I just adopted this young cat for 1 day (I know but I am also first time pet owner...) The cat is about 1 or 2 year old and was a feral but really like to be around with human so rescue decided to take her in. They said she used litter box perfectly, she was just a bit shy and need a quiet home.

The past 24 hours, I think she was doing OK, she hide in the litter box at day time and she ate after I brought her some can food. And she did come out on herself to explore at night! (I got pet cam...) But once we are back at day time she went back to litter box...

I searched online new cat is stressful about the environment so they like to hid at litter box. Yesterday midnight she decided to come out and then poop/pee'd outside, (I didn't lock bathroom door since I was hoping she could look around), I think she is using litter box as safe nest right now - is there anything I could do to help her using the litter box? Or just need to wait some time since it is barely a day...

Also, she was meowing couple hours at midnight (I used ear plugs to fall in sleep) but I am not sure what she needed, she would stop meowing when she saw me, but she wouldn't come to me either. Was it just because she was just stressed with a new place?

Also should I close the bathroom door at night so she would be "forced" to use litter box instead?

1 Answer 1


Establish the litterbox as a bathroom spot rather than a hiding spot.

  1. Make the litterbox less appealing for hiding by removing the lid if it has one, and putting it in the middle of the room. Once the cat has been using the litterbox correctly for a while, you can gradually move the litterbox to a more convenient location and put the lid back on.

  2. If the cat incorrectly eliminates again, move the solid waste into the litterbox. The smell will help the cat think of the litterbox as a bathroom and not a hiding spot. Make sure to thoroughly clean any areas it incorrectly eliminates in with cleaning agents designed to get rid of the smell.

  3. Provide the cat better hiding spots like cat caves. Hopefully the cat will start to prefer them instead.

Reduce the cat's stress as much as possible.

There's of course the obvious things you can do such as keep the noise and movement level your cat is exposed to at a minimum, and don't invade the cat's hiding places. Instead, try to draw the cat out of its hiding spots using food or play. While you don't want to leave the cat completely alone or it won't bond with you, make sure to give it plenty of alone time while it's settling in, so if it's too nervous to do its business and such with you around, it has plenty of chance to.

It's also pretty common advice to keep the cat in an out-of-the-way room along with everything it needs for a few days at first. This will help the cat to figure out where its things are and possibly reduce its stress as a single room is less overwhelming than a whole house, and the cat will be safely separated from human traffic and noise.

Once the cat seems less stressed you can gradually let it into more areas of the house. As you let the cat into more areas of the house, move objects it's been using such as blankets, caves, and furniture into the areas, so that its smell will already be in the area. This will also help reduce stress.

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