Cats are Highly Territorial & become Stressed when Taken From Home

Question:

We had two cats when we lived near Central and Tramway in Albuquerque and when we moved to Second and Osuna we left one cat at the old house with our adult daughter, and the other we brought with us. That one ran away after a couple of weeks. After 10 weeks he showed up at the old house! How in the world did he find his way back there? We’ve decided to leave him there since he worked so hard to get there.

 

Dr. Nichol:

Stories of cats traveling long distances to get home are not rare. We have no idea how they do it but we do understand why. Cats march to a different beat. Our kitties are generally considered less social than dogs and humans but they are more territorial.

 

While many cats act bored around those who love them dogs can actually become too highly bonded to their people. Some dogs get destructive when alone because they are overwhelmed with separation anxiety. But a recent study of feline behavior demonstrated that instead of going on a frantic rampage, cats away from home tend to “freeze” and hide. Research has found clear evidence of this anxiety in sharply elevated blood cortisol levels.

 

It turns out that cats are more easily stressed than we had realized. Many have a greater attachment to their homes than to their owners. In fact, simply changing an object or a piece of furniture can produce an anxiety response, sometimes leading to house soiling or aggression toward other household cats.

 

A cat taken out of his territory can wig out. Your boy decided to pack his bags and head home. We don’t know if he followed the stars or has a psychic GPS. It is clear that cats hate change so much that a few have even been known to switch political affiliations. Now that’s anxiety.