So if your cat no longer strolls over to greet you or stops grooming, this might be a sign that something is wrong. Likewise, for other changes in circumstances, try to shield your cat. From fleas and allergies to chewing and bad breath, these common health issues in cats and dogs can be solved with all-natural remedies. See our Cookie Policy for more details. A healthy cat will also have a healthy appetite. Feline Depression Symptoms. If clearly stated, photos of cat(s) you don't know is allowed, within reason. A cat unable to climb, hunt, play, or claw can become frustrated and depressed. The diagnosis is based on self-reported symptoms, says Hendrix, meaning that the symptoms can be expressed verbally to the doctor or psychologist. You’re probably familiar with Grumpy Cat, the little feline whose frown has made her famous across the internet. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. It’s thought cats understand death but not absence. Yes, cat depression is not uncommon. If you know something stressful is about to happen, use a Feliway diffuser. Swishing and twitching its tail. If you’re out at work, this can be tricky, but not with Petcube. Go directly to the room previously designated and set up for your new kitten and allow the kitten to explore. Cats are known for their diverse, often feisty, personalities; some are anxious, some reserved, others inquisitive. Other potential causes of cat anxiety can include new or moved furniture, new pet or baby in the home, or even a new home. They have stopped fighting, but now all the old guy does is sleep. You can’t throw cats together and expect them to fall in love. Here’s how to help your cat get back to a routine after your return. Do Cats Help With Anxiety? This eases frustration, one of the contributing factors for depression in cats. Copyright © 2020 Petfeed ®. Well, yes and no. Make sure your cat has plenty of outlets for natural behaviors and play. Cats probably don't understand death. “In general, depression in humans is considered a multifactorial disease,” says Dr. Lynn Hendrix, the owner of. My 2yr old cat is very depressed after bringing home a new kitten. Unforunately, he seems depressed instead. It’s official! Depression can be situational, caused by a stressful situation, or medical, due to chemical imbalances in the brain. In some cases, owners who were considering euthanasia actually postponed their decision due to the improvement in their pet’s temperament once proper treatment was instituted. For example, a mild depression could be triggered by a change in the cat’s food and severe depression could be … “Most of the time, there is pain or physical disease causing a cat to act ‘depressed’,” she says. They just have limited ways of showing empathy. They bond with human and non-human family members and can grieve when the dynamics of the relationship is lost. Try playing with real pets in shelters using our Petcube app. If “Yes”, you may have a sad cat! Do you have any advice on picking out a healthy kitten? Brandon Hall. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply, 10 Father's Day Gift Ideas for Modern Pet Dads, My Dog is Not Eating: Reasons & Solutions For Loss of Appetite in Dogs, 9 Free Courses and Books Pet Parents Shouldn’t Miss, 7 Holistic Solutions for Common Pet Problems, New Petcube Care Perks for National Pet Month, Loss of appetite and disinterest in treats, Sleeping when they would usually be awake, Lack of grooming. No matter the reason why, be sure to give it extra time and attention until its happiness level improves. Will the cat hurt the kitten? Check what they’re up to, whether that’s play (great fun!) They don’t respond well to change whether it’s their food, your habits, or the living environment. A BIG NO NO! Hi – thanks for your email. Cats, just like humans, experience periods of depression that can be only a temporary state or a long-term situation and the depression can be mild or severe. In fact, … Get the latest news from Petcube about pet care, rescue and funny videos. A happy kitty’s tail moves like a … so how do you engage their mind? or excessive sleeping (a sign of a depressed cat). Reasons Why a Cat Gets Depressed . In the earlier days when a cat was suffering depression the owners were unable to identify the problem. Infections, tumors, and inflammatory diseases of the nervous system can result in significant behavioral changes in cats. We followed proper cat introduction protocol. The bond between feline littermates is often an intensely strong one. In Hendrix’s experience, many pet owners who are dealing with terminally cats are concerned that their cat is experiencing depression, often mirroring their own sadness about a pet’s illness. Help., Cats, 14 replies I have a cat. The diagnosis is based on self-reported symptoms, says Hendrix, meaning that the symptoms can be expressed verbally to the doctor or psychologist. It can therefore be helpful to bring the body of a euthanized cat home rather than have it cremated at the vet's. A cardboard box with scrunched up paper inside makes an irresistible toy, so you don’t have to spend big. They may sleep more than usual and move more slowly, sulking around. Behavioral experts explain cat depression as “an absence of joy”. According to Hendrix, pain is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions in cats, seniors in particular, and is one of the leading causes of clinical signs of depression. Cats don’t like uncertainty. For