Depression in cats It can be a very complicated situation to handle, especially since it may not be easy to detect. But psychological health is as important as physical health! If your cat is sad or depressed, he urgently needs your help and treatment. We tell you.
Causes of depression in cats
Except for the inconvenience that cats can't say what they feel, Depression in cats is the same as in people. But what causes these feelings to cats? Any sudden change in the life, well-being or routine of your cat can have an impact on his mood, both for good and for bad.
Therefore, the most common causes of depression in cats are:
- Disease, especially if it lasts for a long time.
- Loss of loved ones, Animals also grieve!
- Arrival of a new family member, which can be a baby or a new pet. Sometimes this makes cats feel somewhat displaced.
- Lack of freedom. If your cat can't go outside, he spends a lot of time locked up and finds no scan options can make him sad.
- Loneliness. Does your cat spend too much time alone at home? That usually takes its toll, try to spend more time with him.
Symptoms of depression in cats
How to know if a cat is depressed? It may not be easy, so The first thing is to analyze your situation and see if you could find yourself in any of the above assumptions. On the other hand, depressed cats may show the following symptoms:
- They sleep too much
- They stop grooming
- They become aggressive or elusive
- They isolate themselves from the family
- Sometimes they stop eating and lose interest in daily activities
If your cat meets these symptoms, don't hesitate to consult the veterinarian! If the depression is not resolved soon, it can get much worse, even become chronic.
How to treat depression in cats
The most important thing is to try to determine the cause of depression, since We will not be able to solve it if we do not change the situation that has triggered it. Some of the solutions could be:
- Spend more time with your pet, giving love and playtime. Especially now, you need to feel loved. In addition, with the games you will encourage him to exercise again.
- Make him feel safe and regain confidence in you, Give him the care he needs.
- If you don't feel like doing it yourself, you will have to take care of your hygiene. If you don't, you may get sick.
- Provide a stimulating environment, with toys and entertainment possibilities.
Medications are usually used only in severe cases or when the above methods do not work, It is not advisable to treat depression in cats directly with drugs. Anyway, remember that it is essential that you always follow the advice of the veterinarian and let him keep track of his progress.
Don't downplay your pet's depression! Remember that psychological well-being is also health.
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Those who have had cats know that, together with being playful and funny animals, they are highly sensitive, so they can go through complicated periods in their lives, where changes of environment, lack of attention or even boredom, could lead them to experience feline depression.
Detecting depression in cats is not an easy task. To properly observe the changes that our pussy is experiencing, will necessarily depend on the closeness we have cultivated with it. The visible changes vary from cat to cat, but the first indications that something is wrong we can observe them in variations with respect to their usual behavior, for example, if our kitten is usually playful and then no longer wants to play, or if he finds himself strangely aggressive, elusive or sleepy, we can start worrying. Another characteristic indication is the lack of appetite or urinating in non-enabled spaces as a way of attracting attention.
The problem is that the behaviors described above may be due to other diseases, so If you are suspecting about a feline depression, it is important to ask about possible changes experienced.
The environmental factors that have been described as the main triggers of a feline depression are house changes, remoteness of one of its nearby people due to travel or death, separation of an animal with which it always lived, lack of stimuli, confinement, loneliness, less attention due to workload, arrival of a new pet home or the birth of a baby.
There are also physical factors that can lead to feline depression, for example, some silent illness could be causing pain or discomfort, or product of improper feeding could experience a lack of vitamins in your body.
If we observe noticeable changes in the activity and mood of our cat, it is important to take it to the veterinarian to rule out the presence of diseases that are altering it or initiate an appropriate treatment to combat its depression. Despite the above, there are always things we can do at home to avoid a depressive state or help you get out of it.
The most important thing is to ask ourselves what we would need if we went through a moment of depression. Surely we would like to feel that they love us, that they support, accompany and care for us, because our kitty needs the same! Playing with it, brushing it, accompanying it, giving it away with special meals are some simple concerns that we can help you with.
There are also specialists in enrichment of spaces that recommend always keeping scrapers for cats and shelves where they can climb. A simple and inexpensive way to make them is to line tomato boxes with floor coverings and hang them on the wall so that cats can climb, file their nails, jump and even sleep, it is known that cats love to rest in boxes! These shelves can be changed position to avoid your boredom for the routine.
