It’s not just us humans who suffer from sadness or depression. Cats can too! They can become sad or depressed for a number of reasons such as sickness, injury, grieving the loss of a person or animal that was close to them and even moving house.
Most of the time, cat owners are completely oblivious to their feline’s mental health. They often to pick up on the signs that their cat is feeling down. This is why we have put together a guide to help cat owners notice the signs that their cat might be suffering. It’s really important to keep an eye on your cat, especially if they’ve become quiet and reserved when normally they’re a lot more social.
Here are some signs that your cat might be depressed
There is no surprise that cats do sleep a lot. It’s in their nature. But sad or unhappy cats sleep even more. Also look out for a change in their location of nap site. This is generally a sign of grief or depression. You might also notice that your cat is sleeping at times they’d normally be awake.
Again, this is a normal cat activity, but if your cat is upset or melancholy, it may scratch objects more than normal to relieve tension and mark its territory.
Not eating or a sudden change in appetite:
Your cat may be unhappy about something if it has stopped eating or if you’ve noticed a sudden change in hunger. Sad cats may refuse to eat items they used to like and may lose interest in their favourite treats.
Spraying or changing toilet habits:
A sad cat may try to make themselves feel better by peeing in inconvenient areas. There are a variety of reasons why people urinate outside the litter box, but stress, depression, and sadness are among the most common. In order to disperse their own fragrance, your cat may urinate in high-value spots such as lookouts, your bedroom, or places where the scent of a deceased pet or missing person remains. Also, if your cat soils outside of the litter box, you should be concerned.
Not showing affection
Another sign the your cat is sad or depressed is when they are not seeking out physical contact. You may find that they don’t brush through your legs or rub their head on you. Also they may refrain from jumping up on you while your sitting down and requesting a cuddle or a stroke.
Reasons Why Your Cat Might Be Depressed
In most cases, cats get depressed when something changes in their life. It’s normally just a temporary dip that they experience, but it can be the littlest things that can trigger this reaction in them. Something small such as moving their food bowl to a difference location or buying them a new bed.
Major changes can also cause depression in your cat, such as…
- Moving home
- A new pet in the house
- Arrival of a new baby in the house
- Building work in the house
- Trauma caused by being hit by a car or a bike
- Being attacked by a dog or another cat
- New people staying at the house
All these things can contribute to your cat feeling sad or depressed.
What you should do if you have a sad or depressed cat
If you experience any of these symptoms from your cat, you can schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. These identical signs and symptoms may suggest a medical issue that requires treatment. Your veterinarian can also help you figure out how to handle your cat’s depression.
You may be able to wait out whatever is worrying your cat in some circumstances, such as a short-term visitor or home remodelling. If the shift is permanent, they may be able to return to their happier selves after some adjustment period.
How To Help A Depressed Cat
Before you rush off to the vets with your sad / depressed cat, there are somethings that you can try to help with their mental state.
Try out some of these tactics:
Maintain a consistent routine.
Because cats hate uncertainty, establishing consistent schedules for food, play, and hugs might help them feel more at ease. Doing the same things at the same times will give them an enhanced level of comfort.
Play games with your cat.
Even if a depressed cat is unwilling to play, it’s worth attempting to entice them with a favourite toy or activity. They will eventually come out of themselves with persistence.
Show more affection and care.
If your cat has become withdrawn and isn’t seeking any attention from you, go find your cat and show affection to them instead.
Gently approach them and see if they’ll let you scratch behind their ears.
Make their meals more appealing.
If your cat isn’t eating enough, consult your veterinarian about adding chicken broth or tuna water to their food. These options also include liquid to your cat’s diet, which can aid in dehydration prevention.
Play some music.
Music is a great healer for humans and animals a like. Classical music might help your cat relax, especially if their depression is accompanied by anxiety. Perhaps something a little more lively would pique their interest and inspire them to play.