You found an adorable cat at the shelter. You take him home and can’t wait for him to become your new buddy. Unfortunately, you may already have a cat or the new cat may be traumatized from its rough past. There are many reasons a new cat might be nervous, anti-social and just not seem interested in getting to know you. They will likely spend a lot of time hiding in the first few days or weeks. They may not get along with your existing pets. They may hiss and growl at the other pets or even at you. So, how can you help cats adjust to a new home?
There are many ways to ease the transition. You should definitely give the new cat its own space as soon as you bring it home to allow it to feel more safe. Put him in a bathroom with the door shut or a separate bedroom away from the other pets. Put food, water, a litter box and a bed in the room so they don’t have to leave and feel ambushed. There is a lot of advice out there on how to introduce the new pet to your existing pets. Here I want to address some other ways to help ease this process.
Make sure you are patient with the new cat. They could have been through a very rough experience before they were left at the shelter and just being in a shelter is enough to make them scared and mistrusting of people. It can take months and even years for a full adjustment to the point they are your best friend. There will be slow steps along the way as the new cat starts to get along with the other pets, lets you pet him, stops hiding so much, maybe jumps on your lap or sleeps on your bed. My cat that had the hardest time adjusting, took a long time to come around, but he slept on my bed the second night!
A book called How to Make Your Cat Adore You is available here. It is filled with great advice to help understand how your cat thinks, how you can communicate with him, and how to help him make the transition from scared and mad, to your best friend and admirer.
I wish I had found products to help ease the tensions of all my cats when I brought my cats home. There are a number of products that can make a world of difference. Several lines of products contain pheromones which help the cats feel safe and content. Sentry brand Calming Diffuser for Cats, Calming Collar for Cats and Calming Spray for Cats are all good. I especially like the collar since it is much cheaper than the diffusers. You will likely need multiple diffusers throughout the house and this can get expensive. However, if your cat won’t wear a collar or if you have multiple cats that need to be calmed then a diffuser may be the way to go. Comfort Zone by Feliway makes a diffuser similar to the Sentry brand. They also have a diffuser specifically for helping multiple cats get along. This is the Comfort Zone Multicat Diffuser.
Another great way to make cats feel safe in their current space is to use Safe Space For Cats Drops by Spirit Essences. These drops are applied to the fur…no medicine to swallow! I use both the collars and the drops for my very nervous cat. He went from peeing outside the box, jumping at every sound and generally being skittish, to becoming my buddy. He is sweet, loving and calm. And best of all, no more peeing outside the box!
If you want to see these products here is the link to my page for products to ease cat anxiety.
So that’s my advice on how to help cats adjust to a new home. I truly hope you can try these solutions and get the great results I did. I only wish I figured this out a few years sooner. Please leave a comment if you have these problems with your cat, have tried these products or have more suggestions! Thanks!