Moving into a new home is difficult for everyone involved – humans and pets alike. And while some pets don’t care about where they are, such as reptiles or fish, others take it quite hard. Yes, we’re talking about cats. These adorable felines are very territorial. They love their home just as much as they love their owner. Some even more. This makes moving properties quite challenging, including helping your cat get used to the new place. We’ve gathered a few tips and tricks to help your cat get used to a new home to make things easier for both of you.
Patience is key
Travelling and changing the place where they live affects many indoor cats. Many of them get scared the moment they are out of their home. That was their territory. The place where they felt confident and safe. That is why when it comes to your own cat and you move to a new home you need to be patient. Eventually, your cat will get used to the new environment and act the same as before. But this will happen only under its own conditions.
Try to not force it to get out of the place it hides. Do not force it to play or eat. Give it time. Let it be familiar with the layout, with the sounds and the smells. With time you will see how your cat will come out of its shell and become more confident.
Create a safe place
Self-preservation is the process of an organism preventing itself from being harmed and is a basic survival instinct. Feeling safe is the most important thing for your cat. The moving process has already left it distressed and now it is facing a new environment. To help your cat get used to the area and feel safe again you can either create a safe place for your cat or leave it to choose one on its own.
If you decide to make one for your feline before introducing it to the environment, we’d advise you to choose a quiet room. Of course, if your cat feels better around people, you should create this sacred space in the living room. You need to put there all the essentials your cat needs: a bowl for food, a bowl of water, the litter box, a bed and a scratching post. To set up things even better, you can leave your cat’s favourite bed there, along with its favourite blanket or toy. Having a window nearby may ease the period while adjusting, but it might not help as well. It all depends on your cat’s behaviour and preferences.
If you did not have the time to set a safe place for your cat then wait a minute or two and you will find it hidden somewhere. In the wardrobe, for example. From then you only need to follow the steps above by leaving all of the mentioned items nearby.
A lot of cats are used to going outside whenever they want. However, moving to a new place means that they need to forget this habit for a while. You should keep all windows and screens closed. Do not leave the back door open or unsupervised. You need to ensure that your cat will spend a couple of weeks being all-day indoor.
If you catch yourself reconsidering, do not forget what awaits your cat outside. Just like your new home is an unfamiliar place, the same stands for outdoors. If your feline still does not connect your home with safety while being outside, it will search for shelter in unusual places when in danger. It may hurt itself because of the unknown environment. Or it might get in a fight with other animals because of territory. Or it will get lost.
Your cat may be unhappy with that outcome and throw tantrums when declined walks outside, but it is for its own good. Be advised that these tantrums may lead to terrible behaviour. It might start clawing itself on the furniture, pee in the corner of the room, vomit on the carpet, etc. The list is long. Be prepared for some additional house chores. Of course, getting rid of a cat’s pee or vomit is hard, and many cleaning products do not help. In this case, it will be better to book a professional cleaner and deal with your cat’s behaviour.
Cats are social pets and love to be pampered. During the first couple or more weeks of living in the new place, spend some extra time with your loved four-legged. Make sure to free two or three hours a day of your time to play with it twice or more during the day. You can also sit quietly with them so they can feel your presence and feel comfort. Feed them regularly with their favourite food. Talk sweet to them, make compliments. Cuddle more with them. Pet them more. Be understanding.
With getting so much attention and playtime, your cat will start to feel safe in your new home in just a few weeks. Of course, as mentioned above, do not push it during this period if it does not feel like it. A cat likes to do whatever it wants whenever it wants. Be sure that when your cat wants your attention, you will know and you will be there.
Help them adjust
All of the mentioned above will help your feline get used to its surroundings quickly. But what you can do in addition to these?
- You can start introducing it to a new room now and then until it is familiar with the whole house.
- Push it across the imaginary line it put while playing with a toy on a string, and it is busy following it.
- You can leave dry food treats hidden around the place so it can find them while following the smell.
- Also, leave toys filled with catnip around, so it feels tempted to go and see these.
In addition to this, do not forget that the typical lifestyle you had and the rhythm of the house are also helping the cat feel safe and secure. Seeing you do the same chores and activities will bring peace and comfort.
Another unpopular way to help the adjusting process is to leave all the doors in the house open and leave for a couple of hours. While being left alone in an open space, most cats will start to explore their surroundings.
Having a cat or another type of pet is not an easy task. You have a little soul by yourself that cannot tell you in human language when they feel distressed or scared. Knowing your cat’s behaviour and preferences will help you greatly during the process. The bond you have together will help it adjust faster and feel more comfortable and safe in no time. Of course, be advised that if the unusual behaviour continues for more than six weeks, it will be better for you to pay a visit to the vet.