Cats are extremely territorial animals, for example they need their own litter box, their own bowl and their own personal space. So if your cat moves, there will necessarily be a period of adaptation, which is of course around 30 days, but which depends on several factors, such as age, the frequency of past moves…. So how do you get a cat used to a new home? In this article I tell you how to accustom a cat to a new home.

How to get a cat used to a new home?

If you’ve just moved, here’s everything you need to put in place to get your cat used to it as quickly as possible.

Moving day

The first thing is to recreate your personal space, a quiet place, without agitation and easy to access. Finding your personal space with familiar elements is the first step for your to acclimatize to its new environment.

I advise you not to take it as long as there is work or hectic so as not to agitate it and associate the new apartment with something stressful, for example, you can wait until everything is installed to that your cat moves in in the best conditions.

As for transporting the cat to the new home, make it as comfortable as possible during the car ride, starting with putting it in a crate that lets the outside see through limit stress. Here is my article dedicated to the calm of the cat in the car for more details.

Also make sure to roll gently and spread calming pheromones so that he will be in the calmest possible state when he arrives at his destination. If someone can calm him down during the trip, it’s even better to avoid any risk.

The days after

To get him used to it as quickly as possible, creating positive associations is ideal because he will associate the environment with something very positive, so start by spreading calming pheromones in all the rooms to make him as calm as possible.

Then, make sure that the good times are as numerous as possible in all the places where he goes frequently so that your cat associates them with something positive.

Access to the outside

If your cat has access to the outside, wait before letting him roam outside your new home, a wait of two weeks is recommended, and the first times he goes outside, putting a GPS collar on him is recommended to find him in case he’s gone too far.

In addition, be sure to know the environment, for example, if you were in a hamlet and your new house is close to a busy road, this is a factor that will greatly reduce its life expectancy. Then a cat fence may be essential.

Also the first few times, you can keep an eye on your cat to monitor his attitude and place his food in the yard so that he comes back naturally.

As for the terrace or the balcony , place a protective net or wait until your cat is totally used to its environment, because if it is not used to heights it could fall, especially on the second floor, because the fall is high but at the same time not enough for him to ensure the fall.

Finally, never let him go out at night before he has completely gotten used to the day. To give you a short summary, here is how to proceed step by step:

  • Leave him outside with you: When you cuddle him, for example by keeping him physically with you, you can also walk him in a harness to get him used to his new outdoor environment. He must not be able to escape to prevent him from taking the slightest danger because he does not yet know his environment. Walk him only in a harness if he wants to move around.

  • Leave him on his own during the day when you are there: So that he can come home when he wants and that you can pick him up if he has been out for too long. Ideally, take him a GPS collar to know where he is precisely. You can also leave a window or door open so he can come back at any time.

  • Leave him during the day when you’re not there: During the day, it’s less risky for him because even if cats see in the dark, they see less than during the day, ideally, leave him a way to get in if this is not risky. This is the penultimate step.

  • Leaving him overnight: The last step (which he will love), leaving a way in for him if possible, such as a cat flap. Cats love to hunt at night in the summer and can stay outside all night, which is why it’s best to leave them outside at night when they’re fully familiar with their surroundings.

You can equip yourself with the following items to make access to the outside as secure as possible:

  • A harness: If your cat has a harness, you will be able to monitor it which will be essential at the beginning, when it becomes familiar with its environment. Cat harnesses give him enough length for him to have fun.

  • A GPS collar: To trace it wherever it is and be sure to find it even if it is miles away. This is a great way to make sure you don’t lose it and provide extra security in case it gets stuck somewhere or nests in a potentially dangerous place.

  • A cat fence  : To leave him in the yard in case there are dangers outside his yard. This is a radical solution but necessary if you are close to the road or if many dogs are around.

  • A cat flap: So that your cat can come in at any time and in total autonomy. It’s the ideal solution if your cat sticks its nose outside at night or spends its time meowing to get out.

If a cat is already present

If you move with your spouse for example and your cat will have to meet his, a war of territories can start with urine markings or even fights if the cats are not castrated.

So start by getting them used to them slowly, the younger they are the easier it will be, and make sure that your cat can spend positive moments with the other cat, you can play with both together for example so that they start to tame.

Another thing is to always leave them their personal corner and not to pool anything to respect their nature as a territorial animal.

Giving them treats when you play with them is also a way to create a positive association between them and make them associate each other’s presence with something very positive. The more they have a good time together, the better they will get along quickly.

What elements to reassure him?

To reassure your cat, several things can be put in place to make him feel as good as possible:

  • The same objects: Whether it’s his bowl, his litter, pellets from the litter of the room in which his personal corner is located. The more he finds habits he had and familiar elements, the better he will feel.

  • Objects he loves: Typically, his cat tree, allowing him a panoramic view, which he loves in its natural state to totally monitor its territory.

  • Calm habits: Like sleeping with you, for example, or having a toy that he loves, for example. The positive rituals will serve to calm him down as much as possible and make him feel good in his new home.

The more his environment will be familiar, the more he will be reassured and will adopt his new home.

How to Accustom a Cat to a New Home: The Final Word

To get him used to it as quickly as possible, make sure you implement everything you need from the day of the move until the weeks following the move, especially in terms of access to the outside.