From two minutes to two years – how long should it really take for your new pet to settle in at home?
Last month we asked our supporters how long it took for their rescue pet to settle in, and the range is outstanding.
Laura Rosenthal, who re-homed Nellie from our Watford centre said it took her a long time to fully be at home. She said: “My gorgeous Nellie, a rescue lurcher who I met whilst volunteering at Watford, has taken a full year to really bond properly.
“She was crazy nervous for the first two months, then she became calm but wary for the next 10 months. I definitely feel after a full year we are totally connected and she is fully settled.
“Worth every second of the investment as I adore her.”
Meanwhile, Jo Fielder rescued Harley from Trindledown Farm, who took just ‘two minutes’ to settle in! She said: “It was astonishing, it’s like he was always here.”
Another supporter, Cejay told her fantastic story about saving a cat that used to live in a dustbin. She explains: “I have saved and rehomed eight cats over the last 10 years.
“At the moment I have Tomo who lived outside in a dustbin for four years. When I found him we lined it with carpet and cushions.
“It took me all that time to get his trust before I could get him neutered. As you can see, he loves his comfortable life now and is quite content and happy.”
Kerry Dyment rehomed Siberian Husky, Raya, who also settled in straight away. Kerry said: “From the moment she came home she followed me everywhere and always came to me when she was afraid or unsure.
“She fit right in straight away. I'm so fortunate to have such a lovely companion.”
Whereas Paula Freedman, who re-homed her cat Kenny recalled: “I didn't see Kenny for a week. He hid under a bed and only came out when I was not there.
“Gradually he gained confidence and is now in charge of me and my house! Affectionate, intelligent and full of cat-itude! A real joy.”
Kathryn Thornton said: “We adopted Boo (a beautiful little black cat). On the day she arrived, she walked straight out of her box and found a comfy chair! Within a couple of weeks she knew the routine of the house and was waiting by the door to greet you. She's been with us for three months, but it feels like she's always been part of our family.”
So how long should it take for a rescue animal to get settled in?
The truth is, there is no straight-forward answer to this question. Every animal has to be treated as an individual and, much like people, there will be some confident, happy-go-lucky animals who will make any space their home very quickly and there will be other more reserved animals who require much more patience if you want to gain their trust.
What we can say for sure is that once you have built a bond with your rescue pet, you will appreciate every hour that went in to building that friendship.
If you’re considering re-homing an animal, please remember that every animal is different and many of them have experienced a lot of upheaval in their lives so far, and they may require a lot of your time and patience to help them settle. Give them your time and eventually they will give you their love, trust and devotion.
To browse the animals up for re-homing please click here.