How Long Will a Cat Hide in a New Home?

  • By: Bob
  • Last updated: March 21, 2023
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Moving into a new or unfamiliar environment can be an exciting but overwhelming experience for people, and cats are no different! After all, cats are creatures of habit and they need time to adjust to their new environment.

But how long should you expect your cat to hide in its new home? Here I provide helpful advice on what to do if your cat is hiding, as well as tips on how to help your pet adjust more quickly.

How long will a cat hide in a new home? The amount of time spent in hiding can vary based on the individual cats comfort level with its new environment. Factors such as the age and breed of the cat, its prior living situation, and the presence of other animals in the home can play a role in determining how long it takes for the cat to adjust to their new surroundings.

While there are no definitive answers as every pet reacts differently, most cats can be helped into settling into their new home using the following advice.

Understanding Cat Behavior in a New Home

How Long Will a Cat Hide in a New Home?

When cats are placed in a new home, they often hide or display signs of stress. Understanding why a cat hides and how long it takes for them to adjust can help create an environment that will make your cat feel safe and secure.

Reasons Why Cats Hide in New Homes:

A change in environment can cause cats to become anxious or stressed. If you have adopted a cat from a refuge or one that’s shifted from one home to another repeatedly may be particularly prone to apprehension or tension when exposed to an altered atmosphere.

A scared cat may also hide due to unusual smells, noises, people, or other animals in the house. If there is too much activity going on around them such as loud music playing or children running around screaming, this could also trigger hiding behaviors from your cat.

If you observe your cat exhibiting signs of stress, such as incessant meowing, restlessly pacing around, or panting heavily while not being active, this could mean something is off emotionally and they need some extra attention from you.

If your home has a resident cat this can cause stress for your new cat as he’s encroaching on another cats territory and will be wary of being attacked.

Additionally, if the feline avoids making eye contact with people/other animals/objects etc., these are all telltale signs that it needs to be comforted in its new environment.

By understanding the reasons why cats hide in new homes and recognizing signs of stress, you can help your cat adjust to its new home more quickly. Establishing a secure and reassuring atmosphere for your feline is critical to guarantee it feels tranquil and at peace in its habitat.

a cat hiding under a bed in his new home

Recap: Cats may hide when they’re placed in a new home due to unfamiliar smells, noises or people. This behavior could be caused by anxiety and stress, so it’s important to pay attention to signs of distress such as restlessness or panting heavily. To ensure felines adjust well to a new home, special consideration should be taken when introducing them.

Creating a Safe and Secure Environment for Your Cat

Creating a safe haven for your cat is key to their well-being, especially if you have adopted a rescue cat. This means providing an appropriate space that meets their needs, such as comfortable bedding, scratching post, litter box, toys and other items.

Consider designating one room or area of your home just for your cat if possible. Ensure your cat’s area has sufficient daylight and air circulation, as well as access to his own litter box and bowls with food and water always available.

Reinforce positive behaviours

Let the cat venture out of his quiet room at his own pace but when he does, reward him by giving him a treat or spending time playing with him. This positive encouragement will help him feel safe with you and encourage him out of his hiding place more often.

Establishing Routines and Schedules for Your Cat

A routine can help cats feel more secure in their environment. Providing regular meals on schedule can also help ensure they get enough nutrition throughout the day. Additionally, make sure you provide ample opportunities for playtime with your cat using interactive toys like balls or feathers so they stay active both mentally and physically.

Introducing Other Pets Gradually and Carefully

warning signs when introducing cats
Watch for warning signs when introducing cats

If you already have other pets in the home or are planning to introduce new ones into the mix, it’s important to do so gradually over time while keeping them separated until they become accustomed to each other’s presence safely.

Using a cat carrier for the cat introductions ensures they can’t do each other damage should things take a turn for the worst during initial scent swapping.

Allow cats some own time away from any potential threats posed by unfamiliar animals before introducing them slowly using positive encouragement such as treats or praise when around one another without incident.

Crafting a secure habitat for your cat is key to guaranteeing their welfare.

By following the steps outlined above, you can help make your new pet feel at home quickly. Now let’s look at strategies that will further help your cat become comfortable with its new surroundings.

Strategies to Help Your Cat Feel Comfortable Quickly

something as simple as a cardboard box can help your new cat feel safer whilst he gets used to his surroundings
something as simple as a cardboard box can help your new cat feel safer whilst he gets used to his surroundings

Expressing care and consideration for your new kitty is essential in aiding them to become accustomed swiftly. Providing your new cat with affectionate care and interaction is essential for them to feel at ease in their new environment.

Showing your cat affection through petting, brushing, or playing can help them feel safe and secure in their new home. Additionally, talking to your cat in a soothing voice will also help them adjust faster.

Offering comfort items such as toys, blankets, and scratching posts is another way to make cats feel more comfortable in their new environment. Providing toys for playtime helps keep cats entertained while providing blankets gives cats something familiar that smells like home when they’re feeling scared or anxious.

A cat tower with a hiding box will soon become a favourite spot as cats like to be in a position to view their surroundings while a scratching post give cats an outlet and forestall scratching cat behavior without them damaging furniture or other items around the house.


A newly adopted cat adjusting to a new home can be an exciting but sometimes stressful experience for both you and your pet. Patience, comprehension of their conduct, establishing a secure atmosphere and a little positive encouragement to assist them in feeling relaxed rapidly; you’ll soon observe that the period it takes for your cat to adjust is much less than anticipated.


How long will my cat hide in new house?

It is hard to tell how long a cat will remain hidden when entering a new house. It can vary from a few days to a few weeks. Adult cats tend to hide longer than kittens.
Giving cats ample time and space to become familiar with their new home can help them adjust more easily.
If the home is kept quiet and calm with plenty of hiding spots available, cats may take as little as one day or up to several weeks before becoming comfortable enough to come out from hiding. It’s important for owners to be patient during this period and not force interactions with the cat until it feels safe.

Will my new cat ever stop hiding?

It is likely that your new cat will eventually stop hiding. Cats are naturally curious and social animals, so they usually adjust to their environment over time. With patience, persistence and rewards for positive behaviour, you can help your cat become more at ease in its new home.
Provide plenty of toys and places to hide; create a safe space for them away from other pets or people; offer treats as rewards when the cat comes out of hiding; and provide consistent love and affection whenever possible. If done correctly, these methods should help reduce any fear or anxiety the cat may have about its surroundings until it feels secure enough to come out on its own accord.

How do you get a cat out of hiding in a new house?

Cats can be easily frightened by unfamiliar settings, so when a cat is hiding in a new house it’s essential to take this into account. To get the cat out of hiding, create an inviting environment by providing food and water bowls in quiet areas near where you think the cat may be.
Additionally, try playing calming music or using toys to entice them out of their hiding spot. If the above strategies haven’t worked within a month, it is advisable to consult a specialist in animal behavior for further guidance on how to approach the situation without causing distress for your cat.


The time-frame for a new cat settling into its new home can vary, taking anywhere from some days to numerous weeks. Patience and tenderness are key for cat owners during the adjustment period to ensure their feline friend feels safe in its new home.

Cats need time in order to adjust fully, so it’s not uncommon for them to hide or remain skittish until they feel safe in their environment. Therefore, understanding is essential when bringing one into your life as you’ll want them feeling comfortable as soon as possible.

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