of the home. This room should have no hiding places (block off access to under the bed or under bureaus initially). Set-up the cat’s sleeping area, food and water as far away from the litter box as possible. This should be the new cat’s domain for the first couple days or weeks that you bring it home.

What kind of food and litter do you recommend?

We recommend buying the same food that your cat(s) is currently eating in their foster home because abrupt food changes can upset a cat’s stomach very easily. Please reach out if you need to confirm what brand and type of food your cat(s) is eating in foster care. Once your cat(s) is settled in and you want to transition them to another brand and/or type of food, make sure you wean them onto the new food gradually. Start off by feeding your new kitten(s) food that is specific to kittens their age. As they age, you can gradually transition them to age-appropriate cat food.

Overall, we recommend feeding your cat high-quality food that’s rich in protein, and low in carbohydrates and other fillers. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a food that has a type of meat (eg. Chicken, Beef, Turkey etc.) listed as the first ingredient. A diet that incorporates both dry and wet food is recommended. Pate-style wet food is the best option, as it is high in protein, low in carbs and has lots of moisture to help keep your cat hydrated.

We recommend a litter that has low levels of dust and no additives that are toxic to cats. Talk to your kittens’ foster family if you’d like litter recommendations

How do I acclimate my new cat to my home?

Be sure the new cat is in a secure room by itself with no hiding places. This is important so you can meet your new pet without having to pull it out from a hiding spot causing additional stress all while feeling cornered. It can be tempting to open the carrier as soon as you get home and let your new cat have the run of the house, but more often than not, you will have a cat living under your sofa for its first days in your home. It’s also important to slowly introduce other animals and children in a controlled environment for everyone's safety.


Initially, try to limit your interactions with it to 5-10 minutes a couple times during the first day or two so the cat can become accustomed to the sights and smells of your new home. Start off by letting the cat watch you clean its litter box, and refill its food and water. If it’s more confident and displaying signs that it wants to meet you, pet it and try playing with it. Offer treats as positive reinforcement when it uses the litter box and scratching post/pad appropriately, and when it comes to you, or lets you pet it.

Your job is to reassure your new pet that you mean no harm, and that it is a rewarding and safe experience to spend time with you. If you find your new cat is trying to hide or is very shy or not interested in interacting with you here are a few tips: 

  • Sit next to your cat while it eats something it enjoys - wet food is usually the most appetizing

  • Hand feeding - start with a spoon to judge response and if no aggression, try putting some food on your fingers

  • Play using a string toy or laser pointer - something that allows some distance between you and your cat and gradually increase closeness to the cat while they are lost in play

  • Some cats need a couple days to adjust, whereas more shy cats can take up to a month or more to fully adjust. Be patient and don’t rush the acclimation process, as it can have permanent effects on the cat’s well-being and relationship with your family and other pets.

How do I introduce the new cat to my current pets?

We recommend waiting a week to physically introduce new pets to existing pets. Do not introduce your cat to other pets in your household until the new cat is comfortable in its new space and showing you that it’s ready to explore the rest of the home.


Start by swapping bedding with the existing pet and the new pet so they can meet each other through scent first. Feed on opposite sides of a door so they can smell and hear the other pet and associate it with something good - eating! If there are no signs of aggression up to this point, introduce the new cat in a carrier or large crate to the existing pets so everyone is safe and existing pets still have their regular living space.


Start off with supervised introductions only. Do not leave the animals together unsupervised until you are certain that they will not fight. If any animal starts displaying signs of fear or aggression (eg. hissing, ears back, swatting, growling), move the new cat back into its original/safe space and give the animals time apart before reintroducing them. Definitely keep new pets separated when you leave the house.

I’ve never had a cat (or kitten) before - how often do I need to feed them and clean their litter box?


  • Kittens should be free fed (i.e. giving them unlimited access to food for them to graze on), or fed at least 3x a day. That way they will get access to enough food that will allow them to grow at a healthy rate

  • Cats should be fed twice a day as adults, either in two separate meals (breakfast and dinner) or by filling their bowl in the morning and allowing them to free feed throughout the day. If your cat is a big eater, they should be fed in portioned meals (rather than free-feeding) to prevent them from becoming overweight. It is very unhealthy for a cat to be overweight or obese and they are at high risk of developing chronic health issues like diabetes. If your cat isn’t a voracious eater, you can leave a bowl of kibble/dry food out for them to snack on throughout the day.

  • Wet food (specifically pate) is the healthiest option for your cat, as it is high in moisture and protein, and low in carbs.  Alternatively, you can feed your cat a combination of wet and dry food for a balanced diet. 



  • Your cat should always have a fresh supply of water available to them. Metal or ceramic food and water bowls are highly recommended, because bacteria doesn’t build up as quickly. Most cats don’t drink enough water on their own, which is why a wet food diet can help keep them hydrated.


Litter Box

  • Try cleaning your cat’s litter box once a day. Some cats are picky about the cleanliness of their litter box and might have accidents outside of the litter box if they’re dissatisfied with the cleanliness. Humans don’t like dirty bathrooms and cats are no different! Scooping daily will help prevent smells and it will keep your cat happy

My cat isn’t eating, drinking and/or using the litter box. What should I do?

