Settling A Cat In

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:

  • Take an item of clothing or bedding in to the adoption centre and leave it with the cat you are rehoming, to familiarise him with your scent before you collect him .
  • When you collect him, take his litter home too, as it will hold his smell to make him 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 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 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 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.