My cat is depressed, what's wrong?


Felines are very susceptible to changes in the environment, and this is one of the main causes that can cause their character to be affected. A move, a change of family, or spending too much time alone, can cause your cat disorientation and sadness.

Cats, contrary to what they think, are social and emotional animals, who need to be in contact with you, and be able to develop their usual routines. Sometimes the arrival of a baby, the presence of a new pet in your home, or the loss of a loved one, are sufficient reasons for your cat to feel displaced, and adopt behaviors that manifest it.

There are two more factors that can explain these attitudes. The first factor is associated with the fact that your cat has experienced a traumatic episode that may have altered her well-being, generating stress or anxiety. The second may be due to the presence of a disease that has not yet manifested through other symptoms. In either case, it is important that you go to the veterinarian to determine the causes, and offer you the most convenient solutions.

In the event that the veterinarian discards a pathology, and is inclined for psychological reasons, we recommend that you follow the following guidelines to try to alleviate the situation of your sad cat:

- Cats, like dogs or other pets, need affection, dedication and affection. Caresses and games help foster your interaction and generate a healthy and happy bond.

- If under certain circumstances you cannot spend as much time as you would like, provide distractions that encourage your curiosity. Sometimes, a simple cardboard box or a specific toy for cats can be a challenge that is attractive enough for your cat to spend hours entertaining.

- Stimulate it through activities that you like, such as being able to frolic in a sunny place, doze in your favorite corner, and even brush it gently so that you feel cleaner and more comfortable.

- Above all, avoid yelling or incredulous. Your tone of voice and the way you approach it should be cordial and affectionate so that your cat perceives that you are close to him and want to help him.

If despite these tips your cat does not evolve favorably, you should go to a veterinarian specializing in animal behavior (ethologist) so that he can study their behaviors and treat them properly. Their experience, together with the information you provide, will help you so that your pet can recover its habitual behavior.

Why is my cat depressed? (Photo via: notigatos)

The most important thing to be able to cure your cat's depression is to understand why it has happened. It is necessary to identify the root of the problem, perhaps a significant external event or factor for your cat triggered this situation. The most common causes of depression in cats are:

  • Changes of residence or family: Pets also notice the changes! And in fact, They can become very affected by them. Although we believe that cats are very independent beings, they do establish great ties with their family and their environment and They may be hurt if they change their homes.
  • Loneliness. Though They are not as sociable as dogs, this does not mean that cats like to be alone. If they spend too much time without company it is very normal for them to end up depressed.
  • Bad relationships at home. Does your cat get along especially badly with any of you? This constant enmity It causes stress and can cause the cat to end up isolating itself.
  • Jealousy. If you have had a baby or recently adopted an additional pet, your pussy may have seen that attention to him diminishes, or that a stranger invades its territory. Jealousy also severely affects mood.
  • Disease. When a pet is sick, It is usual to be down, without wanting anything, very apathetic ... The same happens to us, doesn't it?
  • Stress and anxiety. If you are lacking care, you live in a tense environment, you get too sick ... This situation produces a lot of anxiety in your cat. Always try to give the best care and living conditions so that your psychological well-being is also ideal.
  • Trauma: If your cat has gone through a traumatic experience, This shock could also result in depression. The best thing in these cases is to go to an ethologist.

These are the most common causes for which cats usually become depressed. Identifying what is your case is the first step in finding a solution to the problem, since it acts differently in all of them.

How to know if my cat is depressed

It is true that, in itself, Cats are usually quiet animals. This sometimes makes it difficult to detect the symptoms of depression, but it is clear that nobody knows your cat better than you! And there are obvious signs of depression such as:

  • Apathy
  • Too many hours of sleep
  • Lack of receptivity to pampering
  • Inactivity
  • It becomes scary
  • Sudden changes in character
  • Isolation
  • Lack of appetite
  • He doesn't feel like playing or socializing

Have you detected any or more of these symptoms in your cat? As you see, they are very general symptoms related to behavior and mood, so they don't just apply to depression. If your cat feels that way, it is also possible that you have some other type of disease, or a physical ailment. Therefore, if your cat is in this state, The first thing you should do is go to the veterinarian to detect any other type of physical illness.

