Settling your cat into their new home

Being taken to a new home can be a very 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 the 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:

  • When you collect him/her, take his litter home too, as it will hold his smell to make him/her feel more comfortable
  • Set aside a room dedicated to your cat with all he will need eg. litter tray, food, water, toys and a cosy bed
  • Once home, place your cat in his room with an open door and leave him/her alone for an hour or more
  • Do not force him/her out of the room
  • Let him/her come out of his own accord and keep the door open so he can dash back to his refuge
  • Use reassuring tones
  • Give him/her 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 cats 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 cats 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 grow in confidence and these behaviours will cease. If behaviour persists, please contact your vet for advice.