Warning Signs That Your Cat Might Be Depressed

cats with depression

Despite the fact that your cat seems to have his life in complete control, he’s not always in a good mood. Cats are sensitive animals, and they experience emotions just like you and I. They become sad. They are sometimes upset, experience jubilation and excitement, fear and worry; they have emotions and their emotions run the gamut. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not animals that aren’t happy to be where they are in life. Cats are generally in a pretty good mood. They get to eat, sleep, play and enjoy life to the fullest at any moment of the day, and that’s a pretty easy lifestyle for these animals. However, it is also true that they can be a bit depressed. Things happen; life happens. When life happens, cats can sometimes suffer the consequence of life.

If you are worried that your cat might be depressed, please do not think that you are overreacting or being silly. You know your cat, his moods and his behaviors, and only you know if something is genuinely of concern. If you do believe that your cat might suffer from depression, you should check for these signs. Each one by itself might not mean much to you or your cat and his life, but together these are certainly more common signs of depression that could indicate your cat is in need of help. Finally, each of the symptoms of depression in a cat is also a symptom of numerous other health issues, which is why it is imperative you seek help as soon as you suspect your cat is suffering from any of the named symptoms.

Change in Appetite

Your cat’s appetite could chance for a number of reasons. Your cat is not necessarily depressed because he doesn’t want to eat a meal one day. He could have an upset stomach, he could be having an adverse reaction to the type of food you purchased for him, or he could be suffering from anxiety or some other illness. However, most cats look forward all day long to the time that you pour food into their dish, and they are not afraid of showing off their excitement. Do not let your cat go without becoming excited about a meal while brushing it off. Once is fine, but when he’s unexcited about meal time and/or no longer eats his food, he needs to see the vet right away. His lack of appetite could signal depression, or it could signal something else related to his health.

Sudden Aggression

Take a moment to think about how you feel when you are on edge, not feeling well and generally not happy about life. You are unhappy, and it shows. You have a mood; you are not someone who is willing to be touched, talked to or coddled. Now think about your cat’s behavior. Is he or she suddenly more aggressive than usual? Does the cat suddenly seem to want to hiss and growl and bite or swipe at you when you come close or try to talk to him or her? If you notice this type of behavior and it’s not behavior you are used to see in your cat, it could be an indicator that your cat is depressed and unable to control his urge to be more aggressive as a way of saying that he wants to be left alone to his own devices. It’s not a sign he’s turned into a mean cat, just one that he’s turned into a cat that needs some help.

Change in Grooming Habits

Cats like to groom. We aren’t sure if it’s something that makes them happy or if it’s just something that they do because they have outstanding grooming habits. We don’t know; but they do like to groom and they do this regularly. However, when a cat is no longer grooming as often or grooms too much, it could be a sign that your cat is suffering from some type of depression. When a cat is depressed, he might stop with his grooming completely – which is gross. He might also groom far too often, which can lead to health issues on top of his depression such as sudden bald spots on his body and potential wounds that open up due to the severity of his licking.

Change in Behavior

Your cat has a certain behavior type. Just like all children and adults behave differently because of a number of factors, such as their upbringing and their household rules, cats are very much the same. They spend a great deal of their time behaving like ‘your’ cat and that’s fine. But when your cat suddenly behaves in a manner completely different than what you are used to, it’s time to start thinking about cat depression. A cat that has a complete change in behavior might indicate that there is something else wrong, and it’s not something worth ignoring.

Lack of Desire to Experience Affection

If your cat is not one that loves to cuddle as a whole, you might not notice anything out of the ordinary here. However, if your cat is big on cuddling, it might become fairly obvious in little time that your animal is suffering from something. It might be a cat with a bit of lethargy due to a cold that doesn’t want anything to do with you one day, but it might be something worse. You’ll notice that worse means that a cat might not want anything to do with you for more than a day or so. This is going to be a cat that suddenly hides from you, doesn’t come out to see you and generally avoids you in any given situation. Even your not-so-affectionate on a daily basis cat will begin to spend so much time in hiding that you will notice he no longer desires any affection. This is one of the biggest signs of feline depression, and it’s not one to take lightly. Get your cat to a vet, especially if you notice that he or she suffers from a combination of these health issues.

Photos by Getty Images

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