Depression treatment in cats

It has been confirmed that my cat has depression, what do I do? To help you regain your mental health, you can do the following:

  • Speak to him kindly. He won't understand what you say, but your voice will make you feel cared for, loved and safe. Avoid scolding him and giving him much love.
  • Spend time with your cat and give him physical pampering, such as petting and massage. Feeling the contact will comfort you a lot. You have to avoid feeling alone!
  • Spend at least half an hour every day playing with your cat. Get some toy and have fun for encourage your physical activity and mental stimulation.
  • As it is inevitable that at certain times you will be left alone, try to find entertainment for those moments: a toy, intelligence games ...
  • Make him feel useful: If your cat brings you an animal that has hunted, congratulate him and give him a prize! We know that for you it will be something unpleasant, but he doesn't understand it that way, but as a gift he offers you.
  • Try to make your cat get out more and have contact with nature and the sun, That lifts your spirits a lot!
  • If any family member (human or animal) has passed away, You can help him cope with his pain by adopting a new pet. Having a new friend will suit you!
  • Offer it as a catnip prize. Cats love it!

The amount of things you can do to make your pet feel better is huge. We give you ideas, but you know your cat well! Find what you like best, everything that makes you feel good is welcome.

What to do if this does not work

My cat is depressed and these cares don't work! If you've tried everything and it's still the same, your cat may be suffering from a severe case of depression.. In that case you may need medication, but this can only be decided by a veterinarian, so Do not hesitate to go to one as soon as possible.

Antidepressants are usually effective, but they are a double-edged sword., these medications have many side effects, in addition to causing addiction. Therefore you should never give them on your own, always follow the directions of the veterinarian and let me track it properly. Do not abuse this type of medication!

It is important that, If your cat is depressed, react soon to start solving it as soon as possible. The more entrenched those feelings and behaviors, the harder it will be to get rid of them. We wish your cat the best!

Why can a cat be sad? - Causes of depression in felines

There are many causes that can cause sadness or depression in our pet, but to detect the exact cause we must review some significant factor that could have triggered this emotional problem. Below we explain the most common causes of depression in cats:

  • Change of residence or family: Some people say that cats are independent and lonely animals, but this is certainly not the case. Cats are sociable animals and feel very affected when a change of housing happens or moves away from their loved ones.
  • Loneliness: Although their character is not comparable to that of dogs, cats suffer when they spend long periods of time alone. In these cases it is ideal to offer intelligence toys and even think about adopting a partner. Affection and signs of affection are important to the cat.
  • Bad relationship with another household member: A prolonged or recent enmity can cause our cat to be suspicious, isolated and not wanting to spend time with us.
  • The arrival of the baby: The arrival of the baby is cause for happiness, but it is not always for everyone. If you have neglected the attention towards your cat or you have not prepared him properly for his arrival it may happen that your cat feels sad and displaced.
  • Adoption of a dog or cat: The "competition" for food, the best place on the couch or your touch can cause serious sadness and depression in your cat. Before the arrival of a new member it is very important to continue paying attention to our feline
  • Disease: As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, a disease can radically change the character of our cat making him feel apathetic, not wanting to eat and sad. Going to the veterinarian is essential whenever we detect any anomaly.
  • Stress and anxiety: The quarrels, the punishments, the bad treatments and even the lack of some of the freedoms of the animal welfare can repel in high levels of stress and anxiety. It is very important to offer our pet the best care so that he feels happy to be by our side.
  • Traumatic shock: An aggression or a terrible experience can lead our cat to suffer depression and sadness. In these cases, the ideal is to go to the specialist to offer us personalized guidelines for the specific case.

Each of these reasons may or may not affect the pet and it is that only if we know it well we can determine what factors have altered the safety and tranquility of the cat. These causes if fall seriously in psychology Our pet may be the cause of reluctance, apathy and even high levels of stress, it will depend on the case.

Severe cases of depression in cats

If you have followed the advice mentioned above for at least a week and do not notice a significant improvement in your cat's behavior you should weigh go to a specialist.

The vet can recommend the medication use since in the market we find variants of antidepressants dedicated exclusively to animals. However, these types of drugs can have serious consequences, creating animals that are addicted or that require lifelong treatment. Alternative therapies such as homeopathy can also help.

Your choice is to choose what type of treatment your pet will receive but yes, strictly follow the advice of the professional to prevent the problem from lengthening over time. Do not forget that the more entrenched the cat has the behavior, the harder it will be to treat it.

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to My cat is depressed - Causes, symptoms and treatmentWe recommend that you enter our section on Mental Problems.