n most cases, cat owners have no idea why their cat is sad or depressed. But, looking at some signs, you can rest easy knowing that it may be temporary. Also, learn more about some common causes of depression in cats and how best to act.
Signs of a sad or depressed cat
A picture is worth a thousand words. Therefore, it is the look of your cat. Pay attention to some signs of possible depression in your cat.
- Vocalcues : These are very audible indications that your cat may be unhappy. These unhappy noises are usually high-pitched, sad howls. Purrs don’t always indicate happiness and an unhappy kitty might also purr more as a way of comforting himself as well. Other cats that are normally vocal can calm down, while calm cats can turn up the volume.
- Body Language:Sometimes your cat’s body language can tell you of her unhappiness and there are many positions of eyes, ears, fur, and bodies that can indicate this. Pinned ears, tucked tail, standing hair, and other bodily cues are forms of silent communication that your cat may be sad about.
- Aggression or fear:sad cats tend to be more reactive and act with aggression or fear. If you notice behavioral changes that make your cat panicky or abnormally aggressive, then they may be sad.
- Clinging or hiding –A sad cat may lose interest in activities that used to involve him, become lonely, and hide. Calmer cats can become clingy or demanding and the fear of strangers that all cats seem to share can increase when a cat is sad.
- Bad care –This can be a sign of unhappiness and poor health. Cats that are not feeling well or are depressed often stop grooming themselves and leave their fur very unkempt.
- Excessive sleep:Cats normally sleep a lot, but sad or depressed cats sleep even more. If there have been changes in the location of a favorite nap, this can also indicate sadness.
- Not eating:If your cat has suddenly stopped eating, he may not be happy with something. Sad cats may despise foods they once enjoyed and may even lose interest in their favorite treats.
- Spraying –A sad cat can use its own scent to feel better by urinating in inappropriate places. There are many reasons to urinate outside the litter box , but stress, depression, and sadness are high on this list. Your cat may urinate in high value areas, such as lookouts, your bedroom, or places where the scent of a deceased pet or missing human lingers to diffuse its own scent.
- Excessive Scratching:If your cat is sad or depressed, he may start to scratch objects more than normal to relieve stress and mark his territory.
Reasons why a cat is depressed or sad
There can be several reasons why a cat gets depressed. No matter the reason, be sure to give it more time and attention until your happiness level improves. If pain is the culprit, then take your cat to the vet.
Illnesses can make your cat feel unwell and even feel pain. The cat cannot be its playful self if it hurts to move. The cat may feel nauseous, not want to eat, have a hormonal imbalance, or have no energy due to illness. Conditions like fatty liver disease, FIV, FeLV, upper respiratory diseases, diabetes , hypothyroidism, dental disease, and others are serious health problems that can affect your cat’s level of happiness. If you suspect that your cat is depressed because he is sick, you should schedule a visit with your vet as soon as possible.
Injuries can limit your cat’s ability to do things that she previously enjoyed. Pain after an injury can also prevent your cat from feeling as happy as she usually is. Make sure you are following your vet’s recommendations regarding pain relief or if your cat appears to be in pain, make an appointment to have it checked out. Even old surgeries and injuries can cause persistent pain or discomfort in your cat and may require relief from chronic pain.
The loss of a loved one
Losing a family member is always difficult for everyone involved and your cat is no exception. When a family member (human or animal) passes away or moves, your cat may cry and become depressed. Usually this is only a temporary behavior, and over time your cat will return to normal. If your cat is depressed because another cat in the household has passed away, they may benefit from a new cat friend (or not). Be careful adding another housemate to the family too early. Time is often the best remedy for major changes in family members , but there are also natural remedies like pheromones and nutritional supplements that can help your cat be happier in the meantime.
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