Hi Sooty, If you think a cat is depressed, then you need to look at their behavior and see if they exhibit the signs. Treating the Cat’s Stress Instead of Depression. They could also recommend behaviorists, who can further help your cat deal with their depression properly. If your cat goes off their food for two or more days, call your vet … A veterinarian or trainer experienced in cat behavior can help with recommendations to make a home environment less stressful to an anxious cat. Why? 1. If your cat is stressed, they will likely announce their frustrations by becoming increasingly vocal. However, pet owners can still prepare for the possibility by spotting the signs as early as possible, and learning how to help a depressed dog or cat. Try one of these four ways to cheer up your depressed cat! At first, the pet won’t appear to be eager. If you suspect that your cat is depressed you should consider taking them to the vet. Enjoy your pet in open air exercises. Updated March 6, 2019: If you’re anything like me, you feel guilty daily as you leave your pet home alone. If your cat is part of a multi-cat household, it may help to reduce competition between the cats. You can help your cat cope with symptoms of depression, but first you've got to know what they are. To tell if your cat is depressed, pay attention to any changes in sleeping habits, vocalization, eating habits, and behavior. If you want to discard a health condition you need to take your cat to a Vet and get it checked properly, including blood tests, x-rays and abdominal ultrasound for an accurate diagnosis. A cat may seem depressed and not like his usual self for quite a while after the passing of a sibling. Place a blanket with the new cat’s scent on it near your cat’s bed. This can be done by providing multiple feeding and drinking stations, extra litter trays, lots of hiding places and plenty of toys If you have any concerns and need more advice, your veterinary practice staff or pet behaviourists are available to help. Watching a friend live with depression can be painful, but there are ways to help. This is their way of telling you, “hey, human, something is not okay” in their language. Your cat needs her own peace, loud noises will scare her as well, and she will be depressed. Show you care with cash. Physical signs that a cat may be depressed will be manifested in sterotypies such as biting or scratching. Make sure they are eating, drinking and toileting properly. If your cat continues to act depressed for weeks or stops eating for more than 3 days, consult your veterinarian. He would sleep in a box of paper (like a trash box) in front of the building and probably was cold because it's freezing outside now. We encourage you to visit Marvin if at all possible. If a stressor can be identified and eliminated, often the symptoms will improve or resolve. Scared Cat Help Your Nervous Cat If you think you have a scared cat, or a depressed or nervous cat then you could be right, cats can suffer from stress and anxiety just like the rest of us! Think your cat is depressed? Keep the cat 's routine the same. 2. Keep reading to learn how you can help your grieving pets in the event that your family is faced with such a loss. Minimizing change gives the cat time to come to terms with the loss of a companion cat. Instead, use positive reinforcement to help a depressed cat and make sure its litter box is clean and easily accessible. You wonder what he does all day, how much he misses you and if he’s sad and lonely. To travel from the pits to his/her blissful, glad self, basically give your pet your help, care, and love. There are a number of things you can do to help a grieving cat to overcome the loss. Regardless of whether you claim a cat or a dog, taking them for a fun evening out in the park is a viable method for perking him up. : Can You Hear Me Meow? Because most pets are social creatures, they tend to thrive in the company of humans or other animals, said veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney of California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness. If your cat usually enjoys spending time with you in the living room, but suddenly starts to make themselves scarce and unavailable, they may be suffering from depression. Make sure you know the signs your cat is depressed. Some cats get depressed and grieve when there is a death in the family, whether human or other pet. Cat depression can make your pet lose interest in his food, make him lethargic, and make him avoid the company of others. Learn what to do, what to avoid, and how to recognize the warning signs of suicidal thoughts. If you can’t manage ongoing care, “at the very least, get the cat neutered,” suggests Case. It's impossible to anticipate when a cat will recover from such a major loss; it could take anywhere from several weeks to months and months, according to veterinarian Arnold Plotnick of … Perhaps the cat has recently lost a close companion and she’s depressed. Veterinarians can prescribe cat anxiety medication (trazodone, gabapentin, and midazolam) to your cat once they’re evaluated. However, their ‘look’ doesn't really come into it. If your cat is sleeping more than 16 hours per day, this may be a sign of depression. We encourage you to visit Marvin if at all possible. Ignoring loved ones. Cats get depressed when they or their owners are stressed or bereaved. It is best to be prepared so that when the upset comes, you can help the survivor adjust. How can we help? Spay/neuter surgeries may cost as little as $17 for shelters to perform, so a single $20 donation can dramatically change the