Tuesday, July 16, 2024

How To Tell If My Cat Is Sick Or Depressed

Your Own Depression Can Affect Your Pets

How to Tell if a Cat Is Depressed

We all know that dogs are very intelligent creatures, but did you know that they have affective empathy towards people who are important to them? This means they can understand our feelings.

According to The Royal Society, dogs can recognize and differentiate between positive and negative emotions from humans, such as fear, excitement, or anger. Not only can they tell them apart, but they can also catch these feelings! Our dogs often look to us for cues on responding to the world around them, which is one reason why they mimic us.

Cats and dogs are creatures of habit, so anything that suddenly disrupts their schedule or familiar lifestyle can cause depression and anxiety. Thankfully, many of the triggers only lead to a temporary depression, and may be resolved once you work your pet into another familiar routine.

But how do you know if your pet has depression? Look for the signs and symptoms.

Your Cat Is Hiding More Than Usual

Remember when I said that cats in the wild are both predator and prey? It follows that if a cat is sick, they dont want anybody to know that, and they have the instinct to hide and protect themselves.

One of the signs that your cat may be sick is just that you see less of your cat than usual, or you find your cat suddenly hiding under your bed or in the closet or being less social than normal.

Knowing When Your Cat Is Sick

No one knows your cat as well as you do. Be sure to watch your cat for subtle changes in behavior that others may not notice take note of any changes to your cat’s usual body language or demeanor.

If something just doesn’t seem right, it’s a good time to take your cat to the vet for a thorough examination, even if your cat isn’t showing any of the symptoms listed above.

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Trusted Feline Veterinary Services In Kirkland Wa

If you suspect your cat is depressed, make sure to visit your trusted team at All About Cats Veterinary Clinic for a consultation. We will rule out any illness or injury and offer tips to help your kitty overcome any sadness or depression. You can always count on our team for purr-fectly compassionate care!

Causes Or Triggers Behind Cat Depression

Is My Cat Stressed Or Sick?

Dr. Delgado says the following are several of the most common reasons for cat depression.

Whats normal for one cat may not be normal for your cat, so look at changes in their specific behavioral patterns to see if something is amiss. Cats are generally creatures of habit, so when theres suddenly a shift in their behavior, its very unlikely that its random. Other family members, as well as your cat sitter, can also help alert you to alarming changes. If you notice changes in your cats behavior, its best to consult with a vet right away. Talk with them about the changes youve noticed in your cat, and they can help you come up with an appropriate treatment plan.

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How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Depressed

A cats symptoms of depression are all that you can expect lethargy, unkempt appearance, loss of appetite, sad eyes, withdrawn behavior, and even litter box misuse. Get your cat to the vet to make sure that there are no underlying health concerns as many of these behavioral changes can also be symptoms of disease.

Signs Your Cat Is Dying And When To Euthanize

There is nothing more challenging than watching your feline friend reach their end.

Our cats can begin to decline in health as they enter their senior years, making it so important for us to know when its time to say goodbye.

So what are the signs of a dying cat?

In this article we will get into the details of complications in elderly cats, and help you understand when it may be time to say goodbye to your feline friend.

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Are There Cat Therapists

There are people who advertise themselves as cat therapists or psychologists. These folks may be well-meaning, but their titles dont indicate that they have the skills or training necessary to help your cat.

Always consult your veterinarian first who can refer you to an expert such as a veterinarian with advanced training, certified as a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

Signs Of Depression In Cats

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Classic signs of depression in cats include:

  • Lack of interest in activities that they previously enjoyed
  • Failure to groom properly
  • Reactivity when other pets or people try to interact with them

These symptoms of depression also mimic a number of other health problems, so your first step should be a visit to the veterinarian to rule out any physical illness. It is unlikely that a cat would become severely ill or die from depression alone, but cats can develop hepatic lipidosis from not eating, which can be fatal.

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Can Cats Get Depressed

Unlike people who can share their depressive feelings and triggers, cats rely on us to pick up their body language and symptoms. Changes in cat behavior can be caused by numerous things, from a stressful home environment to diseases.

In cats, depression is less of a chemical change in the brains neural circuits and more a symptom of a deeper issue. Finding a cause for depression in cats requires a little investigation by your veterinarian.

Your Cat Has A Prolapsed Third Eyelid

Did you know that your cat has three eyelids? Its true! Cats have two eyelids just like humans, and then they have a third protective eyelid called the nictitans or nictitating membrane that is pink in color and normally hangs out in the lower inner corner of the eye socket.

