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New Cat Won’t Come Downstairs (Why? & How to stop it)

If you have noticed that your cat is not joining you downstairs (Click here for the best solution on Amazon #Ad), you may be wondering why it’s happening and how to stop it.

Why won’t your cat come downstairs?

Your cat will not come down because she is feeling stressed or anxious. This can be caused by simple things like a new environment that she is unsure of. Or another rival pet that is making her feel scared.

What you will need to get your cat downstairs

Description Image My Rating
01. Calming Diffuser Kit (Best Option)
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5 stars
02. ThunderEase Cat Calming Kit
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03. ThunderWunders Cat Calming Gel
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4 stars

Now that you know why your cat is not coming downstairs. Keep reading to learn how to stop this from happening, the problem with some of these solutions, the best solutions on the market for this, and so much more.

Contents show

Other Reasons Why A Cat Refuses To Go Downstairs:

As well as the most common reasons I mentioned earlier, there are some other reasons to consider:

Injured From A Fall Or Accident

If your kitty happened to have an accident on the stairs, they might be nervous to use them again. An injury could also make it difficult for them to navigate going up and down the stairs. Additionally, a previous accident that happened before you brought them home could have them scared of stairs.

A visit to the vet can help you eliminate whether or not they are avoiding stairs due to physical pain. You can also try to make your stairs as safe for a cat as possible by having runners or carpeting that offers some soft cushioning for your cat.

Visual Or Balance Problems

While cats typically have very strong eyesight, cats can also experience issues with their vision that might make it tough for them to feel comfortable using stairs. Additionally, cats might have balance issues that cause them similar struggles. Once again, your vet should be able to help determine whether this is an issue for your kitty.

An Unknown Guest

When you have somebody over at your home that your cat has never met, they might potentially get nervous and not want to come downstairs. They might hear a strange voice or more noise than usual and thus, they would rather hide upstairs.

Even cats that are used to their home can still be wary of strangers. Once a new smell or sound enters their home, they may just want to hide until it’s gone. Let your cat decide when they’re ready to come to greet your guest if they want to at all.

What are the best ways to get your cat downstairs?

new cat won't come downstairs

A cat on the stairs.

There are a few ways to get your cat downstairs. However, some are better than others, as you may expect. Therefore, in this section, I will explain some of the best ways. In addition to this, I will explain some of the problems you may face making them work.

  • Using a calming solution (Best option)
  • Physically moving her downstairs
  • Remove the stress point

Using a calming solution (Best option)

One of the best ways to entice her downstairs is to calm her nerves. This is assuming that there is no major threatening reason why she is avoiding downstairs (Should 8-week-old kittens even be allowed upstairs? Click here). If that is the case, skip to the third option below. With that being said, then this option is a great choice.

These products will either spray pheromones, in the form of a diffuser or apply catnip extract to your cat’s paw for her to lick off. In either case, it is an effective way to get her to feel more relaxed and calm her nerves.

Physically moving her downstairs

Another option is to physically pick her up and put her downstairs. It is more of a forced method. It is more of a reactive method that a lot of cat owners try initially.

My problem with trying to physically move her

If you try to physically move her, you will face a lot of resistance. And, this is likely to be physical resistance in the form of biting or scratching. Also, psychologically she will lose trust in you because you are forcing her downstairs, are you with me?

Remove the stress point

This is an effective way to address the route cause of the problem. It comes down to analyzing what is the real problem with your cat and removing or fixing this problem.

The problem with this removing the stress point method.

When this is done correctly, it’s golden. But, the challenge is identifying the root cause initially. Sometimes it is not obvious. Also, once you have identified it, it may introduce another dilemma.

For example, let’s say you work out the problem is your cat dislikes the dog that you have had for 8 years and is a real docile friendly pet. What do you do? Surely, you don’t want to lose either of them, right?

