It’s a very exciting time when you adopt a new cat/kitten! However, the cat is often nervous and unsettled suddenly moving to a new home. While some will be very curious and want to immediately explore the whole new house, others will be scared and fearful and want to hide. In many cases, we recommend keeping the new cat in a room (such as the bedroom where you sleep) with their food and a litter box and allow the cat to adjust to its new environment in a small area. If the cat wants to hide under the bed or furniture, let it hide. You can sit on the floor and encourage the cat to come out to eat and play with a toy. But some cats just need several days to adjust and feel safe. Within a week, most of these cats will come out from under the bed and want attention. Lots of patience and love is all most of them will need. If the cat can initially be in your bedroom, it will help the cat by having you in the same room even if you are sleeping. The cat may come join you in bed!
On rare occasions, a newly adopted cat is so scared of its new environment, it will not even come out from under the bed to eat or use the litter box in the room it is in. If that happens, move the cat, its food and litter box into a bathroom. They will usually adjust better to a smaller environment.
When the cat starts coming to the door and wanting to leave the room it’s in, the cat is indicating that it is ready to have the door opened and start exploring the house. But please leave the door open to the room it has been staying in so it can run back there and feel safe there again anytime it needs to do that.
When you first bring your new cat home, place the cat/kitten in the litter box and let the cat climb back out of the litter box and walk away from it on its own. That way the cat will easily remember where the litter box is located. But if you just show a cat/kitten a litter box in the basement and carry the cat back upstairs, it may be more difficult for the cat to know exactly where the litter box was that it just saw earlier.Also show the cat where its new food and water bowls are located and allow the cat/kitten to smell the food and eat if it is interested.