If our cat is diagnosed with feline depression, it is important to follow the advice and recommendations of his veterinarian, next to which we must find the factors that led him to that state, to avoid a relapse.
Without a doubt, lThe tips that we give you here will be so useful to prevent your kitten from falling into a depressed state, as to help you get out of that bad time.
Always remember Give your cat a lot of love, play with him and share, so surely you will raise a happy cat.
Symptoms and causes of depression in cats
The symptoms that indicate that your cat is not going through a good mood are very varied. For example, appetite: if you are a feline of good food and, suddenly, you lose the desire, that can be an indicator that something is not going well. The same goes for the game: if it's a playful cat but shows no interest in your favorite hobbies, there may be a reason behind it. Apathy, lack of affection, scary attitude or changes in character can also be indicators of depression.
The reasons are also very varied. One of them sometimes occurs after the holidays: loneliness. Your cat may have become accustomed to your company during the rest days you've spent at home and, when you return to work, feel abandoned. It may also be the opposite: he does not like certain companies and has developed a bad relationship with a family member. One of the most obvious examples of this may be jealousy for the arrival of a baby, but also the adoption of another animal as a pet.
The change of residence, a traumatic shock or episodes of stress may also be at the origin of the depression. If it is the result of a disease or a medical condition, you should consult with your veterinarian what is the best way to treat this setback.
Treatment with affection and items of your liking
The first possible solution is for you: your signs of affection and affection can be the perfect balm for depression. Do not hesitate to devote the necessary attention and time to caress, talk or simply be close to him.
The game is also a powerful tool to "heal" depression. Games with you as the protagonist or autonomously through cat toys. In the latter case, scrapers for cats are a good option, as few activities like them more than filing their nails on these objects. And if they also have a stuffed animal hanging to entertain themselves, even better.
Rest can be another interesting way to comfort your pussy. A softer bed, a softer and warmer cover or simply a space where you will feel more special can help change your negative dynamics.
But cats have their small weaknesses that, once satisfied, will make them forget about the bad times. For example the catnip and catnip, which will enchant you with its flavor and aroma. However, you should be careful when offering it, as too high a dose can cause overexcitation, which is not suitable for cats in situations of depression.
Other whims you can give ephemeral joy with are snacks or wet cat food. But as with catnip and catnip, you must offer it in its proper measure, otherwise they could demand it almost compulsively.
Whatever option you choose to cheer up your cat, in Animalear you will find different options to choose from. Find them now!
Why can a cat be sad? - Causes of depression in felines
There are many causes that can cause sadness or depression in our pet, but to detect the exact cause we must review some significant factor that could have triggered this emotional problem. Below we explain the most common causes of depression in cats:
- Change of residence or family: Some people say that cats are independent and lonely animals, but this is certainly not the case. Cats are sociable animals and feel very affected when a change of housing happens or moves away from their loved ones.
- Loneliness: Although their character is not comparable to that of dogs, cats suffer when they spend long periods of time alone. In these cases it is ideal to offer intelligence toys and even think about adopting a partner. Affection and signs of affection are important to the cat.
- Bad relationship with another household member: A prolonged or recent enmity can cause our cat to be suspicious, isolated and not wanting to spend time with us.
- The arrival of the baby: The arrival of the baby is cause for happiness, but it is not always for everyone. If you have neglected the attention towards your cat or you have not prepared him properly for his arrival it may happen that your cat feels sad and displaced.
- Adoption of a dog or cat: The "competition" for food, the best place on the couch or your touch can cause serious sadness and depression in your cat. Before the arrival of a new member it is very important to continue paying attention to our feline
- Disease: As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, a disease can radically change the character of our cat making him feel apathetic, not wanting to eat and sad. Going to the veterinarian is essential whenever we detect any anomaly.
- Stress and anxiety: The quarrels, the punishments, the bad treatments and even the lack of some of the freedoms of the animal welfare can repel in high levels of stress and anxiety. It is very important to offer our pet the best care so that he feels happy to be by our side.
- Traumatic shock: An aggression or a terrible experience can lead our cat to suffer depression and sadness. In these cases, the ideal is to go to the specialist to offer us personalized guidelines for the specific case.
Each of these reasons may or may not affect the pet and it is that only if we know it well we can determine what factors have altered the safety and tranquility of the cat. These causes if fall seriously in psychology Our pet may be the cause of reluctance, apathy and even high levels of stress, it will depend on the case.