that reason, she recommends people seek veterinary care for pets exhibiting depressed behavior, as accurate diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve quality of life. Looking for Signs of Depression Monitor your cat's sleeping habits. Moving can be very stressful on cats. This helps to reduce anxiety and help your cat to cope better. ». What’s the cat to think? Cats can suffer from depression just like people. Established Kitten not getting along with new Kitten..., Cats, 35 replies Freaked out cat has kitten during tornado. But what does it mean if your cat is acting depressed? Resist the urge to rush. Answer. Subscribe to receive a free dog anxiety treatment guide. A depressed cat has a weaker immune system, so it is important to treat depression… An upset cat has a major tell: Its tail. Can't find kitten. Cats can pick up on human emotions, such as sadness. Any stressful event that affects the cat can trigger the blues, including: Any stress may trigger depression, which also includes a cat not being able to do ‘catty’ things. This has the bonus of the cat expressing normal behaviors such as hunting or pouncing. Follow-up: Julie writes: After 5 days of high fever, with antibiotics treatment and IV, Cosmo was put to rest yesterday. 3 Ways to Tell If Your Cat Is Depressed How to Tell if Your Cat Is Depressed. Setting a routine, entertaining the cat, and medication can lift a depressed cat's mood. Causes of Depression. I am looking for a new kitten now. You hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Consider clicker training to reward purrs or times when your cat does break out of their funk. They may have a decreased appetite and decline to play. Setting a routine, entertaining the cat, … Like many species, time spent sniffing and nuzzling the dead body of their companion may be a necessary part of the grieving process. Adopting a dog or cat: The "competition" for food, the best place on the sofa or your caresses can cause serious sadness and depression in your cat. 2. I want a kitten. Sometimes a kitten may refuse to eat or seem depressed for several days after … Common signs of depression in cats include isolation, hiding, lack of grooming, lethargy, and even aggression. », All Petcube care members enjoy 15% OFF Pet Tunes Speakers to sooth their pet's anxieties and 40% OFF GoBone interactive dog toy to keep their pups occupied », By providing your cat with well-balanced diet, loads of activity and appropriate coat and dental hygiene, you are helping improve the quality and length of your cat’s life. In fact,… We got a new kitten, so our very affectionate, needy older cat would have a buddy. “The clinical signs we see tend to be loss of appetite, avoidance behavior, less active, and abnormal behavior, like hissing,” says Hendrix. Imagine a cat that has lost a life-long companion. Make an effort to adhere to the schedule. When a cat loses a companion, whether animal or human, she most certainly grieves and reacts to the changes in her life. This can be caused by a variety of factors, from moving to a new home to the loss of a beloved companion. Certainly cats can exhibit depressed behavior, but the general consensus is that they do not experience the same emotional changes associated with clinical depression in humans. There can be several reasons why a cat gets depressed. A sad cat alters their normal behavior. Of course, cats don’t do crossword puzzles or Sudoku (they can’t hold the pen!) Cats can grieve. Do a quick risk assessment on your cat. Depression in cats may be caused by the lack of attention, boredom, loss of a companion or family member, separation from a previous owner or health issues. Famous for being highly territorial animals, they tend to rub their body scent all over various household objects in an attempt to define and set their boundaries. If your sad cat is refusing to eat or interact, then medication may be needed in the short term. Those baseline tests usually provide a good overall look at a pet’s health and organ function. It was FIP. So if you’re feeling sad and the cat sits on your lap; it might be their way of offering comfort. A depressed cat withdraws and ceases doing things they used to enjoy. We prefer that if you post photos, it be of your own cat(s) or one(s) you personally know. Depression can be situational, caused by a stressful situation, or medical, due to chemical imbalances in the brain. Since we can’t ask cats exactly what they are feeling, whether they’re sad or angry or anxious or joyous, we must rely on the clues they give us through their behavior and daily activities and make our assessments based on that. Some cats may show changes in cat litter box usage, while others have disturbed sleep patterns. Cat depression is not an unusual phenomenon. I say he's depressed because he normally has a huge personality but since bringing home the kitten last week, Bean our older baby, has started drooling obsessively, hardly eats, won't play and sleeps a lot. please dont send the puppy back after only 1 day. Those cats know that their new owner is distressed, that meals don’t arrive on time and that no one brushes their coat. And, best of all, play laser games with your cat to lift their mood. A cat that feels exposed and doesn’t have a place to hide, for example, may respond to more covered furniture or additional vertical spaces in the house so he or she feels more in control of the environment. According to PetMD, your cat's grieving