If you’ve managed to open up your heart and home to a new cat, you’re in for a lot of furry cuddles and unconditional love. But before you bring a new cat home, it is best to be prepared to make sure your new feline can adapt and adjust easily.

Cats are particularly sensitive to any new surroundings, and some may hide under a bed or in a similar safe, dark place for days and even weeks. How long it takes to get a cat adjusted to a new home depends on the cat, and how well you familiarize them with a new environment. Here are some tips for how to get a cat used to a new home.

 

Before Bringing Your Kitten Home

  • Get a feline starter kit. Buy all the basic essentials your cat needs to live comfortably. This includes food, water, bowls, bed, and a litter box.
  • Prepare a safe room. Cats are territorial and any new environment they encounter makes them feel anxious and uneasy. Provide a small area for your cat with the basic amenities, to call his own for the first few days to ease the adjustment period.
  • Cat-proof your home and their safe room. Look for holes or any small hiding places that would be too hard to reach and cover them up. Cats, especially kittens, can easily sneak in and get stuck in small spaces, and you wouldn’t want your cat getting stuck where you can’t reach or find them. Check your home for any items that can be damaged or knocked off. Cats love to climb and explore, so it’s best to keep your breakable items in a safe place and out of reach.
  • Give them a place to hide. New cats are often nervous and like to hide when they’re uneasy or feel threatened. Ideal hiding places are cardboard boxes or sheets draped over chairs. You may also want to leave their cat carrier as a safe place to hide.
  • Let your cat get to know you. Leave a piece of clothing that has your scent in the cat’s safe room. This will give them a chance to be familiar with your scent.
  • Prepare a litterbox. Fill a litter box with one or two inches of litter and place it where there is minimal disturbance or foot traffic from the rest of the household.
  • Set up a feeding station. Place the food and water bowls away from the litter box. Your new cat may not eat for the first few hours as they’ll be curious with their surroundings. Just be patient and observe, but if you cat doesn’t eat for more than 48 hours, you may want to bring them to the veterinarian for a consult.

 

Give your cat a scratching post. Scratching is a natural and comforting behavior for cats, so a new scratching post would help them adjust to their new surroundings. It would also save your furniture from being scratched preyed upon.

On Your Cats First Few Days Home:

 

  • Take them directly to the safe room. Let your cat familiarize herself with the new environment in their safe area.
  • Get to know your cat. Make sure to spend time with your new cat. Let your cat get acquainted with you and their new environment in their own time. Be patient and gentle, as they might be hesitant to get close to you for the first few days. Let your feline approach you naturally and don’t force them to come to you.

  • Provide cat entertainment. Give your cat toys to place with so they won’t get bored or anxious when you are not around. You can also get interactive cat wands to entice them to play with you.
  • Comfort with Feliway. If your new cat is an adult, Feliway helps make a new cat feel more at home by imitating natural cat pheromones that helps calm and comfort them.
  • Make a wellness visit to the veterinarian. Take your new cat to the vet for a routine check-up. Your veterinarian will recommend the necessary vitamins and immunizations needed to ensure your cat is healthy. This would be a good time to discuss with your veterinarian any questions you may have with their nutrition, medical, and behavioral concerns.
  • Encourage them to explore. Once your cat gets enough confidence to explore the rest of your house, it would be best for you to be there to supervise during the first few times. Let them explore one room or space at a time so it won’t get too overwhelming for them. Make sure your other family members won’t startle your cat during their exploratory period.

 

If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to having a well-adjusted feline family member.

 

Sources:

https://www.meowfoundation.com/

https://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/

https://www.petfinder.com/

https://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/