Depression treatment in cats
Depression directly affects mental health, whatever animal it may be. Any: a cat, dog or human only need support and love to overcome his ailments and forget all traces of such depression. Do not believe that a cat is antisocial, quite the opposite! It is a tremendously affectionate animal that needs to feel that it belongs to a family nucleus. In ExpertAnimal we give you some tips to resolve depression gradually:
- Talk to him. Although he does not understand you a sweet and affectionate tone will awaken feelings of affection in him. Avoid scolding and punishing and provide the best care.
- It is important that you spend time with your cat nearby: skin-to-skin contact stimulates their sensitivity and fosters a better relationship between you.
- So that the contact between you is gratifying for the cat, make him caresses and massages Relaxing and soft, even if it seems funny or absurd, it is a good therapy to improve your quality of life.
- Spend at least 30 minutes a day playing with your cat. Get a duster, a robot rat and even a ball with a rattle. Any option is good as long as you both participate in the game. Do not remove the toy if you have it in your mouth, take it when you stop paying attention to keep it active. Discover some proposals about cat toys.
- Find a suitable distraction for those moments when the cat is alone. You will find in the market amazing intelligence games that will make your cat spend hours to find a solution, the most popular is undoubtedly the cat kong.
- Make him feel useful. If your cat hunts a cockroach or brings a dead dove to your lap, congratulate him! We know that it is not pleasant (it is more, sure that you want to vomit just to see it) but in spite of everything you must accept it as what it is: a gift. Discover in ExpertAnimal more things about why cats bring dead animals.
- Increase your cat's contact with the sun and nature. Although it seems that the sun is only there, receiving its rays is very beneficial for mood and regeneration.
- If your cat has lost someone, be it a family member or another pet you can try to alleviate the pain if it is sociable. Adopt a new pet to keep each other company and have a best friend by your side.
- Stimulate it with catnip or catnip grass although you should take caution when doing so. Some cats become tremendously excitable.
These are just some of the causes that can cause depression in the cat but there are many more. Paying attention to our pet and offering the best care are the most effective tools to overcome this problem.
In Peru, an alternative to Machu Picchu still hidden
"We need a cat," he said almost every morning as he laid the eggs in a basket on the kitchen counter. He was very insistent and explained that, even if he didn't become a rat hunter, having a cat in the house would stop the infestations.
Joe wasn't sure he had a cat. He was always skeptical of seemingly impulsive ideas ... he was slow to accept new things, he was slow to change.
"Have you thought about why you want a cat?" He asked me one afternoon.
"What do you mean why?" That offended me. He seemed to suggest that, beyond rats, he could have harmful reasons for wanting a cat. “Why do people want a cat? It is a cat".
"It just seems to me that it will require a lot of energy from us," he said.
Joe and I were close to three years of relationship, the point at which many couples who have been in a long relationship end, as a study had shown ("The seventh year itching is now the three-year tickle" , pointed out an article).
His depression came in frequent cycles and he often stayed for days. If he brought home a bottle of mint chocolate ice cream (Joe's favorite) during those days, he didn't realize it or even ate it.
No, he didn't want to go to the movies or dance or have sex. Any proposal, even with my body, disappeared into a black hole, which made me seem useless and pathetic. I learned that the best way to love Joe during those moments was to leave him alone.
"Depression can't be cured," Joe told me once. "You can only learn to live with her."
I learned to live with her, I started buying my own favorite ice cream flavor instead of her own. When I finally crossed Portland by car and arrived at the Oregon Humane Society one day in August, I did it in secret, in a rebellious manner and for my own illogical reasons.
It had been an especially difficult week. My carefully planned strategy to love a depressed man was to help me instead of trying to help him. "And today," I thought as I settled into the parking lot of the Humane Society, "I come for a kitten."
When Joe arrived home that night, the kitten - which was just a little ball of striped fur - came out from under the bed. I took a deep breath, ready to defend my decision.
But after I saw his green and mischievous eyes that looked at his, sad and beautiful, it looked like there were fireworks and unicorns that jumped by the northern lights that appeared between the two. The kitten tried to run, lie down and jump at the same time, but he tripped over his paws, and I think that at that moment Joe's eyes turned white and instead of pupils two bright pink hearts appeared on them.
When he woke up the next morning, Joe's first words were: "Where is the kitten?" And the first act of the kitten, when he heard his voice, was to climb the comforter and jump into his face.
