How do cats adapt? Like us, some of them might find their way through any changes in life, while others find it hard and can take a few measures to make it happen for them over time. Adapting to new lifestyle changes can be hard, I mean look at us now all confined and all still figuring out how to adapt to this new chapter of our lives. It’s never easy let alone for cats.
Knowing the sensitive creatures they are, you want to make sure the transition to anything new in your cat’s life becomes as smooth and easy as possible. Whether it’s a newborn baby at home, moving out, having a new pet companion or even a shift in Fluffy’s diet, all need to be taken step by step according to your cat’s readiness.
A lot of pet owners are concerned and ask questions like “how cats adapt to their environment” or “do cats adapt to new owners?” or even “can cats adapt to cold weather?” Well, you need to know that cats adaptations aren’t easy but it’s very doable, and here are a few tips to help you make it easy for your bab’.
Gently introduce the kitty to its new environment:
Cats are very sensitive creatures and they get very attached to their environment. Any small change in their safe place could have a tremendous impact on their mental health. Therefore, it’s important to take it step by step when moving or when welcoming a new kitty whether it’s from a shelter or a foster family.
You want to introduce your friend to one or two rooms at the time. Make sure that one of them has everything he was accustomed to and needs: his litter box, his food bowl, his blanket, his favorite toys, scratching post… This room is going to be his safe zone, and it’s recommended that it has a window with a view.
It’s where he’s going to hide and then come out to discover the rest of the house when he’s ready. Do not push it or compare him with any other pet, every cat is unique and has its own pace by which they get used to things.
Also, you mustn’t bring your cat to the new home unless you’ve got everything settled. If you’re moving, for example, introducing your pet to the house should be the last thing you do. Fluffy then needs to stay on its own in his room and come out of it whenever he feels like it.
All you’ll need to do is offer him a safe quiet space, especially if you have just spayed him. Visit him from time to time while talking to him quietly, be with and play with him if he feels like it.
The good thing is that some cats adjust easily to the new territory, all they need is you t be around and that’s it.
Introduce Fluffy to his new mates:
If you have kids the adaptation can be a bit complicated as they can make a lot of sudden moves and loud noises. You need to instruct them before introducing them to the new kitty. He must have his alone time the first couple of days.
The introduction should occur when your kids are quiet and attentive to you. If they get over-excited they might frighten the new guest forever. You can organize with them their visits to the kitty’s room throughout the day according to his response to them.
Maybe you can make it fun and implement it in their daily routine as a game so that your Tom could have enough time to adjust to these new faces and learns to trust them. Also, be careful to leave your less than six months old child with the new kitty, you never know what could happen.
If you already have kitties at home and you’re adopting a new one you have to be careful. You must place the new guest in his room alone for a few days until his sent gets all over the place, and until he feels a little less weird about the whole thing.
It’s very important to give him time to spread his scent, it’s the way he marks his personal territory, where he feels safe and where other cats can get to now his. Then, you can alow the locals to visit him for 5 mins a day, just to give them a taste of the new guest’s scent. Try lengthening that period little by little as time goes by.
Alone time is very important for both parts, it allows them to adjust to each other as well as being confident about marking their respective territories inside the household. Try making daily contact between them, with you around, of course, in case of violence-which is normal at the beginning-.
Tolerate the outcome whatever it might be, be patient and give equal praises and care to the two kitties. You have to intervene when an attack is about to start, either physically by separating them or by using your voice or your hand clap…etc. Don’t scold them, distract them instead and when things are stable again praise them.
As soon as you feel the chemistry rising between the two pets, your job then is done and you can leave them play and be together all day long with no problem. This process can take more time with the adult cat then it does with little kitties; from two weeks to two months, but don’t worry, with patience and perseverance you’ll eventually get there!
If you have a dog, it’s not very different. You need to follow the same steps. However, the dog must be obedient, it’s mandatory! For the first few days, you would want to use a leash on your dog until the two pets get used to each other.
Also, when arranging their first meetings, make sure the kitty feels confident, place it on a counter or a table, for example. And DO NOT leave a kitty under four months of age alone with your dog; as the dog is accustomed to having an aggressive behavior even while playing.
Also Read : 10 Traits Humans Should Adopt From Cats
Kitty needs to be surrounded by her favorite things:
How do cats adapt to moving house?
Cats have highly sensitive noses, and scents are very important to them. Thus, it’s recommended in the adaptation process to surround kitty with her familiar things. Also, since you’re her person, the one she trusts and comes to for protection, it’s recommended that you keep pieces of your clothing with your smell all over them beside her, that will calm her and make her feel safe.
Pheromone products for a better adaptation:
Many people confirm that they have finally found out how to answer the famous question “do cats adapt well to new environments?” by using products such as Feliway. Synthetic versions of pheromones produced by a cat to mark their territory can be very helpful. You can use them before moving out to make Fluffy accustomed to it first, then use it in the new cat’s room. It will add a familiar fragrance to the new place, which will ease the transition for your pet.
Also, some people swear by natural home remedies, however, it’s not recommended and can have many consequences on your pet’s health. Consult your vet before any initiative of this type!
The mysterious outside world!
You need to make sure that there’s no escape for your kitty from the house. Either it’s the new kitty or Fluffy who just moved in, you need to keep her inside for at least two to three weeks to be familiar with the house and it’s inhabitants.
Then, If your cat is used to going outside, though it’s filled with numerous dangers, you need to supervise first. If you have a garden you must make sure that all those plants are harmless four your bab’, the ASCPA list for harmful plants for cats can help. Also, start by making casual short walks around the neighborhood, However, DO NOT forget to use a leash and a harness. It’s important! Then you can extend those walks over time.
It usually takes around two to three months for your kitty to get used to the outside world and to be familiar with the different patterns. Whenever you judge your cat to be ready to roam on is owns without getting lost, make sure you tag her with all the important details and most importantly your contact and address.
To sum it all up!
People who wonder “can cats adapt to a new home?” or “how do cats adapt to a new home?” need to know that it’s very possible and a bit complicated at the same time. It needs a lot of patience, love, and tolerance. But in the end, it’s all worth it!