Depression in Cats

Not only do people get depression, but cats can also suffer from mental illness. We explain how to recognize depression in cats and, more importantly, what to do about it.

Symptoms: What are the Signs of Depression in Cats?

The clinical picture of depression in cats is very similar to the symptoms in humans. Listlessness, listlessness, and a generally poor mental state are the main symptoms of depression. You can recognize this by the following behavior in your cat:

  • Your cuddler seeks less physical contact with you.
  • Your cat sleeps more than usual and appears listless around the clock.
  • Despite having a favorite toy, you can hardly or not at all motivate your cat to play.
  • The food bowl remains unusually full and your fur nose will no longer accept even your favorite food.
  • She does less grooming.
  • Your outdoor dog is no longer interested in exploring the neighborhood and going on a discovery tour.

Diagnosis: How is Depression Recognized in Cats?

If you notice that your velvet paw is losing its zest for life, you should ask your veterinarian for advice. This can rule out health complaints such as pain, infectious diseases, or other underlying diseases. To do this, he scans your cat, measures its body temperature and, if necessary, draws blood.

If he has examined your cat extensively and has not found any physical causes, he asks you in more detail whether a specific event has occurred in the recent past that could have had a psychological impact on your cat.

The most important questions include:

  • What and how often do you feed your cat?
  • Have you recently moved?
  • Do you have a new animal or a human addition?
  • Has someone passed away in your household?
  • If you can answer one or more of the questions with a yes, it could be that this is the reason for your cat’s depressive behavior.

Therapy: How is Depression Treated in Cats?

Treatment of depression is usually difficult due to the complexity of the mental illness and is often protracted. It is therefore important that you regularly document the progress and thus the progress or setbacks.

If you can reverse the suspected cause, this is something you should try to help your depressed cat. If this is not possible, you can find out more about the administration of psychotropic drugs from a cat psychologist or your veterinarian. These are drugs that affect the brain and can help relieve depression in cats.

Although scientific studies have not yet been able to confirm the effectiveness of Bach flowers against depression, some cat owners use this product, which is legally declared as a food, in depressed cats.

Causes: What are the Triggers for Depression?

Your cat’s psyche depends on many different factors. Therefore, there are numerous triggers for depression in cats.

the most common causes include:

  • A move to a new environment.
  • A new animal (e.g. dog) or a second cat in the household or the neighborhood.
  • lack of social contacts
  • no species-appropriate keeping
  • A family member dies, moves out, or travels for a long time.

What is the Prognosis?

Whether your cat can find joy in life again depends on whether you can identify the cause of the depression and combat it. What is certain is that the therapy can take a while and you should show a lot of patience and compassion towards your house tiger.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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