Picture this, one fine day, you're taken to this totally unfamiliar place and are told that from now you are going to stay here. How would you react? Won't it make you hysterical, mad and at your wits end? If this is the condition of a human being, the most intelligent creature who can communicate with people around him, how much tougher will it be for a mute animal like a cat to move into unchartered territory.
Generally cats have a tougher time adjusting to new surroundings than they have in adjusting to new people. A change of home can turn even the most well behaved of cats into a snarling, aggressive beast that is paradoxically fearful of its surroundings. Thus while moving houses, it is essential that one make the transition as smooth as possible for the pet, so that they suffer from minimum possible stress.
Here are some of the few key tips you can follow to get your cat slowly acquainted to the new surroundings. A familiar object in an alien environs can give the cat a sense of security and help it open up much more easily. Try feeding the cat from its familiar bowl or bring along the toys with which it is accustomed to playing. Being close to objects that they can identify with will make them feel much more secure.
Don't take the cat around the house, all at once because the act may freak them out. Instead introduce them to new places gradually, restricting their view to one or two rooms at the most initially. Keep them in these rooms till the time they become accustomed to the sights and sounds in the new house. This room can also become their first refuge on the first sign of danger and the added benefit here is that you know where to search for when they can't be seen.
Remember to keep the windows closed so that they don't jump out and also let them explore the place on their own at their own pace. For the first few weeks, it is best to keep the cat indoors because being outdoors comes with likelihood of injuries and infections.
Cats are used to marking their territory with urine to demonstrate dominance and in strange environments, they may be skeptical of doing so. This in turn can make them fearful and increase their stress levels. Using cat specialized diffusers or sprays which mimic an actual cat environment can create a calming effect and helps reduce their anxiety levels.
But above all, you need to instill a confidence in the animal that you care for them and this is the single most important thing that is essential when it comes to acclimatizing the animal to its new surroundings.