Cats don’t like change, no matter how small they may be

Lenny, a feral kitten, learned everything from humans
Lenny, a feral kitten, learned everything from humans. His parents, Faith and Blake, never bonded with the rescued kitty.

Little Yellow Silver Maine Coon CatCats don’t like change, no matter how small. So when mummy started a new job this past Monday, we kitties were a bit perturbed about her early morning arising.

It was still dark, and she was making coffee. It’s usually glimmering daylight when she does this? She seems a bit nervous, and we can sense it. That makes us felines a bit skittish? We ask ourselves, what’s different.

In being a bit skittish, we also get into a bit of trouble. My Siamese brother, Linus, always snuggles in mom’s lap when she’s drinking her coffee. Only this time, it was a bit hotter than usual and splashed onto her face. She wasn’t too happy. What make this morning different from others. We didn’t know.

Mum had given us our morning breakfast, a can of kitty food splitThe Siamese kitty Linus between the five of us. One of the bowls got too close to the edge of the counter and went smashing to the floor.
Mum, again wasn’t so happy, but she just asked Brother Lenny what happened, and why did he have to do this?

We all could sense mummy was a bit nervous. It seemed like she had been a bit uptight for the past few days. We weren’t really sure why. But we could sense something just wasn’t quite the same. We could hear mummy muttering about a new job and leaving the old, but we couldn’t really understand what that all meant.

As the sun finally came up, Brother Clyde got sick right next to her printer in the living room. And wow, was that one big mess. Mummy quickly cleaned that up, as she scurried around to quickly get out the door. Thank goodness, she left us some cat treats as she always does before she leaves.

Then things settled down. When she came home, she seemed tired, but not as nervous, and we all settled into place. The next day, we became a bit more used to her schedule, and were pretty much back to normal.

Mom tells us change is inevitable in life, but we don’t like it. We kitties don’t like it when she moves our litter box. We don’t like it when the weather changes. We expect green grass and fragrant flowers to greet us if we sneak out the door even in the winter. We don’t like it when she moves a piece of furniture, a box that we light playing in, or her schedule.

She recounted a story of Smokey Blue, her Blue Russian. Her pink collar and Linus knew her, but she passed on before Paws and Lenny came to live with us. One day mom moved the living room furniture around. The recliner that Smokey hung out on was moved to another side of the living room. As an older kitty, the other kitties were picking on her, and the recliner was her refuge. This particular morning, she ran but the recliner wasn’t there. There was another chair, something called a Canadian rocker. It didn’t have that cushy back she was used to calling her refuge. Mom says Smokey was terrified. Even though she eventually got used to the re-arranged furniture, she never felt totally secure with the new locations. It just wasn’t the same.

Because cats don’t like change – even the smallest change – pays attention to their reactions, and be patient and understanding. Usually they will come around and adapt, but it may take a lot longer than you’d think. Cats are smarter than what we think, and they remember a whole heck of a lot more than we think.

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    Have you ever had any experiences with your cats adversely reacting to change? Do you suppose it’s the whole territorial instinct that makes cats dislike change so much? Or do you think it has something to do with their markings of familiar territories through smell. Please share your thoughts and stories.

    BJ Bangs is an established journalist, photographer, and an aspiring author. She loves everything about cats, including writing about them.


    1. Thanks for a great post, BJ. Our cat is very calm and easy going. The major changes in her life have been the death/absence of Rosie the Corgi, who used to try to herd her, then the death/absence of Monty the Corgi, who ignored her from day one, and the arrival of Dakota the Corgi, who shared her bed and now tries to herd her too. Ms. Kitty takes it all in stride. What an amazing temperament for this Humane Society adoptee!

    2. Very nice article, BJ. I am really lucky with my cats because I am always changing something and the put up with it very well. It could have something to do with a constant state of wondering what is going to happen next. But, they seem very resolved to play along.

    3. I had six cats, 5 black cats and 1 grey cat. I have being living in a condo renting from a condo owner. I signed a lease with the cats included. I have been living there for three years. Actually three of the cats were born in the condo. Recently the condo management company was changed. They found that the bylaws of the condo states that the condo could not have cats and dogs. So I have been trying to find a new home, i also had to reduce my family to three.
      I was able to find an animal rescue that had a no kill policy. Three of my babies are now in a fostering home until they can find a home. Meanwhile I have three cats who are lost without their missing family members.
      The change has affected the whole household.


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