VCA Animal Hospitals

Getting Your New Pet Settled

Transition is part of every adoption. To help you and your new pet adjust, we’ve created a list of easy-to-follow recommendations. Once your pet is settled, everyone will feel right at home.

Kindness counts

Your new pet may have suffered a traumatic experience, and going from a strange new shelter to a strange new home may be overwhelming. Kindness, patience and understanding will help ease your pet into the family.

"I'm scared!"

Like people, pets can feel nervous and afraid in new surroundings. If this occurs, place your pet in a small quiet room with food and water. With a cat, add a litter box. Keep small children away and give your pet plenty of time to adjust.

Expect mistakes

Even the best-trained pet can make a mistake in a new home. Again, patience is key. If you notice your new pet struggling to find a pet door or litter box, help him. As the saying goes, "This too shall pass."

Expect behavior problems

Every pet comes with a set of rules. They may not be your rules, but over time, your pet will learn what kind of behavior you expect and respond appropriately. Until then, give your pet plenty of love and praise. Remember, change takes time.

Things can get touchy

New pets may resist being held and picked up in the first few days. This is especially true with small children. When this occurs, step back and let your pet take the lead. Animals crave attention but too much can feel overwhelming.

How long will this take?

Adoption is a lifetime commitment so it may take a couple of weeks before everyone is feeling the love. Don’t worry. Your pet’s affectionate nature will soon come out.

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