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Preparing Kitty’s Space in Advance

Preparing Kitty’s Space in Advance

Congratulations on your newest family addition! Cats have a unique ability to bring joy and comfort to those who love them. Your new family member will undoubtedly make you laugh and feel loved, but what do you do now? How do you best prepare your kitty for its new home so it will feel safe and secure?

First, you need to prepare kitty’s space in advance. Your new cat will likely be scared and apprehensive, so it’s important to prepare a space where kitty can relax and feel secure. You’ll want to find a small room, with little spaces for kitty to hide, but big enough for a litter box and fresh food and water. Remember, cats don’t like to eat near their litter box, so there should be enough space to separate the two items!

Now that you’re prepared for kitty’s arrival, it is important to isolate your new furry friend for seven to ten days. When you first arrive home, open the carrier/crate door and let them come out on their own. It’s also a good idea to leave the carrier/crate in the small space with your kitty for support, but leave it near a wall for an added feel of security. As far as your presence, make sure you just sit and quietly observe the kitty — don’t try to grab them or force them to be held. This is a crucial time for your kitty to adjust and find a new routine.

Be sure to visit the room often and bring a present each time, such as treats or a toy. Everyone in the family should make their rounds so kitty will become familiar with everyone. Remember not to grab kitty or make fast movements around them. You can try to coax them to come to you, and if they do, give them a gentle chin pet! And don’t be afraid to talk to kitty — let them get used to your voice, as long as you speak gently and quietly.

When the time comes when kitty greets you at the door, possibly meowing with their tail straight up, it’s time to tour the home! But you must make sure your home is safe and prepared for your cat’s curiosity. Make sure there are no doors or windows open and try to limit the hiding spaces where kitty could not be reached. If you notice kitty getting stressed, it’s time to go back to the safe room. Give kitty a few more days in the safe room, visiting as often as before, and try again when they are calm. Once you observe your kitty remaining calm in the home with your supervision, they’re then ready to roam freely around the home.

Every kitty is different. Some cats will come to you right away while others may take weeks. Read the cues from your kitty and let them decide when to advance. Taking the time now to properly introduce your kitty to its new home will build a strong foundation for your relationship for years to come!

Looking for more resources to start off on the right paw? Visit our adopter resources and Cat 101 website pages.

BC SPCA. (2023, September 13). How do I welcome a new cat into my home? – BC SPCA.

Article by Jennifer Walters

The Cat Chronicle –  November 2023

The Cat Chronicle – November 2023

Open House & Adoption Event
Are you ready to FALL in love? We have a lot of cats who are ready to be your new BFF so come to SAFE Haven’s Adoption Center on Saturday, November 4 from 6-8 pm for light refreshments and adorable kitties. You can also get to know all about our lifesaving work! We recommend this event for our adult supporters, please.




The Pet Food Pantry Needs You!
We’ll be holding a special week-long Collection Drive from Sunday, November 5 through Saturday, November 11, between 9 am–5 pm. Just look for the pink tent and drop off needed donations. Even better – you don’t have to leave home to help! Shop our Amazon wish list and have your donation sent directly to us! Thank you for giving all pets a healthy meal this holiday season!




Voting Starts Now
We’re a finalist for Best Volunteer Organization in the 2023 WRAL Voters Choice Awards! Vote for us until November 19. Already voted? Spread the word with your friends and social media networks about why they should vote for SAFE Haven too!




Meet the SAFE Haven Team
Read our Q&A
with our new volunteer coordinator Dani Williams to see what she loves most about her journey from volunteer.





A PAWsitive Day for Good
The countdown to Giving Tuesday has begun and we’re counting down to a TRIPLE MATCH! This year’s Giving Tuesday is November 28 and when you donate on that day, your gift will go 3x as far for our cats. Mark the date on your calendar so you can donate, share our posts, and tell everyone why you support SAFE Haven!





Giving Thanks
We’ll be closed in observance of Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23. Get tips to keep Thanksgiving safe for your feline friends.





Thank YOU for Your Support


So many families joined us for Meow-a-Ween in late October! Not only did we see some great costumes, but the kitties also got some treats themselves thanks to the generosity of our trick-and-treaters.





Microchip and Vax Clinic
Despite the rainy weather, we had 53 people bring their 83 cats and dogs for microchips and vaccinations. Thank you to everyone for protecting your pets!





Congratulations to Our First Group of Veterinary Students!

For two weeks, six 4th-year veterinary students from NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine joined the SAFE Care Spay/Neuter team to train in high-volume spay/neuter and shelter medicine. Amy, Cassie, Emily, Kaylah, Kristin, and Nilsa were absolute rock stars during the Community Cat Externship. We are so proud of them and wish them the best in their future!





