Moving to a new place is challenging for cats especially older cats. Cats are generally territorial by
nature, but kittens are not yet territorial. Cats may need to move to a new place either when their owner is moving to a new house or through adoption.
Bringing a new cat home requires adequate preparation in terms of orienting the cat to the new home. Factors such as whether you are bringing the new cat home to another cat or a dog should also be put into consideration.
The process of moving to a new environment may be effortless for some cats, but for others it is hard. Let us look at how to help cats to adjust to a new home.
Make a Comfortable Safe Space
Cats are predators in nature and they love small and confined spaces. Make sure that the cat’s safe room
is cozy, and always start with small spaces so that they can get used to the new environment at their own pace. The safe room should have hiding places because if it is a new cat it could be shy or not used to be in the company of human beings.
If you have moved the cat in a cat carrier then that can act as the cat’s safe space for the time being. You can also make a new haven for the cat using a box that has a doorway.
The location of the room should make it easy for the cat to get food and water easily. Cats thrive on habit and they do not take change very lightly. The abrupt change of home may make it uncomfortable for the cat in terms of accessing food and litter, so make sure you place the litter box in proximity to the safe room.
In the safe room, ensure there is a clean litter box. Provide food and play toys in the safe room to make the cat feel comfortable and safe. Let the cat stay in the room until they are ready to explore the whole house. Remember, do not rush the cat, and give them time.
Steps for Bringing a Cat to a New Home with Other Pets
Other pets in the house may make it uncomfortable for the cat.
- Confine the cat in the first few weeks after moving into a new home.
- Let the cat adjust to the new environment at its own pace.
- Do not force the cat to play with other pets.
- After some time you may allow the cat to meet with other pets in the house
- Monitor their interaction.
- If there is any sign of aggression, separate the pets.
- Keep trying until they start relating well.
One should always cat proof the house before the cat can move in. Poisonous plants should be removed from
the house, and ensure that there are no poison traps around the house. Electrical cords should be hidden in a way that they cannot pose a problem.
AC vents, ducts, and ventilation holes should be secured because cats can fit in the smallest of places. Ensure that the cat has a collar and a microchip to enable identification in case the cat gets lost.
If your cat is reacting negatively to the new environment, spray the corners of the safe room with Feliway. Feliway is a product that contains scent chemicals that provides comfort and security for the cat.
Cats love climbing and exploring at your house so check if there is anything that needs to be changed. Do not be surprised if you find the cat climbing on kitchen cabinets. Make sure that nothing can be damaged should the cat knock it off. We recommend A Go Pet Club Cat Tree for a scratcher and hiding multi-plex
Confinement of the Cat to the Safe Space
After bringing the cat to the new home, take them to the safe room, and close the door. Do not force the cat to come out of the carrier rather let them do it out of their own. Cats should be in confinement for the first few weeks so that they can have a smooth and easy adjustment.
The first few days are important for getting the cat used to you and other pets in the house. Make sure that all the doors and windows in the safe room remain closed to prevent the cat from escaping.
During the confinement period make sure that the cat has a cozy bed and enough toys to play with. Cats
love scratching and it is their way of wearing down their claws. You do not want the cat to scratch on your chairs and sofas. Providing them with a scratching post will detour unwanted damage.
Exploring the New Home
When the cat is ready to explore the new house, they will come out of their safe room. Let the cat discover the new house and explore the space at its own pace. It is not good to force the cat to explore the new house.
The best way to help the cat explore is by leaving the door to the room open so that the cat can get out or in as needed. During the exploration stage, place food and litter box at different strategic places in the house.
Make sure that each time the cat is exploring the house it does not end in a scaring experience for the
cat. Instead, make the session enjoyable and positive for the cat. Let the exploration start gradually, maybe for around one hour and then increase the duration over time. In the initial stages do not
let the cat explore the new house when you are not around. When you leave for work or go to sleep the cat should be left in the confinement room.
By following the above tips, you can be sure that your cat will have a smooth adjustment into the new home. Affection, time, and space are key to helping the cat adjust to a new home.
Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if any of these suggestions helped you out.
Founder of LoveEachPet.com