HomeCat Behaviorterritory and home rangeWhy do domestic cats sometimes leave high quality homes and go somewhere else?


Why do domestic cats sometimes leave high quality homes and go somewhere else? — 5 Comments

  1. Thinking back over the 23 years I’ve been doing this and I see where you are spot on about this too, Michael. I always tried to keep my cats happy but each cat needs adequate room, standing and minimal conflicts. At one point I had 15 cats in my small house and there was some stress that prompted markings and minor arguments. I worked very hard to give every one time and understanding which helped a lot. Only one cat I brought in during that time couldn’t handle it socially and ended up leaving, so I know what you’re talking about. I’m lucky to have had a lot of cats in a small place over a long time, which taught me a lot. Most people don’t get that experience.

    • I should add that the worst stress has come from conflict with other neighborhood or extra-nighboring, roving cats that my neighbors did nothing to discourage and even encouraged to visit by feeding them. Those cats had homes elsewhere, like on neighboring streets, but their “owners” were negligent or careless. They likely couldn’t provide an inside home to their cats which felt sufficient enough not to branch out of. I personally always brought my cats in at night when they were out there, and I discouraged them from coming around… usually with a stern talking to, and of course following them to find and talk to their owners.

  2. Cats will stray from tense homes where raised voices, ill will or unspoken threatening atmospheres prevail. Unruly, cat ignorant visitors/family members/friends or a new cat or other pet may cause straying. Frequently people bring a dog into a home with no thought as to how the cat may react. Usually the poor cat slips further down the hierarchy and the cat chooses to leave, sometimes out of physical & psychological desperation. I think there are myriad, complex and also simple reasons.

    Cats may just not like their human family and express their preference by leaving.

    Not enough cat guardians are willing or able to view home life from the cat’s point of view.

    A ‘good home’ is where the cat is happy.

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