How to treat a cat with depression
Depression is a disease that affects humans and pets alike. The causes that cause the development of this disorder are of various kinds, for example, the death of a loved one, the loss of work or moving to a new home, among others. Depression is one of the most difficult diseases to detect, since the symptoms are so subtle that it is difficult to associate them with a specific disease; that is, we all have bad days or we are sad and apathetic from time to time.
We know that the welfare and health of your cat is the most important thing for you. Therefore, from we help you answer the question of how to treat a cat with depression .
Signs that your cat is depressed
First of all, to know if your cat is sad and depressed, you should carefully observe the behavior of your pet in order to determine if there have been significant changes in their habits and mood. Some of the most obvious signs of a cat with depression are the following:
- Apathy: for example it seems that you do not feel like doing anything and find it difficult to react when you offer your favorite food.
- Loss of appetite: depression causes loss of appetite and because of this, we will see that a depressive cat does not pay attention to its food.
- Weight loss: by eating little or nothing, the cat in a state of depression with the passage of days will lose weight.
- Sleeping more than usual: taking into account that cats sleep an average of 16 hours a day, if you notice that your cat sleeps even more, you may be depressed.
- Being too quiet for a long time: a cat with depression is usually quiet for a long time, lying languidly and not wanting to move, this is another sign that a depression may be happening.
- Tendency to hide in secluded places: in full depression it is normal for the cat to want to spend more time alone and to sleep peacefully, so you will probably find it in a closet, a high shelf or a drawer.
- Meow strange or weeping: how he realizes that something is happening to him, needs to call attention, ask for affection, so the cat will mewling insistently as if he were crying or complaining.
Possible causes of feline depression
Some of the main factors that cause depression in cats are the death of a loved one (either a person or another pet) and the transfer of address, but there are more factors that cause depression in cats, the most important are :
- The death of a loved one: this fact, whether a person or another animal with which the cat lived, produces a state of shock in cats because, like people, miss a family member when this dies, so it can be a clear cause of a cat with depression.
- A move: one of the most traumatic events for cats is moving house or apartment, because they can not stand the changes and are used to knowing and controlling the space that surrounds them. If you have recently moved, it is possible that this is the reason why your cat is sad and apathetic.
- Feeling alone: many times we have the habit of having an animal companion alone, we leave him many hours at home while we work and also do not have another of his kind or another living being with whom to entertain, play and have a relationship. This is a very typical cause of a cat with depression and, therefore, it is highly recommended to have at least two or have another pet, in addition to trying not to be too many hours away from home.
- A disease: it is also possible that the depression in a cat is caused by some disease, in fact, depression and apathy are symptoms that our cat is not well, therefore, we recommend that you go to your veterinarian when you think that Your cat may be depressed.
After explaining some symptoms and causes of depression in cats, below, we give you a series of guidelines on how to treat a cat in a state of depression.
Let your cat know how much you love him
Although it may seem obvious, pets need to feel loved by their owners and not always give them all the attention we would like. If your cat is going through a depression, the best thing you can do to help him overcome it is to pay attention to him, give him pampering caressing him where he likes most until he purrs (an unequivocal sign that he is comfortable with you) or play with him.
If you do not have much time for the latter, it is recommended that the cat has a toy that can play, move and distract. Also, since the activity is one of the best ways to treat a cat with depression, you can do some fun exercises for your cat that will be useful for when you play with him or when he is alone at home.
Get a scraper
Some veterinarians strongly recommend the use of scrapers, since they favor the creation of your own space and free recreation for your cat, where you can play, climb, sleep and, above all, sharpen your nails. Thanks to this last, the presence of the scraper in your home will prevent the cat from scratching the sofa or any other piece of furniture at the same time as it entertains and plays, thus preventing it from being too many hours inactive.
Reward your cat with some whim
The physical health of your pet is the most important and it is not convenient that this eat candy for cats in excess. However, it has been shown that giving the cat its favorite bauble once in a while helps your mental health stay optimal; therefore, if you see that the feline is downcast and sad, allow him some edible whim and enjoy a couple of goodies, you will see how, little by little, this is an effective way to treat a cat with depression and that your cat recovers your vitality and energy.
Brush it more often
Brushing is one of the moments that felines usually like the most. If your cat is among the majority and enjoy when you brush the hair, do it at least a couple of times a day and you will see how it improves the mood of your pet. If, on the contrary, your animal does not like the comb at all, you can try to reward it by giving it a treat at the end of each time you brush it. In addition, brushing is ideal to strengthen ties between you and your pet.
Ask the veterinarian for an appointment
If you notice changes in the mood and the way of acting of your pet, it is essential that you go as soon as possible to the veterinarian, as this will help you to get your cat out of the depressive state in which it is and because the depression of Your feline can be caused by a major health problem that requires specific medical treatment.
If it has been helpful to know how to treat a cat with depression, you may also find it useful to read this other article in which we explain how to stimulate your cat.