It's normal for a new pet to not eat, drink and/or use its litter box initially when it moves to a new home. Even the most confident cats might seek refuge in a corner or under a piece of furniture when you bring it home. Give the cat time to adjust. Make sure it has a full food bowl, fresh water and a clean litter box available for use in a quiet, secluded area. If the cat refuses to eat, try leaving out both dry and wet food and give it space and privacy. You can also try something stinky like canned tuna (without any oil or additives) or plain boiled/baked chicken breast. If your cat doesn't eat or drink anything for 1-2 days, you should seek help from a veterinarian.

My cat is chewing/scratching things inappropriately. What should I do?

You can discourage them by spraying water with a fine sprayer and say “no” with a non-threatening but firm tone.

  • Chewing: Provide toys with different textures. It is likely your kitten is teething and the strong urges to chew will subside. Cover surfaces or remove access to items that are being chewed. Spray bitter apple on items that are being chewed that can’t be moved or covered.

  • Scratching: Providing many appropriate surfaces for scratching is key in deterring inappropriate use of your furniture. Corrugated cardboard is affordable and you can sprinkle catnip in the textured surface. Sisil wrapped posts/cat trees can also provide scratching surfaces as well as perching areas. Giving both horizontal and vertical surfaces for scratching are encouraged.


Declawing is absolutely unacceptable and by adopting a cat from us, you agree you will return the cat to us if you’re ever considering declawing. It is a very cruel practice that involves the amputation of all toes up to the first knuckle. This can lead to pain, nerve damage, and increased aggression in cats that feel they can no longer defend themselves. Many times, declawed cats are brought into shelters with behavioral issues such as biting, inappropriate urination, and other generalized anxiety disorders. In some states declawing is illegal (like MA). If you are experiencing issues with your cat, despite efforts to remedy the issue, and are considering declawing please contact us. We will always take Moby Kit Rescue cats back and if it’s a recent adoption we will refund you your adoption fee.


You may purchase a nail trimmer and clip their nails by applying gentle pressure to their paws and cut only 1/3 of the tip of the nail. This may need to be done every 2-4 weeks and we would be glad to teach you! Another option are nail covers, called soft paws, that can be applied at the vet or at home. They are glued on and do eventually fall off and need replacing but are a great alternative to declawing.

I think my cat may like to explore outdoors. Is that ok?

Our cats are to be INDOOR ONLY, as there are a tremendous number of risks they face while outdoors:

  • Predators such as foxes, fisher cats, and coyotes

  • Getting hit by a car or bike

  • Ingesting poison

  • Encountering other cats that may have contagious diseases or attack them

  • Exposure to parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm

  • Getting lost or stolen


As an animal rescue, we see everything. In an average year, we see cats that have been hit by cars, come to us with severe wounds, have been shot with a BB gun (yes…), have been reported lost by their owners etc. Your cat is not familiar with his/her new home and may never return if allowed outside. We can only assure their safety by keeping them indoors. Our cats are equipped with microchips for reunification if they do get lost and brought to a shelter or vet clinic. Remember that a microchip is NOT a GPS tracking device.

My cat has diarrhea - is something wrong? What should I do?

Cats and kittens have very sensitive stomachs and something as simple as a change in the type or brand of food that they’re eating can lead to diarrhea. To prevent this, we encourage you to continue feeding them the same food that they were eating in foster care. If you’d like to transition them to a different kind of food, that is completely okay as long as the transition is gradual. That will allow their stomachs to become familiar with the new food without shocking it too much.

Kittens are prone to diarrhea and most of them will have it at one point or another while they’re in foster care. To help settle their stomachs, you can feed them pumpkin (either from baby food or pureed) or pate-style wet food if they have a mild case of diarrhea and are otherwise acting normal.

Chronic or severe diarrhea dehydrates kittens very quickly and can be life-threatening, so if your kitten has a severe case of diarrhea and/or is seeming lethargic and/or not eating and drinking, take them to your closest ER as soon as possible.

How do I register my cat's microchip?

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and implanted beneath your cat’s skin, between the shoulder blades. It contains a number unique to your cat and is used as an identifier when scanned by a shelter or vet - it is NOT a GPS device. This allows vets and shelters to reunite lost pets with their owners of pets. It’s important to register and store your contact information in a registry (database) and keep it up to date so you can be contacted if your cat is lost and then found. Registering your cat in with your contact info does not cost any money.

Follow these steps to register your cat: 

  1. Visit 

  2. Click I’m a Pet Parent

  3. Follow the prompts and enter in details about your cat and contact information

What kind of medical care will my cat require moving forward?

Massachusetts law requires that rabies vaccinations must be administered by the time the animal is six months old. The second vaccination should be given one year after the initial vaccination and subsequent booster vaccinations must be administered once every 1 or 3 years, depending on the type of vaccine administered. Your vet can provide you with a vaccination schedule for the particular vaccine that was used for your animal.

In addition to rabies vaccinations, cats also require annual wellness exams by a licensed vet so that you and your vet can be sure that your cat is staying healthy. Cats often mask signs of illness and it is a common misconception that indoor cats do not require annual wellness exams and vaccinations. By examining your cat annually from nose to tail, your veterinarian can observe changes that could indicate disease. When problems are detected, early diagnosis and treatment are keys to ensuring that your cat lives a long and healthy life. Chronic diseases can be costly and many of them are preventable when detected early on

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