Settling A Cat In

Settling your cat into their new home

Being taken to a new home can be a daunting experience for your new cat or kitten because they have not yet had time to form a bond with you. Cats are notorious for disliking change and need plenty of time to adjust to their new environment. For some cats this could be a few hours, but for others it could be weeks, or even months, especially for more nervous or timid cats, so be prepared to be patient and you will get there.

Following the advice below will help to ensure your new cat becomes used to his new surroundings:

  • Set aside a room dedicated to your cat with all he will need eg. litter tray, food, water, toys and a cosy bed.
  • Place your cat in his room with the door closed, and leave him alone for an hour or more
  • Do not force him out of the room.
  • Let him come out of his own accord (generally at least a day after adoption) and whilst he is out keep the door open so he can dash back to his safe place.
  • Use reassuring tones.
  • Give him plenty of time to adjust. As long as he is eating and using his litter tray there is no concern.
  • Play is a good bonding tool.

Whilst your cat is settling, he may exhibit behaviours including:

  • Hiding
  • Not interacting
  • Not eating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Scratching
  • Spraying

These are generally signs of stress and can be avoided by being patient and attentive to your cat's needs. Offering enough spaces for your cat to sleep, eat and go to the toilet in peace, as well as providing safe hiding places will mean that your cat can maintain a sense of control over their world.

Most importantly, all of the above measures are temporary and as each day goes by, with plenty of patience, your cat will hopefully grow in confidence and these behaviours will reduce. If behaviour persists, please contact your vet for advice.