It’s almost impossible to find anyone who hasn’t had their fair share of bad days. Some of these days are infrequent, while some appear more than we’d like. A few of them even stretch to more than just one day, lasting many days, perhaps even weeks, although most are gone after we’ve had some decent sleep, a much-needed laugh, or the company of a good friend.
Even cats have bad days
Luckily for us humans, we can vocalize these experiences and share them with the people around us. But what happens to pets like cats when they’re feeling down? They can’t exactly tell us how they’re doing.
Sometimes we still notice
A TikTok video by the user @brittnaaay (shared on Reddit by kavish004) starts with an orange cat lazily walking around a house, indifferent to everything around him. His owner had noticed that he wasn’t as lively as he used to be and thought it had something to do with being under-stimulated and bored.
She thought it would be a great idea to get her cat a kitten to keep him company.
A friend makes all the difference in the world
The result was a video with a string of clips of the pair playing around and taking naps together. The orange cat is in a visibly different mood than he was in during the first few seconds of the video. He’s not sad at all. It makes sense. Even in humans, being around people is proven to help elevate mood.
What does depression look like in cats?
- Sleeping too often
Cats sleep a lot. However, even if they do, they still need to stretch, play a bit, and stimulate their brains. If all your cat does is sleep, especially more than they used to, something’s amiss.
- Loss of appetite
If you have owned any pets before, you know how exciting feeding time is for them. Cats are no exception. They’ll circle your feet and make you feel like you don’t feed them enough, even though you know you feed them too much.
When all that enthusiasm for food disappears, you should dig a little deeper to find out why.
- Over and under-grooming
We’ve seen this in humans too. A messy room or work space is usually a clear sign of distress. The same is true for cats. When they stop grooming themselves, their fur gets oily, dandruff develops, and their long fur gets caught up in knots.
Sometimes the problem is the exact opposite; your cat may start grooming too much due to anxiety. This shows up as irritated skin and bald patches.
- Frequent displays of aggression
Cats have different personalities. Some may already be naturally aggressive, so it’s hard to tell the difference. But you may notice aggression where there used to be none. Even more calm and friendlier cats may start to act hostile and hiss at their owners when in a depressed state.
While a lot of cats like their space, many more like to cuddle and keep close to their owners. When that behavior is replaced with hiding and seclusion, something needs to be done.
How can we help depressed cats feel better?
- Visit a professional
Some of the symptoms we mentioned above may be signals of physical distress. It could be an illness or a physical injury that caused the sudden change of behavior in your cat. Seeking the help of a professional to rule out injury or illness is a great place to start.
- Stick to your previous routine
A common cause for such behavior in cats is a change in their environment and routine. Did you recently switch food brands for your cat? Did you change your schedule?
Think along those lines, and you’ll see what’s making your cat uncomfortable. Restoring as much as you can to normal will help reduce the stress they may be experiencing from sudden changes.
- Mental stimulation
Your cat could just be bored. Spending more time with your cat may help improve their mood significantly. It will boost your mood as well.
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