Settling In

Settling In

Steps you can take to help your cat settle 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. Cat and kittens are notorious for disliking change and need plenty of time to adjust to their new environment. For some cat and kittens this could be a few hours, but for others, it could be weeks, or even months, especially for the more nervous or timid cats or kittens. 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:

  • (If possible) Take an item of clothing or bedding along with you and leave it with the cat you are rehoming, to familiarise the cat or kitten with your scent before you collect them.
  • When you collect your cat or kitten, (if possible) 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 or kitten with all he will need e.g.,. Litter tray, food, water, toys and a cosy bed.
  • Once home, place your cat or kitten in their room with an open door and leave your cat or kitten alone for an hour or more.
  • Do not force your cat or kitten out of the room.
  • Let your cat or kitten come out of their own accord and keep the door open so that they can dash back to his refuge.
  • Use reassuring tones.
  • Give your cat plenty of time to adjust. As long as they are eating and using their litter tray, there is no concern. 
  • The play is a good bonding tool.

While your cat is settling, they may exhibit behaviours including:

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

These are signs of stress and can be avoided by being patient and attentive to your cat or kittens 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 or kitten 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 the behaviour persists, please contact your vet for advice.