Can the cat be depressed? Much like humans and other animals, cats have a wide range of behaviors and will always express them. Depression is one such behavior and is the result of a multitude of factors. It can be, for example, a lack of stimulation, loneliness, or a sudden change in their environment.
As a cat owner, you should be able to recognize these signs. And of course, you should be able to act if your cat’s begin to suffer. In this concise article, I will tell you everything you need to know about depression in cats and how to solve it.
Read below and find out whether cats can become depressed, what are the common reasons and how to prevent
- Can cats get depressed?
- What are the reasons for cat’s depression?
- Cats depressions signs
- Cat depression treatments
- Cat depression preventions
Can cats get depression?
As hinted at in the introduction, cats can get depressed and will express this depression in the way they act and behave.
The signs a cat is depressed will change from cat to cat. Different cats will show different behaviors.
However, common signs that a cat is depressed or suffering from stress are:
- increased vocalization,
- sleeping more,
- eating more.
Many of these behaviors are substantially exaggerated normal cat behavior. So usually, there will be other signs of stress that are not on this list. Just look out for excessive behavior generally.
However, what must be differentiated is this; not all stress-related behavior is depression. Among cat owners, there is a common misconception that all stress, regardless of context, is depression related and therefore requires a trip to the vet.
For example, a cat that is heavily pregnant or about to go into labor will appear fidgety and nervous. A cat may wander around randomly or visit the litter tray repeatedly—a similar sign to that of depression but not the same as.
It is essential to recognize and treat depression in cats. Depression can dramatically affect a cat’s lifestyle in the long run. But just be aware that stress does not always equal depression.
What Are the Reasons for Cat Depression?
The reasons for depression in cats are varied. They can range from something as simple as a lack of routine or something like losing a family member.
Generally, cats are known for running around outside and spending large amounts of time out of doors. Cat’s also require a degree of affection from their owners, and they like to be played with, for at least 30 minutes every day. If a cat does not receive such love, then a cat can quickly fall into depression.
Cats also require attention from other cats. And a big part of a cat’s social life is the amount of time they spend with other cats.
It can be a cat that you have living with you. Also, it can be the neighbor’s cat that you know your cat likes to spend time with. If for any reason, your cat will lose her friend, it will have consequences for your cat’s happiness.
Same as other animals, cat’s like daily routine and system. Any break in their routine, will up stress levels and possibly lead to depression. For example, the reason can be even your new job that requires more extended hours than you usually work. Because you won’t be able to spend much time with your cat, your cat will become more stressed.
Cats depressions signs
As mentioned previously, the signs that a cat is depressed all have one thing in common. They are all exaggerated normal behaviors. For example, a cat who grooms itself a lot, more than usual, has higher stress levels and so may have depression. Being able to identify these behaviors is very important in being able to identify depression in your cat.
The following are different signs of stress in cats:
- increased vocalization,
- urination outside of their litter tray,
- increased sleeping,
- hiding excessive grooming
- eating more.
However, these will differ from cat to cat, so here is a brief description of each symptom of depression.
Vocal clues are audible indications of the unhappiness of your cat. They usually are low-pitched, almost mournful yowls. However, as mentioned above, there are variables. Some cats may purr, not as a traditional sign of happiness, but rather an attempt to comfort themselves.
Also, if you have a cat who was quite quiet and is now loud and vice-versa, you may have a cat with high levels of stress.
Urination, or spraying, is a regular activity in the cat world and is used to mark their scent. However, when a cat is inside, and it starts spraying in places it should not, i.e., the bedroom, then there is an issue.
A common reason for such behavior is sadness and depression. The reason for such strange behavior is that the cat may well be urinating in high-value places where the scent of a deceased or missing companion still lingers.
Body language is another significant indicator of what a cat is thinking. In particular, the positions of their eyes, ear, and fur. General, timidness in their body language is a big sign that something is not right, and stress levels may be high. This timidness shows as their ears being held back, tail tucked under, and hair standing on end. Body language and audible communication go well together when trying to work out a cat’s state.
Cat depression treatments
If you are sure your cat has any one of these symptoms, then you should start thinking about potential treatments. You can help your cat to get back to its happy self. Below is a brief list of some of the best treatments you can get.
The first is going to a vet. Although a vet cannot directly solve the depression, it can rule out other significant problems with your cat. Many diseases like diabetes, kidney failure, and pancreatitis all cause discomfort and pain to your cat. This pain may well be expressed as depression. It is crucial to find out from your vet whether it is one of these medical conditions causing the depression. This allows you to write off any significant issues, and the vet can give you some useful hints as to how to improve your cat’s happiness.
The next point is identifying the source of the depression. Whether it be a change in environment. For example loss of a human or animal companion, or a sudden change in living patterns. Poblem identification can significantly help treating your cat and solving the issue.
The best way to fix the issue is by spending time with your cat. Cuddle, play, and relax with it. Show it affection regularly and maybe invest in some cat toys. All of these will improve the happiness of your cat.
How to Prevent Depression in Cats
When it comes to depression and cats, the best treatment is prevention. Read below and find out the best ways to prevent depression in your cat.
The first and best way to prevent depression in cats is to give them lots of attention and affection.
Ideally, you should spend upwards of an hour playing with your cat each day. Many owners do not do this as they assume that a cat has no interest in this. However, affection and play are an essential part of a cat’s social life, and if it is ignored, then this can lead to depression. It may help to buy toys for your cat.
Another is to create a dependable routine that your cat knows and understands. A lack of routine and duties will cause your cat stress. It is vital to create one for your cat. It can be as little as feeding it at the same time every day and making sure you are around at the same time each day.
Regular medical check-ups will also eliminate the risk of more significant issues, such as kidney failure and diabetes.
More love you will give to your furry friend, fewer chances for your cats falling into depression.