period may last anywhere from two weeks to six months after a longtime fellow pet dies before his behavior returns to normal. Treatment Options. Harriet has progressed from hissing and growling at a closed door to coexisting (relatively) peacefully with the new kitten - they even ate out of the same food bowl at the same time this morning, and both of them have cuddled up on the bed at night. “Despite a reputation for being aloof, [cats] are social animals who form strong bonds with humans or other cats,” Ingrid says. Cats are known for their diverse, often feisty, personalities; some are anxious, some reserved, others inquisitive. Before the arrival of a new member it is very important to continue to pay attention to our feline. Chronic stress can have an impact on a pet’s emotional, and even physical, health. The problem is cat depression can be tricky to spot. Do cats even suffer from depression? It may not stop the cat from becoming depressed, but it may reduce the depth and severity of the sadness. Veterinarians will begin the evaluation by taking a full history of the symptoms and performing a complete physical examination. Well, yes and no. “It’s only an animal; you’ll get over it!” It actually follows the states of grief that occur when a human loved one dies. in Davis, California and a palliative care expert. Cats are big sleepers. Medical problems such as kidney disease or GI cancer can cause nausea and decreased appetite that mimic depression. And importantly, avoid boredom. You may notice this as a dull, dry, or knotted coat, Withdrawal from tactile exchanges such as head bumping or lap cuddles, Altered habits such as not coming to greet you, Weight loss or gain (depending on whether they comfort eat or not). Cats have a stoic and tough public image, but that doesn't mean that the furry creatures aren't at all vulnerable to the grieving process. These signs are general; hence check that your cat is not ill before assuming they’re depressed. But what does it mean if your cat is acting depressed? Your first stop should be the vet. Always rule out medical causes before assuming a problem is psychological. Cats alter their behavior when they mourn much like people do: They may become depressed and listless. After all, many terminally ill pets and people die outside the home in a medical facility. This 101 guide helps you spot low mood in cats, understand the causes, and then support your fur-friend. Self-inflicted hair loss, aggression, or changes in litterbox usage are often traced back to anxiety. One of the most common forms of cat anxiety is separation anxiety, in which your cat becomes anxious and stressed when you leave their sight or when they are left home alone. Regardless of the cause, a cat showing signs of depression can benefit greatly from a prompt evaluation by a veterinarian. This will ease the new and existing cats into a relationship together and reduce the chance your existing cat will become depressed. “It is possible that spinal tap and MRI may be needed,” says Hendrix, often if the veterinarian is concerned about a neurologic condition affecting the spine or brain. As another environmental modification, some cats respond to cat calming products, like pheromone diffusers such as Feliway, which can have a calming effect. The last thing you want to do after your cat had a fight is offer them a new trauma by scolding them. As well as prescription drugs, you can try: If you are in a sad situation where you are about to lose one of a pair of cats, try to plan for the final parting. Depression in Cats: Treatment. Julie, I am so sorry to hear about Cosmo, I am sure he is chasing the big ball of yarn in the sky right now! I want to get him back to his old self. Cats choose who they love and receiving their affection is a great honor. Speak to your vet about what’s the most appropriate med for your pet. A new cat at this time simply provides an extra source of stress. Thus, if your feline stops doing something that usually makes them purr, you may have a sad cat on your hands. Petcube uses cookies to personalize content and ads on our website, to provide social media features and to analyze our traffic. Please recommend something we can do to help our cat! Competition in multi-cat households can also cause stress. “Their terminal illness [is] making them feel sick, nauseous, painful.”. Depressed Cats Display Abnormal Behavior. 8 Signs Your Cat Could Be Depressed. Petcube allows you to reassure your pet remotely and watch their reaction. Certainly cats can exhibit depressed behavior, but the general consensus is that they do not experience the same emotional changes associated with clinical depression in humans. When you bring your kitten home, allow your cat to sniff it while the kitten is in a carrier or your arms. Read on to find out if your cat may be dealing with depression, and what you can do to help your sad cat. Yes, you can help a sad cat! One of the many things we love about cats is their independent spirit. What makes things even more difficult is that cats can get very sick from not eating and actually create big … The clinical signs we see tend to be loss of appetite, avoidance behavior, less active, and abnormal behavio… Recognize your cat’s normal play behavior and look for changes. Who washes their ears? Introduce Your Cat to the New Kitten . Have a think about your cat’s circumstances and the chances of them developing depression. Getting our … He has also peed