That same summer, Joe gathered the energy to make big changes in his life: he quit smoking and tried Wellbutrin, as his therapist had suggested, an antidepressant that is also commonly prescribed to help quit smoking.
It turned out that Sadie was a wonderful rat hunter. When he grew up enough to hunt, he killed all the rodents in the corners of the neighborhood, and brought us some squeaky, bright-eyed animal almost every night.
It quickly became clear that Sadie brought Joe alive prey. Regardless of the time, he got out of bed to receive it, turned on the lights and praised him.
She released her prey to play with her, and we watched the mouse or rat shoot out behind a piece of furniture or under the bed. Then Joe took out some old salad tongs, and he and Sadie started hunting together.
I stayed in bed, happily watching how my thin, sleepy and naked lover slipped away to corner a rodent under the diffused light of three in the morning. I saw him stumble, laugh and murmur things to Sadie, who answered meowing and continued stroking his ankles with his snout.
Over the past four years, the morning phrase "Where is the kitten?" Became "Good morning, Peanut," along with a kiss on my cheek. Sometimes he even hugs me before going for coffee.
Joe still has bad days, but even in the worst, when the gray cloud seems to settle on him and I prepare to stay in my corner of the house, Sadie walks through the room, making his way like soap through the grease, Like light through the mist
“Ah, Sadie! Come here, hair ball, ”Joe shouts. "What are you doing? How was the school? Did the abusers bother you? ” Then he laughs at his own joke and carries it as a baby, then flips it over and shows it to me.
"Look at Sadie," he says, lifting his hair between his ears so that he rises like a Mohican cat. “Are you purring, fish face? Are you purring? He puts it in his ear like a musical box. "It's purring," he tells me radiantly.
When I ask Joe if Sadie cured his depression, he looks worried.
"Of course not," he says. "Remember that depression cannot be cured."
"I know," I tell him. "You can only learn to live with her."
Like when they go hunting rats in the early morning, Joe's well-being is a joint effort. Although Sadie helps, Joe is the one who finally catches the rat's tail with the tweezers and carries it, hanging from them, to the door. But Sadie sometimes helps so much that it is difficult to distinguish where our decisions end and where their existence begins.
At the first sign of discouragement from Joe, I go for Sadie and put it on his body, like an ointment. Even during the worst fights, one of us ends up taking Sadie and approaching the other casually, playing with her so she can wiggle and make tender squints with her green eyes.
When we are too angry to have physical contact, we caress Sadie, and we end up in the middle of the room, like two countries at war that cling to the bridge that unites us through the sea that separates us, and we silently send the first ambassadors of the truce: the fingers that are between Sadie's hair.
One afternoon last fall, Sadie brought a dead sparrow. There is an aftertaste of tragedy when a bird caught by a cat is seen, which used to be unpredictable and flying with the wind comes down to a pile of silk that is on the kitchen floor, like a sacrifice.
Once Sadie was sure that Joe and I had seen her offering, she ate everything: the claws, the beak, the bones and even the last feather. It took less than a minute. By the time we got used to the idea of watching her eat a bird, she had already eaten it and left the room, leaving a few drops of blood on the tile.
Sadie is our happiness, elusive and impure. Our happiness makes faces and licks the blood from the chin. Our happiness only huddles when it feels like it and, since it is a feline, those occasions can be few and far between.
But at least he lives in our house now. The morning sun on Joe's black hair, the three tangled in the sheets, sailing across the bed like a rickety boat, if the last days are an indication of something, this will be another very good day.
Hannah Louise Poston is a Master's student in poetry at the Helen Zell Writers ’Program at the University of Michigan.
Severe cases of depression in cats
If you have followed the advice mentioned above for at least a week and do not notice a significant improvement in your cat's behavior you should weigh go to a specialist.
The vet can recommend the medication use since in the market we find variants of antidepressants dedicated exclusively to animals. However, these types of drugs can have serious consequences, creating animals that are addicted or that require lifelong treatment. Alternative therapies such as homeopathy can also help.
Your choice is to choose what type of treatment your pet will receive but yes, strictly follow the advice of the professional to prevent the problem from lengthening over time. Do not forget that the more entrenched the cat has the behavior, the harder it will be to treat it.
This article is purely informative, at ExpertAnimal.com we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to My cat is depressed - Causes, symptoms and treatmentWe recommend that you enter our section on Mental Problems.