It may be a stressful and tense experience for a cat to adjust to its new home. Being patient and understanding during this initial period can help the cat to feel at home gradually.
Here are some tips by hoppers crossing vet to help a cat adjust to its new surroundings:
- The ride home
Riding home may be traumatic for the cat. The cat should be confined to a carrier during the journey back. Do not allow it to move around in the car and do not leave it unattended while stopping the car in between the ride home.
- Realise the stress on the cat
The world of the cat has turned upside down. She or he has been cut off from a familiar environment and put in a strange place. Cats are highly territorial beings, and so they must adjust to their new territory. This is highly stressful and especially so for older cats who are accustomed to their old region.
- Address health issues
Based on where they came from, cats may have all kinds of health issues. Getting a vet to diagnose and treat problems is a good idea. New health issues may be triggered by coming to the new home.
- Observe unique temperament of new cats
Every cat has an individual character. He or she might have a shy nature or may be very outgoing with a constant demand for attention. Accepting that a kitten has a unique personality and building a good relationship with it in the long term is by respecting its idiosyncrasies.
- Set up a safe room
To reduce the initial stress, arrange a safe room for the cat where it can feel secure. With fewer places to explore and fewer feelings of threats and disturbances, the cat is likely to be less stressed and regain his or her composure. A safe room is especially useful for a kitten since her curiosity can spell trouble. You must make her room kitty proof so that you can leave her unattended.
- Keep some quiet
Some kittens may be less tolerant of noise than others. About a new cat, it is good to keep down noise levels and avoid startling ones. Sensitivity to noise may be an initial phase or something permanent. Only time can tell.
- Let the cat adjust to new territory
The cat must create several new connections in the brain when exposed to a new environment. Give the cat time to explore his new surroundings. It might involve a few days or may take many months.
- Give time for adjusting with the new owner
While adjusting to a new territory, another adjustment is also necessary – that of the new owner or human being. The latter must observe the reaction of the cat to his presence and proceed accordingly. If the cat is more intent on exploring its new home, allow the same. Do not force companionship and allow the cat time to do so.
- The right way to adjust to other pets
A cat being territorial may find it stressful to be with other, older cats. Cat to cat introductions must be adequately conducted, gradually and with much patience. In the first few days, the new cat must be separated from other cats till she settles down.
Interaction with dogs and other pets like birds or fish need to be monitored. Take time to introduce such communications and do not leave them alone until they have established a level of friendliness and adjustment between them.
These are some of the tips for helping a cat adjust to its new home, given by hoppers crossing vet.