Click here to DONATE

Meet the SAFE Haven Team – Jamie

Meet the SAFE Haven Team – Jamie

Jamie Hazard brings an important component to his role as SAFE Haven for Cat’s Community Engagement Manager: a love of his community! Having worked at a few nonprofits, he loves being able to not only make an impact but also save precious animal lives! From coordinating the Pet Food Pantry to showcasing our cats on Instagram to engaging with our amazing community partners, Jamie puts his heart into everything he does. 

Get to know Jamie:

Why did you choose SAFE Haven to work at?
I love animals and wanted to find a place where I could use my skills to make a real difference in the world. Here at SAFE Haven, I get to do just that, plus being around cats all the time is a huge bonus!

What do you love about cats?
I love how each cat has their own unique personality and is just themselves all the time.

Do you have any pets?
I have three dogs and a cat! Luna is a Buff Cat, Zoey is a German Shepherd Greyhound mix, Fiona is a Black Lab, and Hampton is a Carolina Dog

Fun Fact
I play four instruments!

The Cat Chronicle –  October 2023

The Cat Chronicle – October 2023

Join us for a spookily fun time at our Meow-A-Ween on October 27 from 4–6 pm. Bring your kids (under 12) to get treats from stations around SAFE Haven, color with the kitties, take a tour of the shelter and get to meet our cats, and show off your a-MEOW-zing costumes during the costume parade. You can also bring special treats for the cats! Learn more and save your spot.


Vax + Chip on October 14
All of the spots are filled for SAFE Care’s clinic on October 14, but did you know you can schedule appointments for affordable spay and neuter year-round? Here’s what you need to know about our affordable pricing options. Here’s everything you need to know.



The Cat’s Meow
Think SAFE Haven is the cat’s meow? You can now nominate us for a WRAL Voter’s Choice Award! We’ve been honored in the past to be named Best Nonprofit Organization and Best Volunteer Organization. Can you help us win a VCA for the third year in a row? You only have until October 8th to submit your nomination!



Community Cares
We were honored to be this month’s WRAL Community Cares Award Recipient! Thank you WRAL and the Whitley Law Firm for supporting cats in our community.





Scratching Post
The latest issue of the Scratching Post is out! This past year has been one of remarkable change and life-saving here at SAFE Haven. It was a record-breaking year on all levels—the most cats taken in, the most cats adopted out, the most spay/neuter surgeries, and the most food distributed. Read how it was possible thanks to supporters like you.



Just for State Employees
Here’s an easy way to help our kitties every month if you’re a state employee: the State Employees Combined Campaign. All you have to do is pick code #2566 to help the kitties! Click here to set up your donations for 2024.




Meet the SAFE Haven Team
Hanna Johnston now works as a cat care associate, but she started with SAFE Haven for Cats as a volunteer. What does she love about cats? “The way they spread their toe beans during a good stretch!” Get to know Hanna.




Come Work with Us!

SAFE Care Spay/Neuter Clinic is looking for a veterinary assistant who loves working with a high-performing team, loves our mission to reduce suffering and overpopulation, and above everything else, loves cats and dogs! Experience in a veterinary setting preferred. Hours are 7 am to 5 pm Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri. Salary range: $16 to $18 per hour. Medical insurance and PTO are offered to all full-time employees. Please contact us at if you’re interested!





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Meet the SAFE Haven Team – Dani

Meet the SAFE Haven Team – Dani

Dani Williams has worn many hats in her career but the one she’s wearing now: volunteer coordinator at SAFE Haven. It’s fitting since she started with us as a volunteer! Dani loves knowing how things tick and how everything comes together. Her great background in client experience, animal care, event planning, and training all help her ensure everything is running smoothly. 

Get to know Dani: 

Why did you choose SAFE Haven as your next position?
It all started with me volunteering at SAFE Haven. I became enamored with the volume and quality of rescue work SAFE Haven has done, and continues to do, and I’m overjoyed to be a part of it.

What are you looking forward to as a new employee of SAFE Haven?
I’m looking forward to being a part of such an impactful organization and getting to know the people who make it all work. I’m excited to help make a difference for cats and the community.

What do you love about cats?
I love how creative you can get with their play spaces, from towers, shelves, and catios.

Do you have any pets? 
My household consists of my dog Beanie, my recent SHFC rescue Couscous (formally known as Chaplin), my green iguana Iggy, and foster failure tegu Lilly.

Fun facts about you?
In nice weather, I enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors. When I’m home, I love doing crafty things like decorating, painting, soap making, or building. I’m the worst untrained carpenter but managed to build a 7-foot-long enclosure for my tegu.