How Long Does It Take an Adopted Cat to Adjust?

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Adapting to a new environment for a cat is a very crucial step. The length of time it takes to adapt will depend on the environment, past experience, and acceptance from the family. It is important to understand factors that may make a cat likely to take longer to adjust. It is also necessary to know how to prepare and take care of the cat to facilitate an easy transition.

cat on alert

Factors that Affect a Cat’s Smooth Transition

Such factors are dependent on the individual cat and its experiences. It’s beneficial to look at a cat’s past and adjust according to it.


Most stray cats tend to have difficulty in socialization. This might be because of learning how to avoid people and fear them. Such cats will have socially awkward behaviors, especially with big adjustments such as living changes. Learning how to treat them is necessary for making them adjust better.


Trauma may cause a cat to have reflexive behavior. They may tend to shy away and cower over some loud noises. This may make adjusting very hard for them. A cat who watched another cat get trampled by a moving car may fear moving vehicles and the sound of them.


The age of a cat can easily determine if it will take longer to adopt. An older cat understands more about their environment. They may even have become familiar with a specific scent. This will make them take longer to adjust to new surroundings. Kittens can take a shorter time because they are new to many of their environments.

cat feeling comfortable with human

Adjustment to New People

A cat who was used to being alone will take some time to adjust to an environment with many family members. It may even take longer to adjust to environments with other pets. Some may never get along with other cats as part of their adjustment.

New Moves

The environment is another factor that may make cats take long periods to adjust. Moving from the city to the country may be hard to transition. Unfamiliar sounds and environments make cats very uncomfortable. It is better to prepare the cats early or avoid such moves.

How to Help Adopted Cats Adjust

One unique thing about cats is that they intrinsically have the ability to cope in different environments. A cat owner can set measures that can assist the cat to adapt well and take less time to become comfortable with the environment.

Prepare the Environment in Advance

Cats generally react to sounds and continuous movement. To hasten smooth adjustment, it is better to have arranged everything before bringing in the cat. This is especially in the case of moving from one house to another. Some peace and quiet will relax the cat into blending with the environment.

Creating a Safe Place

Before bringing in the cat, it is important to create a conducive environment. A new cat needs a corner where they need to feel safe. This may mean shaping out a cardboard box to feel like a house. It should also be a space safe from intrusion from other pets. Such spaces need sufficient areas to hide like under the bed or in closets. The areas act as a form of security from anything they feel is dangerous.

kitten sleeping

Slowly introduce them to Other Pets

The cat will slowly adjust to the environment after being in an isolated room or safe place for a while. The next step would be to allow the other pets to meet the new one through scent. After a week, it may be time to let the cats meet on occasion. This may help you judge whether they will get along.

Prepare with Cat Essentials

Before your cat arrives, it is necessary to stock all cat items. Food should be adequate and kept in a separate space from water bowls. Cat litter should be placed in a corner away from the food and hiding places. Toys are an essential part of the transition. They can make it easy for the cat to be distracted and settle in comfortably.