life of a feral cat. If your cat has been diagnosed with chronic renal failure, this is what you can expect to happen next: Medication: Medications and supplements that lower blood pressure, raise potassium levels, lower phosphorous levels, promote kidney function, treat anemia, treat gastrointestinal ulcers, and reduce vomiting may all be a part of therapy. Okay I don't know if my cat is depressed or not but when he was younger he used to play all around the house and play with us and with his toys, now he doesn't even acknowledge us or toys in general, I'd swing his favorite toy by a string above his face and he'll look at it and ignore it, when he was younger he'd play with that stringed toy for an hour or so. A depressed cat may begin hiding in a hard to find hiding place to avoid dealing with humans or other pets. Cats are not idle characters (unless they’re sleeping), rather, they love to run around and play. They can also help determine the best approach to helping your cat, which could include anti-anxiety medication. I don't know if he is a stray cat or feral cat because he was always in front of my building, wasn't afraid of humans like other cats in my street. Some depressed cats will stop grooming altogether (or at least stop doing an effective job at it), which can result in an oily coat, dandruff, a messy booty, or knots in long hair. Scent swapping is a technique that can be used to help your senior cat get to know the newcomer before they even meet. Depressed cats may over or under eat and vocalize more than usual when depressed. Cats like predictability, so where possible keep things on the schedule such as mealtimes, playtime, and bedtime. A little money can go a long way to help a cat. I brought a male cat from outside. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to help your cat get back on track. There are a lot of reasons why your cat can be depressed, it is hard to tell which one is right, but never let your cat home alone whole day. How to Tell if a Cat Is Depressed. Queendust/Shutterstock. Actively engaging in playtime with your cat can help relieve you of any anxious feelings or help avoid those … Try one of these four ways to cheer up your depressed cat! First, you should visit your veterinarian to rule out any underlying illnesses. Activity. Pilling cats, especially fearful felines, can make their anxiety worse and leave you a bloody mess. However, they can help get your cat in the right frame of mind to learn, by helping to normalize brain chemistry gone haywire. Signs of a depressed cat include overeating, lax grooming and sleeping at daybreak, when they should be up and hunting. Giving all pets their own space, feeding separately and keeping enough litter boxes in the house (one per cat, plus one more), can also help. Thomas: The reason we spent so much time talking about my story is to tell you that yes, a friendly voice and petting can really help a sick cat. A grieving cat may go off its food. so.. i adopted my cat a little over a month ago now, she took to me pretty quick and has slept on my bed every single night since the third day i had her, she’s been fairly cuddly and has been eating, drinking water, using the litter box, and playing (only the laser pointer though and only sometimes - nothing else really seems to interest her). Try to keep their meal times the same as before. Cats are safer indoors—away from cars and dogs—but the soft life can be downright dull. One unique benefit cats offer to depressed owners is the power of their purring. How to Help a Depressed Cat. Cats also help in making you more active. You can also place toys or bedding that the new cat has used throughout the house for your cat to check out. The Importance of Routine. Signs of a depressed cat include overeating, lax grooming and sleeping at daybreak, when they should be up and hunting. Want to help your feline get out of their funk? Changes in feeding times or even simply moving furniture around can cause further stress. The best thing you can do for your cat is to provide a routine, stress-free environment to help avoid the onset of depression. CatChannel.com, the Web site for cat lovers, has a checklist cat owners can go through to determine whether or not their cats display symptoms that are common indicators of feline depression. Part of the series: Cat Behavior & Care. Other things you can do to help a depressed cat include: Stick to a routine. You should walk with her every day. Want to help your feline get out of their funk? Cats make this characteristic sound by pushing air through their vocal chords. When a cat is depressed it could be a symptom of a physical or psychological issue. Cat lovers know this behavior is a sign of a calm and happy cat but it’s also something cats use to find one another, navigate their environments, and communicate their needs. How can you help her? Here are 6 signs your cat is stressed–and how to help! Conversely, a cat who is depressed may also over groom, leaving bald patches, irritated skin, or even open wounds. Grief in Dogs and Cats It's not known for certain whether dogs or cats have the capacity to understand the finality and significance of the death of a pet, and any evidence that they do is purely anecdotal, says PetPlace . Without the help of verbal communication, signs of depression in cats and dogs are quite difficult to detect. Most of us are aware of how fear and anxiety can impact on our own lives and physical health. Doing your best to keep your cat’s routine the same will help them in the days and weeks following a loss. 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