Adapting a cat to a new home – difficulties and tips
Appearing in a completely new home or a completely unfamiliar environment is sometimes a great experience for cats. Then they may feel, among other things, stress, embarrassment or even frustration.
Regardless of whether the change of place of residence is due to the purchase or adoption of a cat, or the need to move, cat guardians are obliged to ensure the proper adaptation of the animal. Unfortunately, this is often associated with various difficulties that constitute an additional complication. We will tell you how to help your cat acclimate to a new home, as well as what challenges cat owners often face.
Check also: A house adapted for a kitten
Cat adaptation – the most common problems
The first days in a new home often turn out to be extremely difficult for cats. They are in contact with completely unknown stimuli, including smells and voices of household members. Changes to the current environment may result in various reactions from the cat, which are not always desired by the caregivers. Therefore, it is definitely worth preparing well in advance for potential difficulties that may arise during adaptation.
The most common problems when acclimatizing a cat include:
- Defecation outside the litter box – in stressful situations, cats can relieve their physiological needs in many different places, including on furniture and home textiles. In addition, unneutered cats are also prone to: marking new spaces, which unfortunately turns out to be extremely unpleasant for caregivers. However, it should be borne in mind that such reactions during adaptation do not result from the cat’s malice or “nasty character”, but on the contrary – they are the result of intense stress, frustration or the animal’s natural behavior.
- Scratching the furniture – this is an activity that is observed both in kittens and older cats. However, scratching has specific functions, as it allows cats to remove dead parts of their claws and mark a new territory. However, it is fully understandable that household members would like to protect their furniture from scratches and damage. Therefore, it is recommended to equip it with a properly fitted one before your cat arrives in a new place scratching postthat will protect all home furnishings.
- Making a mess – e.g. throwing flowers and things off shelves.
- Withdrawal – i.e. avoiding contact with both household members and any other animals.
- Decreased appetite – cats feeling stressed often stop eating. Then, guardians are obliged to place bowls for the animal in its hiding places, or to fill them with food at night when the cat comes out of hiding.
- Hair problems – intense stress may contribute to the occurrence of various skin reactions, including dandruff. Moreover, pets may then shed their coat intensively and excessively.
Cat adaptation to a new home – how to make it easier?
The process of acclimatizing a cat to a new home often takes various forms. Some cats go through it much easier than others, so they get used to the current conditions relatively quickly and seem to fully accept them. In other cats, adaptation may take up to months, during which they will constantly feel more or less anxiety and stress. Therefore, guardians should make it as easy as possible for cats to acclimatize. For this purpose, it is certainly worth using the tips below.
Don’t forget your cat’s favorite items
Regardless of whether the cat comes from a breeding farm, a shelter or an organization working for homeless animals, it is worth taking your favorite pet with you. blanket, toyor den cat. Thanks to this, the pet will be with him familiar smellswhich often bring relief in stressful times.
Stick to your cat’s eating habits
After purchasing or adopting a pet, guardians often decide to change both the food itself and the hours it is served. However, such actions turn out to be completely inadvisable because they disturb the cat’s habits, which in turn causes discomfort, stress and even frustration. So it will be a much better solution stick to your pet’s eating habits until it properly acclimatizes to the new place. However, this does not apply to situations in which the pet completely refuses to eat or does not drink water at all. It will then be recommended to introduce food, especially wet food, which will be attractive to the cat in terms of smell and taste, which will encourage it to eat.
Cat adaptation – take care of the necessary accessories
In a new home, each cat will need several key elements of its own equipment, including:
In addition, it is recommended that guardians also take care to provide a safe and secure environment for their pet cozy hideouts. For this purpose, it is possible to use even the most ordinary cardboard boxes, where no one and nothing will disturb the animal. It may also be useful to slightly move the furniture away from the walls so that the cat can hide behind it. It is also worth considering giving your cat access to higher furniture, such as shelves or wardrobes, because such locations will ensure that the cat can observe the surroundings from a safe place.
However, it is completely inadvisable to force the animal to leave its hiding places or to block the paths leading to them. These types of actions will certainly not bring positive results, on the contrary – they may increase the stress and discomfort felt by the cat.
Think about using pheromones
Pheromones are often used when a cat is adapting to a new home to give it a signal that the environment is safe for it and that nothing threatens it. And although some cats do not get any relief from this type of solution, others relax and gain self-confidence almost immediately.
These types of products include special calming collars and pheromones they contain in the diffuser plugged into the socket. The option with a diffuser turns out to be a much better solution, as the collars are less effective and may also increase the animal’s discomfort.
Give the cat time
The adaptation process may turn out to be relatively long, because each cat requires slightly different amounts of time in this respect. The caregivers’ task is to follow the purr’s signals and not impose their own expectations on him. When the animal feels comfortable enough to leave its hiding places or interact with household members, it will certainly do so. However, owners should not force him in any way, as this will have the opposite effect than intended and will additionally increase the stress felt by the pet.
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