How to help a cat adjust to new home is a major problem for first-time cat owners or for cat owners who just relocated to a new city.
Cats get lost most times when their owners relocate to a new city, this is solely due to changes in the environment and also a lack of strong bonding or trust coming from the cat.
Adapting to a new home for any cat is always a stressful and terrifying experience.
And at this phase, all your cats seek from you is your patience and understanding.
It is important to note that cats are territorial animals and are not a big fan of changes, you can even notice this when you try to change your diet.
There are many ways to approach this issue, and today we will be giving you some proven ways how to help a cat adjust to a new home. So let’s get down to the real gist.
How to Help a Cat Adjust to New Home
We will break this into three ways which will be preparing your home to suit the cat, preparing a cat for relocation, and helping the cat to adjust as fast as possible.
Create a healthy cat environment
Failing to create a cat environment is what most first-time cat owners fail to do before bringing in a new cat.
So let us talk about creating a cat environment.
First of all, you can agree with me that cats are among the top pets that do not like or do well in a noisy environment or a busy environment.
A noisy or busy environment is one of the major reasons why a cat may disappear without a trace, and still return when the cat feels safe.
Creating a cat environment requires time and money. Cats are territorial animals and require a bit of privacy.
Therefore, you need to map out a section of your house, either the basement, the garage, or one room you are not making use of at the moment.
This will serve as their territory and hiding place for your cat.
You will also make sure you do not give room for external animals to come into your compound or where you mapped out for your cats, such as big dogs, snakes, or fowls.
Also, make sure you scan your compound for things that repel a cat-like some trees or shrubs that may be emitting scents or odors that affect the cat.
Let us put it on a list:
How to create a cat environment
- Map out a section of a room, a basement, or a garage for your cat
- Scan your compound for cat replants.
- Shut down every route for other animals
- Provide cat trees or shelves
- Make a scratch post available
- Get a good litter box
- Provide moving and interactive toys
- Provide cat or cartoon movies.
- Ask questions if cats are allowed in the area
Remove all forms of repellants from the environment
When thinking of how to help a cat adjust to a new home, the first thing you should consider is removing all forms of repellants.
Remove every tree, shrub, or root, that emits bad or repellent smells.
Other dogs, cats, and visitors could be a repellant to your new cat so get every repelling object out of the way.
Provide the basic cat needs and equipment
You will need to get a cat tree or shelves where your cat can climb and take an afternoon nap. You will also get a scratch post for your cat.
Also, on the list is a good litter box for your cat. And finally, provide entertainment pieces of equipment like toys and cat movies or cartoon movies, which will keep your cat busy.
You should also provide a clean water can or water fountain and a good feeding plate for the cat.
Here are some basic cat needs:
- To be stroked
- To be played with
- To be fed
- To be given a designated place to sleep
- To be loved
Cat-proof the new house
This is to make sure your cat has no escape path in case things go wrong along the line.
If you are still new to the area and can not fence or set up the compound then use a room.
Remember to take away every cable, traps, poisonous houseplants, broken glasses, pest-control poison, and every stuff that makes the house or room unsafe for your cat
Providing a room or a section of your compound comes with lots of benefits, after you have cat-proof your home then move to the next step.
Set the room up for the cat
After you have cat-proof your home, the next thing is to set up the room.
Keep a bed for your cat, and place the cat tree in a position similar to the old cat setting in your formal house.
Before bringing in your cat, make sure you place the litter box where it should be, and set up your cat’s food and water dishes.
Is allowed to have two litter boxes in the new room one as a permanent and temporary one.
If possible, position everything to take the shape of the old cat room or section in your formal apartment, before bringing out your cat from the carrier or box.
Place multiple old and new play toys for your cat, do not forget the scratch post bring along the old scratch post to the new place, and do not misplace any of your old cat belongings as they will help your cat adjust fast.
Provide extra hiding places with interactive toys
Apart from the room, you have set up for your cat, you need to provide extra hiding places inside the same room.
Provide shelves or a cat tree where your cat can climb and hide for a nap.
Establish a regular schedule
Make sure you establish a regular eating and playing schedule for your cat in your new home.
If you are feeding your cat at a fixed time, please be sure to feed your cat at the same time.
Establishing regular schedules for playing and sleeping will also help your cat adjust to his or her new home.
