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How Do Cats Adapt to a New Home?

Updated: August 11, 2022 by Kristen Chapple

While today indoor cats are prevalent, in the past there were almost no cats living indoors at all, as they have lived outdoor lives for most of their history which spans to over 10,000 years, sharing their habitat with all those other animals out there. So, knowing this, how do cats adapt to a new home?

If cats always lived outside, how can they adjust to a new – indoor – environment so easily? The answer lies in their cosmopolitan way of being, which means they are at home all over the world and can adapt to various environments such as forests, deserts, urban and of course, our homes.

How Do Cats Adapt To A New Home

Due to their adaptation abilities, cats can adjust from living outside to living indoors, in a home. Since they are social animals, they enjoy living surrounded by other cats or humans – which they still see as just other bigger fellow cats.

While they adapt fairly easy to different new environments, that doesn’t mean they’re not stressed by the change and that it won’t take a while until our furry little friends are fully adapted to their new home.

Cats are territorial animals so they need some time to fully adjust to the new home they are brought into. In addition to that, there are a few things one could do for his shy kitty when she’s coming into a new home.

Tips For Helping Your Cat Adapt Easier

First and foremost you should move your cat between homes into a proper carrier which should have a familiar blanket inside to make the transition easier, as cats don’t like to travel like that.

At the new home, make sure all doors and windows are closed and the house is as quiet as possible before leaving the carrier open.

It’s a good idea not to force your little friend outside the carrier because he might be distressed by that time, so leave him be, give him time to adjust and get used to the new smells and surroundings. He will come out by himself eventually and start exploring.

A new environment makes a cat become more cautious and intensifies their instincts, so petting her and giving her a little bit more attention than normal helps with getting over that state. Remember that if your cat was adopted, she might not be used to large environments, as she was probably living in a cage, so she will need more time to adapt.

You could also prepare a room for your feline friend, with their favorite toys, blankets, bedding, his litter box and food bowls. The familiar smells will help the adaptation process. Once your cat has adapted to that first room, help her explore more of the house by putting some dry food here and there, but make sure any escape route outside is closed for the first two to three weeks, until your friend will be comfortable with the new home.

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