Who Moved My Cheese? Ways To Help A Cat Through Change

Cats and cheese. Two of my favorite things on the planet. Not necessarily together, as it usually ends with too much cat hair and too little cheese (as most of my cats also seem fond of the lactose-laden food).

When I think of cats and their personalities, one of the books that always encapsulates their personalities to me is the infamous Who Moved My Cheese? The international bestseller—nothing to do about the cheese movement—but really about dealing with change.

Change is everywhere, and our pets are better equipped to deal with it in some regards, and worse in others. They don’t share our worry about the future, but at the same time, they therefore don’t get the opportunity to prepare for change.
Common Types Of Change That Cats Experience

Unfortunately, all my cheese-loving cats still haven’t learned how to read in English, so that’s where today’s missive comes in: how can you help your cat deal with change?


New household additions, which can include anything from new people moving in, children being born, new pets being adopted…
Moving house, which results in both a change in place, smells, and often people as well.

New boyfriends or girlfriends that are stopping by.
The loss of a family member, whether a human or another pet, can greatly change a cat’s life. Over my career, one of the things I have learned to accept is that cats can grieve. We didn’t learn this in vet school, certainly. But cats grieve. Again, and again, I’ve had families of patients tell me about their cats, grieving for a lost cat, or dog… or even a person. Cats are complicated little furballs, in the best of ways. We have a long way to go to fully understand them!
Our schedules and the potential for major changes. Covid was a great example of just how our schedules can involve cats. Suddenly everyone was working remotely, at home… adopted pets… many never spent a day without their owner, until, suddenly, they had to go back to the office. Some schedules are still evolving, but this adds to household instability, at least from a cat’s point of view.