Spending lots of time with your cat helps your cat to adjust fast.
Note: it is important to allow your cat indoors in the new room for at least 2 to 4 days before bringing your cat to your sitting room and be sure that all your cat has the tracker on before leaving for the sitting room.
When your cat gets to the sitting room, try to initiate your cat’s favorite game, after which you can turn on the TV and play the old cat movies.
Always make sure to do things the old way, as it will help your cat adjust fast.
Always know that moving with a cat is not easy, and it requires time for your cat to adjust.
Provide and surround the cat with only things that smell familiar
Put your cat’s favorite bed, favorite blanket, favorite toys, or something familiar in the room, and don’t keep changing it.
Placing items that smell like you or your cat in the room can also help.
For example, you can add an old sweater or running t-shirt – something that smells like you and smells like home.
Since cats have very sensitive noses and use them to tell if something is safe or not, this provides them with solace in times of stress.
Get a tracker, microchip, or a tag
From the very first day, you plan on relocating, you should set a tracking system in place just in case your cat plays smarter than you because basically, cats hate relocation.
If your cat ever dashes out because it feels you are relocating, it is always difficult to recover such a cat.
Therefore, it is important that you introduce a clear tracking system.
Do not at any point feel relaxed and think your cat cannot figure out what is going on around the house.
Some cats are very smart to detect your movements so make you have the tracker or tags on the cat.
Benefits of cat microchip:
- Potential identification if a cat goes missing.
- Potential tracking of a cat if it goes missing.
- Potential identification of a cat if it is found wandering.
- Potential identification of a cat if it is injured or sick.
- Potential reunification of a cat with its owner if it goes missing.
Train the cat using a leash
One or two months before the date of relocation try to train your cat to be on a leash, as this will make things easy for you and your cat.
On the day of relocation put your cat on a leash while you are moving things into the car, after moving everything, then put your cat into the carrier and start your movement.
Cats are smart and putting them on a leash while you move your items into the car tells them that they are changing the environment and right away they will start conditioning their mind towards changes.
Benefits of leash training on cats:
- Leash training can help prevent accidents.
- Leash training can help keep your cat safe while you are out and about.
- Leash training can help teach your cat obedience.
- Leash training can help keep your cat calm and under control.
- Leash training can be a fun activity for you and your cat.
Avoid all forms of stressful events
If you are thinking of how to help a cat adjust to a new home, avoiding stressful events should be a major concern.
Stressful events to avoid include loud sounds, noises, other dogs, other cats, visitors, etc.
Even after you and your cat have settled in, stress factors like thunderstorms or fireworks can irritate your cat in the first few days in your new home.
Take extra precautions to keep your cat safe in your new home.
Here are some causes of cat stress:
- Lack of socialization: If a cat doesn’t get enough socialization, she may become stressed. This can be due to a lack of human interaction or simply being left alone too much.
- Lack of exercise: Cats need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. If they don’t get enough, they may start to become stressed.
- Constant noise: If there’s constant noise in a cat’s environment, she may become stressed. This can be from other cats, loud noises, or even people.
- Lack of privacy: If a cat doesn’t have enough privacy, she may start to become stressed. This can be from people constantly coming in and out of the house, or other cats invading her territory.
- Lack of food: If a cat isn’t getting enough food, she may start to become stressed. This can be from a lack of variety or from being left out of the food supply.
Regulate your visit to the cat room
Do not become a threat to your own cat by frequent visits, give your cat enough space and time to get used to the new house.
Make out a specific time you visit and stick to it.
Ask Questions About The New Environment
Not all areas allow cats, in the same vein there are areas with lots of cat haters because not everyone loves cats.
Somewhen checking out the area you are bringing in your cat be sure to ask your neighbors or look around to see if you can find cats.
If the area or city is not prohibited for cats and is just cat haters, then you will have to keep your cats indoors.
See the new vet for check-up
You have to talk to your vet and tell him or her that you are relocating if there is any advice for you and your pet.
Sometimes you may need to ask your vet for immure boosters, and vaccinations for parasite control as it may help your cat in his new home.
Do not forget to talk with your vet about anti-anxiety medication, in case things go wrong.
Ask the veterinarian for a copy of your cat’s medical record. This is especially important if you need to change your veterinary practice after moving.
Having a copy of your cat’s medical record will make it easier for new vets to see a complete medical history of your cat.
