Is Your Cat Sad? What Can You Do If your Cat is Sad?

Depression is a very common human condition, but your cat could have it too. During the 1990s animal behaviourists discovered that cats could get depressed.

Feline depression can be described as abnormal behavior where a cat displays a visible change in activity, lack of appetite and a change in their vocalizations. While feline depression may seem uncommon, it is often shrugged off as a less active, quiet and anti-social cat.

What causes feline depression?

Your cat’s depression can be caused by any change in their life, from something like changing their litter or food to something like moving home or a household death (human or feline).

It’s important to rule out any physical health issues since depression can manifest itself in the same ways as physical health issues. Your cat may lose interest in interacting or playing and rather sleep more.

Your sad kitty might stop grooming or stop eating. He or she may also become miserable to the point of acting out or hiding. Cats are notorious for hiding illness, so get a full veterinary exam to rule out any physical illness before a diagnosis of depression can be acted upon.

Sometimes cats become depressed as a result of neglect. By neglect we don’t necessarily mean that you don’t feed or care for your cat’s basic needs, but rather a lack of interaction and attention.

It is widely believed that cats can take care of themselves and don’t need as much attention as their dog counterparts. This is not true, and it is important to spend more time with your kitty if they are feeling blue. Try playing with his or her favorite toys to get the happy hormones flowing again.

Moving home is certain to leave your feline friend feeling a little sad since this upsets all their routines and takes away the environment in which they have become comfortable.

How to make your cat’s depression better

Some might jump straight to wanting to give their cat anti-depressants. Rather keep this treatment as a last resort if nothing else helps to lift the overwhelming sadness of your kitty. If you do decide to opt for the medicated route, couple it with techniques for behavior modification.

Start by giving your cat a stimulating environment where he or she can get plenty of exercise. Make sure you have plenty of your cat’s favorite toys around the house as well as scratching posts and comfy spots to lie down to snooze.

Try leaving the curtains open in the house to let your feline watch the outside world, like birds, and other animals and critters go by. Another idea to help you add to cat’s funk is to invest in a cat tree or perch. Place it near a window where they can enjoy the scenery.

Catnip may be an option for some cats, however, use it with extreme caution. Generally, catnip tends to mellow cats out, but sometimes cause them to become overly aggressive or too excited. You could also consider getting a friend for your cat. This could take their mind off of the sadness they are feeling and get out of their depressive slump.