Cats need time to adjust to new surroundings and do better if introduced to smaller spaces first. Confining your new cat for 2-3 weeks will help it become comfortable with its new home. Cats allowed to roam immediately may not realize that they will have food and shelter and may never return.
To ensure the cat remains confined, make sure its shelter has no escape routes, including holes in siding or open windows. If the cat’s shelter has escape routes, use a large dog kennel to contain the cat. Make sure that the cat is given food and water daily and a litter box.
You can allow the cat to explore the property after 2-3 weeks of confinement. Ideally, you should release the cat when the weather is clear (no rain or snow) so that it can explore in comfort. If the cat was originally housed in a crate, leave the crate in the area as a safe place to hide or sleep for at least a week. Continue to leave food and water out for the cat. If the cat is primarily indoors or in a barn, consider using a litter box to contain waste.