3 best calming solutions to get her downstairs:

As discussed, using a calming solution is helpful to relieve your cat’s anxiety and entice her downstairs.

In this section, I will share with your three of my best choices. For each option, I will explain what I like and do not like to help you make a choice.

01. Comfort Zone Cat Calming Diffuser Kit (Best Option)

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  • Comes with a money-back guarantee
  • Auto-shutoff feature (prevents overheating)
  • Calms your cat down
  • Compact size
  • No batteries required


  • If your cat is in heat
  • It does emit a visible vapor,

What I like about this Comfort Zone Cat Calming Diffuser Kit

This pheromone diffuser kit is ideal for calming down anxious or aggressive cats, It simply plugs into your outlet and chills your kitty out. It comes with a money-back guarantee for those that have some reservations.

I like the fact that it comes with an aut0-shutoff feature, which prevents overheating. Also, it is a nice compact size.

This means, that if you have other devices to plug into your outlet it won’t take up all the room. And, let’s face it, everyone has multiple devices to plugin these days, right? I appreciate the fact that it comes with batteries included.

In summary, if you are looking for a solution to entice your cat downstairs that is compact and simple to use, then this is a good option for you.

What I dislike about this Comfort Zone Cat Calming Diffuser Kit

With all things, nothing is perfect, right? If your cat is in heat, and you notice she will not stop meowing, this is probably not the best choice for you.

Also, it does emit visible vapor. It may not always be noticeable, you may need to look at it at a very specific angle in the light. Not a deal-breaker, in my opinion, but worth mentioning.

02. ThunderEase Cat Calming Pheromone Diffuser Kit

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  • No batteries required
  • Simple setup
  • Models the mother cat’s natural pheromones
  • Also helps with cats that spray
  • Powered by the popular brand, Feliway


  • This is not confirmed to work with the Feliway diffuser
  • It may have a slightly burnt smell,
  • If it is running low

What I love about this ThunderEase Cat Calming Pheromone Diffuser Kit

This is another pheromone diffuser kit. With the added benefit of being powered by Feliway. If you are not sure what that is, it is a well-known and respected brand in this space.

I love the fact that it is simple to set up without any batteries required. This means that it will not cost you an arm and a leg in replacement batteries, are you with me?

These pheromones help your cat calm by modeling her mother’s natural ora. Another added benefit is it will also help you with cats that spray (Click here to learn how to remove cat urine from your laundry).

In summary, if you are looking for a pheromone diffuser that is simple to set up and does not need batteries, this sounds like a good option for you.

What I do not love about this ThunderEase Cat Calming Pheromone Diffuser Kit

Early I mentioned that this is powered by Feliway, remember? Well, the thing about this is, it’s not clear if it is compatible with the actual Feliway diffuser, or maybe this is just me?

Also, if the liquid is running low, you may get a small whiff of a slightly burnt smell. Nothing really bad, but worth mentioning.

03. ThunderWunders Cat Calming Paw Gel

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  • Simple to apply (just a small inch required)
  • She will then apply herself
  • Helps your cat manage her anxiety & stress
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Delicious flavor (e.g. salmon)
  • Great for cats having issues with changes in your home.


  • Not suitable for kittens under 6 weeks old
  • Some cats may not love the flavor

What I appreciate about this ThunderWunders Cat Calming Paw Gel

This cat calming gel is directly applied to your cat’s paw with the assumption that she will lick it off. At which point, it gets to work. It uses catnip extract to help to calm her down, along with other ingredients.

It is quite easy to apply, as discussed above. And, it is a good way to manage her anxiety, and entice her downstairs.

It has a salmon flavor that most cats will hopefully love. It’s a great alternative for cats with issues like environmental changes, etc.

In summary, if you are looking for an alternative solution to pheromone diffusers that is easy to apply and has a tasty flavor, then this may be a great option for you.