on the floor a couple times. Hendrix encourages those owners to consider medical causes instead. Fact: Depression in cats is a real and recognized condition. Let them sniff the body of the recently passed-companion, so they can process the death and accept it. Thus, if a bonded companion disappears, the remaining cat may feel bereft. All Rights Reserved. Petcube is a window into your cat’s activities. The one word that best sums up the signs of cat depression is “withdrawal”. If their world has recently turned upside down, then restoring their routine can help a lot. The litter box, food bowls, bed, and some toys should all be easily accessible. This is an example of how cats like to be in control. A cat knows only that its companion has disappeared. Your cat sounds stressed! “On occasion, stressors can cause depressive-like signs,” says Hendrix. Has their life changed recently in an unsettling way? Post pictures of your cats, talk about cats, ask questions, get advice. Of course it's hard to know what cats think death means. Spend one-to-one time fussing and stroking the cat. Position a platform near a window so they can watch the birds. Depressed cats may become more aggressive than normal, hissing, biting, and scratching even when unprovoked. There are several other symptoms of cat depression that may or may not appear in all cats. Keep meals on time and spend time playing and fussing with them no matter what the changes are. Leave cat toys out while you’re at work. Often, “it is sick behavior,” she says. If a stressor can be identified and eliminated, often the symptoms will improve or resolve. your cats probably frightened and will need time to adjust, you need to give it at least 2 weeks, but do things to keep your cat at the top of the pecking order ie feed your cat before the puppy. A male will leave to claim his own territory and sow his seed. Depending on the results, other tests may be recommended. Anxiety is, in fact, one of the major behavioral conditions seen by veterinarians. Spend Time Together. Cat behaviorists explain that depression occurs when a pet experiences events beyond their control. Their emotions will be unstable at the time so check for signs of excessive fear or anxiety and try to give them more attention than before since that will help them heal. Cats are extremely sensitive creatures of habit who are not great fans of change. The kittens, however, may have a little more trouble with the process. Changes due solely to stress and anxiety can be difficult to differentiate from medical conditions, so it is often a process of elimination to reach a diagnosis in cats. pain is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions in cats. If your cat gets the all clear on a health check, you may well have a depressed cat. For pets who are as closely attached to their familiar surroundings as they are to their caring owners, its important to understand that cats can have it pretty rough when a house move takes th… Depression is indeed a possibility for cats that experience the major stress of the death of a sibling. The kittens will leave to have their own lives, eventually having kittens of their own. Cats do recognize human moods. ignore the puppy and stroke your cat, your cat will soon realize that you still love him/her. There’s nothing like boredom for anyone (human or feline) to over-think things and sink into a sad mood. Advice?, Cats, 26 replies Reactions of resident cat to new kitten addition, Cats, 9 … When an owner feeds them on time, brushes them as usual, and gives gentle attention, this reassures the cat. Mealtime is the most exciting time of the day for most cats. The most common cause of depression in cats is the loss of a friend. Although cats tend to be independent and resilient, they can suffer from anxiety due to changes in routine, feeling threatened, or the addition or loss of family members. We've now had the new kitten for 5 days. Provide tall cat condos for your kitty to climb. Unfortunately, those symptoms are caused by a wide variety of conditions in felines, so getting to the root of the problem usually involves a visit to the veterinarian to rule out other problems. You may also be familiar with your own grumpy cat, if you happen to have a particularly temperamental one at home. I miss him. Is your cat acting out of character? Many common conditions cause a lack of energy, so always check out their health first. Do cats even suffer from depression? A practitioner may also recommend referral to a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, who deals exclusively with behavior issues and can manage the problem through behavior modification suggestions as well as prescribe cat medications. “In general, depression in humans is considered a multifactorial disease,” says Dr. Lynn Hendrix, the owner of Beloved Pet Mobile Vet in Davis, California and a palliative care expert. As a hospice and palliative care veterinarian, Hendrix is able to address those specific symptoms and help cats feel much more comfortable, even during the end of life process. Cats! By continuing to use our site, you agree to the use of our cookies. A veterinarian or trainer experienced in cat behavior can help with recommendations to make a home environment less stressful to an anxious cat. After all, cats are creatures of habit that feel safer with a consistent routine, and here you are disrupting it for a vacation.
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