Once you are done settling your cat in the new home, it is time to search or seek a vet. Ask people about the recommended vet for your cat.
After 1 to 2 weeks of establishing your cat in the new home, you should consider going for a checkup with your cat.
There are lots of things that come up with moving a cat to a new location, so do not relax and say everything is fine.
Use your cat’s last medical record to see the new vet and seek his or her advice.
How to Move A Cat To A New Home
Here is how to move a cat to a new home:
Get a good carrier for your cat
There are many types of carriers out there but be sure to get the carrier that allows sufficient air and space for your cat.
Giving your cat time to explore the boxes or carrier can end up being playtime for her, which will help reduce her anxiety with the move.
Make the carrier or box attractive by leaving the door open and placing the bed and a few items in it.
Place a blanket over the carrier or box, so it looks like a safe hiding place for your cat, which will help on the day you move out.
Reward your cat with treats every time your cat gets in the box or carrier.
This creates a positive relationship between you and your cat as well as with the box.
Ride your cat if you have your own car while your cat is in the carrier or box. Here is the most Recommended cat carrier.
First, put it in the car without having to drive it. If you see your cat is able to stay calm in the car when not moving, take a short trip and then longer.
Find out more about How to train a cat to stay indoors.
Release your cat from the carrier or box
After you are done setting up the room, then introduce your cat to the new room that looks like his or her old home.
Once you release your cat from the carrier, allow the cat to explore the room and then initiate the cat’s favorite game.
If the cat is hungry, allow the cat to eat why rubbing your palms at his or her head through the back down to his or her tail.
Do not leave immediately after you release the cat if you have other things to do, then do it before releasing your cat.
Steps in moving a cat to a new home
Here are some basic things you should know about moving a cat to a new home:
- Get a carrier
- Don’t feed the cat before relocation
- Don’t change food immediately
- Provide lots of play toys
- Provide treats
- Create a hidden area
- Cat proof the house
- Give your cat time to adjust
- Provide two litter boxes
How well do cats adjust to new homes?
A cat can adjust very well to a new home from 1 to 4 weeks with the help of the owner who provides a comfortable cat environment.
Cats are not fantastic with changing environments, so you need to monitor your cat.
Make sure you have a microchip on your cat and a cat tracking device each time you want to relocate with your cat.
How long does it take for a cat to get used to a new home?
It takes a cat 2 to 3 weeks to get used to a new home with the help of the owner and in a cat comfortable environment.
Once a cat settles down within 3 weeks, you need to introduce the cat to your area.
Put the cat on a leash and take a walk down the street to allow your cat to explore its environment.
How do you bond with a new cat?
Here are some things to do to help you bond with a new cat;
- Offer special cat food
- Offer treats when your cat stays with you.
- Obedience training.
- Get special toys for your cat
- Bath your cat with warm water.
- Groom your cat twice a week.
- Map out playing time for your cat.
- Let the cat be when the cat wants to be alone.
- Do not change your cat’s daily routine
- Do not shout at your cat
Checkout: Can a lost cat find its way home? Here are our thoughts.
Is it normal for a new cat to not eat?
Yes, it is normal for a new cat not to eat for 1- 2 days because cats eat less when they are stressed, and introducing a cat to a new home is a lot of stress.
When you get a new cat, and it refuses to eat, try microwaved tuna with lots of flavored food to attract the cat.
But the most important thing is to give your cat space to get used to the new environment.
How long can a new cat go without eating?
A new cat can stay about 8 hours or more without eating anything, you can always attract the cat with high-flavored food or treats.
A new cat will always look for a place to hide, so make sure you provide a hiding place for your cat before getting a new cat.
Cats love treats and highly flavored food like microwaved tuna, so you can always use these foods to attract cats.
Why do cats hide when they go to a new home?
Cats hide when they get to a new home because everything around them looks new and strange to them and they need time to get used to everything around them.
Cats are not comfortable with changes so anytime you change the environment for a cat, they hide until they are sure it is safe for them.
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It is very easy to help a cat adjust to a new home if you follow the above things I have outlined.
The most important thing is to not allow your cat to be stressed out with noise or other animals.
Keep your feeding time constant, and provide toys with cat trees, as well as hiding places for your cat.
Always be patient with your cat as it may take longer than required for a cat to adjust to a new home.