What I do not appreciate about this ThunderWunders Cat Calming Paw Gel

Firstly, if you have a kitten under 6 weeks old, forget it, this is not for you. Also, as great as this is there will always be some cats that do not love the flavor.

Why won’t my cat come into my room anymore?

If your cat won’t come into your room anymore, It’s possible something unpleasant happened to your cat that she associates with your room. Sometimes a scolding, an accident (such as getting her tail stepped on), or having been accidentally locked in a room or closet can make a cat want to avoid that space.

Other possibilities include new smells (air freshener for example) or rearranging furniture, making the space unfamiliar.

How long does it take cats to get used to a new place?

Most cats will only require a few days to be fairly comfortable in new surroundings, but especially nervous cats can take several weeks more to fully adapt.  Kittens adapt faster than older cats.

Prepping your space with things to make the cats feel comfortable also helps them to adapt faster. Toys and beds that are already familiar to the new cats can help them feel at home sooner. Having high spaces they can easily reach to sit and observe their environment in safety is a plus for most cats.

Are foster cats usually scared to come downstairs?

Foster cats will usually be frightened of their new environment for a while. If they have found a safe-feeling and cozy spot upstairs that’s where they’re going to want to stay.

If there is more activity downstairs, i.e. more new things to be nervous about, they will be less likely to come down.

Why does my cat refuse to come downstairs to my new home?

Most cats are, by nature, timid creatures. Despite being fierce predators, they are also prey-sized! Your cat refuses to come downstairs because she is frightened by her new environment.

Everything looks and smells different and it’s going to take her a while to get used to it all and figure out what’s safe and what isn’t in her new environment. Until then she’ll be likely to go on staying in a spot she feels safe.

How can you get a new rescue cat to come downstairs?

A rescue cat has likely gone through some amount of trauma in its recent past. Whether they have experienced life-long difficulties or only the recent trauma of losing their family and living in a crowded animal shelter, a new rescue cat will need time to feel safe in new surroundings.

01. Safe room first

New cats need to spend a week or so in a safe room with their food, water, bedding, litter box, and toys. This way they have a space where they know all the good stuff is and where their scent has been established.

02. Use treats to entice it

When it’s time for a kitty to explore further sometimes toys, treats, and calling can entice a kitty to come to you despite feeling frightened. Other times this stimulation will be too much for the cat and they need a gentler approach.

03. Use “Quiet Activities to calm it

Hanging out doing something quiet, such as reading, just outside the kitty’s chosen hiding place can assure them that there is nothing scary there.

Why Would A Rescue Cat Not Want To Come Downstairs?

A rescue cat might not want to come downstairs because they are still trying to get the bearings of their new home. They may have already adapted to their previous environment, so having to go through another adjustment period can take some time. It’s best to remain patient and give your rescue the space to come downstairs when they’re ready.

How Long Does It Take A Cat To Adjust To A New House?

It often only takes a couple of weeks for a cat to become acclimated to its new home. However, several factors can influence how long an individual cat takes to adjust to a new home. The cat’s past, the environment inside the home, and how quickly they have bonded with people in the home can all be factors that either make it easier or harder for cats to adjust.

To help your cat get used to your home, try to give them space to explore. You should also try to keep the home quiet, avoiding having visitors until your cat has become comfortable with its surroundings.

How Long Does It Take For A New Cat To Come Out Of Hiding?

Ginger cat hiding it's face.

Ginger cat hiding its face.

Some cats find hiding spots quickly when in a new home, as these hiding spots help them feel safe and secure in moments where they’re overwhelmed. While cats often only hide for a week or two, some might hide for long. The more you try to push your cat to leave their hiding spot, the harder it can be for them to become comfortable in their new home.

You can try to encourage your cat, at a distance, to come to see you with some catnip or a treat, but ultimately, you should let your cat determine when it’s time to come out of hiding. Be sure you’re gentle and patient with a new cat, especially if you don’t know what their past was like before they came home to you.

Lindsey Browlingdon