Cat Relocation Anxiety

by Finn Frode
(Copenhagen, Denmark)


Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats


Soon my wife and I will be moving - and so will our two cats. We've started packing down the apartment and the cats of course watch with great interest. Problem is they know something is happening, but not what and why - and this clearly makes them anxious. The cardboard boxes are fine, but except for that our cats prefer things to stay as they have always been...

Snow White usually does not wake me up until dawn, but the other night she arrived at one o'clock and clearly asked me to follow her into the living room. It was easy to see what she was unhappy about, because the day before we had changed the look of the room completely by pulling down the book shelves.

She must have felt like waking up in a strange place. We went a round through the apartment while I told her everything was alright, but she returned to my bed purring all through the night. 😉

Although we are busy, we make sure that the cats are given more than their usual attention and treats. They have a hard time, but the good thing is that this seems to bring them closer together. There is however, no way for us to explain that the terraced house we bought has a small garden to it. They will be in an enclosure, but it will still be much better than the balcony they've been used to.

Update Picture of the cats in their new enclosure - 25th July 2010:

Finn Frode avatar

Cat relocation anxiety to cat behavior

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Cat Relocation Anxiety

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Aug 02, 2010 New routines
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Thanks everybody for your comments. For the last week my wife and I have been busy cleaning the old appartment - a challenge actually almost as exhausting as the moving itself. And for the weeks to come we have all these cardboard boxes to unpack in the new house... 😉

Anyway, Milly and Snow White have settled in well and are inventing new routines for themselves. Each night at 9 Snow White scratches the bedroom door asking for us to open it. She then sneaks under our bed where she rests until we go to bed. Then she jumps up and lies down next to my feet.

The page about our enclosure is now live on PoC at

Jul 28, 2010 The enclosure
by: Ruth

That is wonderful Finn, well done !
It has opened up a whole safe new world for your cats and is a shining example that if you look for one,there is always a way to make their lives more fulfilled.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jul 26, 2010 Thank Goodness
by: Joyce Sammons

No more balcony worries for us. I know I always got skittish with your balcony experiences. It's nice to know they are safe and can still look out at the world.

Jul 26, 2010 Home
by: Maggie Sharp

Glad to hear the move went well, Finn. The enclosure is beautiful, I can imagine my Chilli would love something like that, some day. It will be on my 'to do list' for the future. =)

Your cats look like they've really settled in, particularly Snow White, I've never seen a photo which describes a content cat so well!

Jul 26, 2010 New home
by: Ruth

Hi Finn, I'm glad your move went well and you are all settling in and starting to feel at home.
Cats are very adaptable aren't they !
I'll look forward to hearing about your new enclosure for them.
I hope you all have many many happy years together there.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jul 25, 2010 And finally we moved
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Now it's been two weeks since we moved into our new home. The day before we pulled down Milly's big cat tower and she was very unhappy with that, refusing to move away from the parts scattered across the floor. But next day when she refound it at the new home, her joy was even bigger when she climbed it and found security in her favourite hammock. That surely helped her a lot into accepting the relocation.
Both cats spent a couple of hours exploring the house, searching out food, litter trays, good resting points and hideouts.
None of them are used to walking at stairs, but adapted in no time. Well, surely shelter cat Snow White must have known stairs from her previous life, because in no time she started running down them with speed and grace. Milly is the more careful type, but she has picked up on it too, although a little slower.

Next thing they had to explore was of course the enclosed verandah. They moved into it with great care, sniffing to everything before they sat down watching the scenery.
The Wide World is almost too big for Milly and she usually soon retreats back in, but still first thing she has to do every morning is checking the outside. Goes with the territory of being No.1 Cat, I suppose.
Snow White spends a lot of time outside looking out for birds and other cats. Sometimes black Molly from next door drops by and sits down right in front of the enclosure. Then they'll sit watching each other for a while until black Molly yields. Snow White of course never yields - she knows this garden is her property.
All in all I think the cats appreciate the new house - and so do their humans. 😉

I'll be back with details of the enclosure in a seperate article.

Finn Frode avatar

Jun 30, 2010 Home stretch
by: Dorothy

Well Finn, you've made it to the final stretch! The hardest part...well, except for the unpacking. Wishing you an easy time of it. In a months time, you and the cats will feel right at home. And you have a whole slough of folks here on POC sitting on pins and needles to see how the cats will fair. We'll bug you about the enclosure later.

Best wishes

Jun 30, 2010 Human anxiety
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

Hi all. The moving boxes have been piling up over the last few weeks, creating an interesting landscape for the cats to explore. They are curious about everything we do, but now seems to be more at ease now with things being moved around.
Tomorrow we take over the property and then after a week or so we will all move over there, so at the moment my wife and I are probably more anxious than the cats, who don't know. But of course everything will work out fine as we have planned. 😉

Jun 14, 2010 They'll love it when you do the enclosure!
by: Tracey (England)

All the best with your move; your kitties are so lucky that you think so much of them.

I love their photo's by the way; cats really are so curious aren't they?

I too would love to hear move about your secure aviary so please keep us posted...........

Jun 13, 2010 Best wishes on your move
by: Dorothy

It looks as though Snow White is "Thinking inside the box". Or even on top of the box, as it were. The angst of moving is quadrupled when you have pets. They just don't get it. But as soon as they sleep in your new house on the same old bed, with all the familiar smells, they will be happy campers. And oh, the new yard! That is very exciting. I'll look forward to stories about the move and the transition.

Best wishes to the whole family.


Jun 13, 2010 Packing and planning
by: Finn Frode, Denmark

The move is still a few weeks away, but when you have been living somewhere for almost 10 years you gather all kinds of stuff that need to be sorted and assessed for being packed or thrown out. That includes boxes that have not been opened since last we moved... 😉

Although packing usually also means cleaning, we won't clean the cats' favourite baskets and pillows too much. I reckon having their own familiar smells around will make the transition easier for them.

Snow White assessing the stuff we throw out

I've promised my wife that when we take over the property, first thing I do is building a secure cat enclosure. It's just a small garden, about 70 square metres in all, but it has a fairly large verandah or patio (17 m²), which easily can be turned into what I call the 'high security cat aviary'. That will be the first stage of the project.

The rest of the garden will have to wait until next spring, but my idea is to put a tall fence of chicken net inside the hedges. The actual construction still needs some studying on my part, but there is plenty of good advice to be found on the net as how to.

I'll keep you posted as we move along.

Finn Frode avatar

Jun 12, 2010 Your kitties are lucky...
by: Carrie

to have such caring Humans. It sounds as though you are doing everything you can to make sure the transition goes smoothly. Please keep us posted!

Jun 12, 2010 Good luck Finn
by: Ruth

Good luck with your move Finn.
We moved here with Bryan and Ebony, the 2 cats we had at that time, both were 9 years old. They were quite upset to see the packing being done and we were concerned about the fact that we'd have to keep them in at first as they were used to their freedom.
But the move went smoothly and they settled in no time, got used to the house first,then the garden and soon were venturing further afield as if they'd always lived here.
I'm sure your cats will love having a enclosure.When we built the one next door those cats could hardly wait to get out in it.
I'll look forward to hearing all about how your cats take to your new home.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Jun 12, 2010 Interesting post
by: Michael

This is going to be an interesting story and at first hand. As you say, Finn, cats like their routine and so do we.

So I hope you can find the time to write a follow post when they and you are installed at their new home with enclosure.

Please show us the enclosure..:) You know I am a crazy enclosure fan.

Thanks for sharing again, Finn. This is a new topic for PoC and an interesting one. And thanks for using the GIF avatar.

Michael Avatar

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