How long does a Cat Take to Adjust to a New Home?
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The cat is not only a creature of habit, but also still retains much of what would be their habits and instinctive behavior in the wildlife. That is why, either because you have decided to adopt one or because you are moving homes with your fluffy partner, you should take into consideration the time that the cat will need to adapt to the new home, doing everything in your power to make this process easier. Here are some tips and recommendations in case you're wondering: how does a cat take to adjust to a new home?
The adaptation period in cats
Of course, this will depend on the personality of the feline and, more importantly, on the experiences that the cat has had before, because in felines that have suffered traumatic moments with humans it is normal for them to feel suspicious and find it much more difficult to feel safe.
Usually, in a cat that is not traumatized and has no socialization problems, a week or week and a half will be more than enough to make them feel completely comfortable in their new home. Some shy kittens may require a little more time, but following our recommendations you will be able to provide peace of mind even for felines who have gone through painful experiences. To do this, here are some tips for getting your cat to adapt to their new home quickly.
If after this period of time your kitten continues to be nervous in their new home, growl and snarl and try to hide, it is very likely that they may be carrying a severe trauma, so we suggest that you go to a specialist.
The first encounter
Cats are animals that love routine, so a small change in daily activities affects them. If you've just adopted a kitten, it's normal for them to be suspicious and mistrustful. In addition to not knowing who you are or what your intentions are, they will suddenly find yourself in a strange environment, full of unknown smells and without a single mark of their own scent, which is so important for cats to feel comfortable.
Arriving at home is crucial to getting used to the new environment as quickly as possible. Some cats will feel at ease from the beginning, exploring and taking over quickly, but this is not the most common.
When you adopt a cat it is important that you anticipate their arrival and prepare everything for such an event. To do this, check out our our article on "How to welcome a Kitten". Regardless of whether you live in a house or apartment, it's best to use a room in the home for the first contact so that the cat can stay for a while without being disturbed by anyone. Remember to place a litter box of clean sand, water and food containers and what will be their bed from that moment onward in this room. However, the sandbox should be as far away as possible from the feeder and bed, since cats are very neat animals. Let them stay in the room as long as they need, sniffing, scouting or even sulking, when they feel ready they will explore around them, just give themm time and respect their rhythm.
Relationship with the family
A good relationship with all family members should begin to be built from day one. Obviously, the first approach is with the person who brings the cat home. Ideally, you should pick them up in a pet carrier, where they can feel secure, without being forced to be carried by an unknown human being. On the way home, use a soothing and calming tone of voice to talk with the cat. Allow them to sniff through the door of the carrier and respect their decision if they want to stay at the far end of it.
When you get home and leave them in the room we have described, let them decide when to leave the carrier, do not force them to do so. Keep an eye on them when they come out, letting them sniff, and back off if they feel very tense. Give them time to explore the room alone and then come back. If you notice they have become calm, sit on the floor so you don't intimidate them with your height, and remain still so that they approach you alone when they wish to.
They'll probably come over to sniff. Let them do it a couple of times before I try to caress you. Keep some delicious food nearby to offer them as a reward, this way they will interpret that being with you brings good things. And when the cat feels comfortable with you, other members of the household can apply the same method to identify their scents and not take the cat by surprise when they are exploring the rest of the spaces.
Give them their own space
Once the cat has decided to explore the entire house and feels more secure and confident, it is time to move their belongings to the areas where they will be in from then on. Of course, if you think the newcomer will be better off in the room you've set up for them, you can let them sleep there. In the end, the most important thing is to know the animal and adapt to their needs to ensure that the cat can adapt to their new home and, most importantly, live happily.
If you decided to remove their belongings from the room because it's in their best interest, remember to place the water and food containers in places that are easy for the cat to access, but that aren't so frequented by humans. The same goes for the litter box, keeping in mind to place it away from the food. Place the bed in a warm and protected place, where the cat can rest but not feel isolated. You can't forget a scratching pole and toys, preferably in the areas where family life ocurs, so that the feline can share and have fun with everyone.
Tips for moving home with a cat
As we pointed out at the beginning of the article, if what happens is that you are already living with an adult cat and you are going to move out of your current home, it is logical that you ask yourself what steps to follow and how to get a cat used to their new home. In such cases, the same steps mentioned above must be followed. That is to say, move all the furniture to the new home before taking your cat, set up a room just for them with all their belongings and leave them there with the carrier so that they only leave when they feel ready, sniffing and exploring.
It is very important that you finish moving everything from one place to the other before taking your cat to the new home for a very simple reason:avoiding unnecessary stress. Cats are animals that are very easily stressed, and noises, strangers and sudden movements are some of the factors that cause anxiety in them. Therefore, we recommend avoiding this situation in your cat and take them when everything is in order. In addition, they can recognize the smell of furniture and adapt to their new home much faster.
As we have repeated throughout the post, patience, affection and respect are the key to getting the cat to get used to his new home. So, don't force them, leave them alone exploring every corner and move their belongings when the animal is ready.
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