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Bringing Your New Cat Home

We all know that moving from one home to another can be a difficult transition – and the transition from a shelter to a home can be very difficult for a cat too. 

Cats Take Time to Adjust

Your cat will need time to adjust to any changes in environment and daily routine.  Here’s some information and tips to help ease your cat’s transition:

  • Have a room set up for your cat when you get home. 
    • It should be a relatively quiet, low traffic area where your cat can slowly get used to his/her surroundings.  
    • The litter box, water & food bowls, toys, beds, etc. be placed in the room before you bring in the cat so they can explore the room as they enter.
    • Cats love to hide and play so create some hiding places – such as cardboard boxes, or large blankets – so your cat has a place get away too, if needed. 
    • Block off any areas that are difficult for you to get to. without moving large obstacles or making lots of noise.
  • Keep in mind that the move from a shelter to a home, although beneficial, can cause some temporary behavior changes.
    • Your cat may hide for the first few days, or may run from you when approached.
    • Give your cat time to get to know you, offer lots of patience and love and your pet will surely come around.
  • Closely monitor eating patterns
    • Be sure to pay close attention to behavior, and eating patterns during the first week after you bring your cat home.
    • Some cats, under stressful situations will refrain from eating, and retaining proper nutrition.
    • Try to place food as close to your cat as possible, show him/her where you place it, and offer food with strong smells to encourage him/her to eat.
    • Call the veterinarian if you feel your cat is not eating enough to receive proper nutrition, or having other problems eating.

It Takes a Few Weeks

Most cats take about two weeks to adjust to a new environment. But understand that each cat is different, some take a day, some 5 days, others can take up to a month to get used to your home. Get to know each other at a slow but steady pace. Approach him/her with slow gentle movements if he/she is scared. Try offering treats, toys or a good brushing.


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