You might be able to see it when your cat is sleeping heavily. The third eyelid also creeps up when a cat is feeling sick, and will hang out halfway, covering half the eye.

If you notice that you are seeing your cats third eyelid more often or when the cat is awake, or if the third eyelid is red or swollen, it is a sign your cat is sick.

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Do Indoor Cats Get Depressed

It is easier to determine if an indoor cat is depressed because you see them more often. But outdoor cats can also experience depression.

Remember that depression in cats is a state of mind that is reflected by an overall decrease in activity. Your cat is no longer engaging in activities they once enjoyed, and they are sleeping more and more. So instead of exploring the yard or neighborhood, your cat may stay in one area of the yard or may not even go out at all.

Suddenly Not Using The Litter Box

How To Tell If Your Cat Is Sick Or Depressed

Seek veterinary care immediately if your cat is suddenly unable to urinate . They may have an obstruction in their lower urinary tract, usually in the urethra, and this is a medical emergency.

Cats may also stop using the litter box and start urinating or defecating elsewhere if they associate pain with the litter box. This can happen with a bladder infection, gastrointestinal, disease-causing diarrhea or constipation, or arthritis or other joint pain that makes it difficult to get in or out of the litter box.

Another potential reason cats avoid the litter box in multi-cat households is because one cat is guarding it and blocking the other cat from using it.

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Why Is My Cat Depressed

If your cat is acting depressed, its important to have her checked out by a veterinarian because symptoms of physical illness can often mimic depression.

Many times, a cat that is acting depressed is actually experiencing a medical condition thats causing pain, nausea or some other type of discomfort. Because signs of depression are also signs of myriad health conditions and diseases, its absolutely vital that you have your cat examined by a veterinarian to rule out a medical cause for acting depressed.

If the reason for your cats depression is not medical, your vet can help you figure out what might be causing it. Many cats are very sensitive and can become easily stressed by changes in their environment, disruptions in their routine and changes in the family dynamic. Stress can lead to unusual cat behavior that mimics signs of depression.

Another reason some cats exhibit signs of depression is if they are under-stimulated and bored. Keeping cats indoors is recommended for their safety, but staying inside all the time can be boring for cats, which are designed by nature to hunt, pounce, scratch, climb and explore. Some cats that are no given enough opportunities to play, climb and exercise might start to become depressed.

Stranger Anxiety And Clinginess

If your cat is depressed and sad, they may become more clingy and demanding the attention of their owner all the time. Most cats are usually people shy, but their stranger anxiety can become more pronounced if they are depressed. Another sign is that they may lose interest in activities such as playing hide and seek, food hunting, watching TV, or chasing a string, etc., their reclusiveness can be a cry for help.

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Is Your Cat Sad Signs And Causes Of Cat Depression

The Spruce / Kelly Leigh Miller

Cats can become sad or depressed due to various reasonsillness, grieving of a lost family member they bonded with, or injury. Oftentimes, cat owners don’t notice if they cat is feeling down, so it’s important to keep an eye on your feline if they’ve become reserved or quiet when they were typically social. Learn more about the frequent causes of depression in cats, the signs to look for, and your best course of action.

What Changes Should I Look For In Breathing

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Breathing difficulty such as shallow breathing, mouth breathing, or panting may indicate a problem with the airways or lungs. Cats with breathing problems often will have their head and neck extended or may be unable to sleep in a normal position. Repeated bouts of sneezing or coughing are signs of health issues.

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Swishing And Twitching Its Tail

An upset cat has a major tell: its wagging tail. A happy kittys tail moves like a soft feather duster, but a sad or depressed cat may issue quick, hard strikes with its tail, says Danielle Bernal, DVM, a veterinarian with Wellness Natural Pet Food. Do a little investigating to find the source of their discomfort. Cats are creatures of habit and do not like change, so start by addressing any recent changes, she says. Need more help decoding your kittys wishes?

Helping A Depressed Cat

Your furry friend will need a lot of patience and gentle redirection on your part to overcome the sadness and depression. The first step in helping your sad cat is visiting your trusted vets at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital to rule out any injury or health problems. Prompt treatment may be all your cat needs to overcome depression.

If your furry friend has lost interest in food, you may want to offer some yummy treats to get the appetite going again. Spend time with your cat. Try out some new interactive toys and games, or simply cuddle with your feline companion. Stick to a predictable routine to provide your cat with a sense of security and stability. Whatever you do, limit any changes while your cat shows signs of depression. The good news is that your kittys depression will likely be short-lived. A little attention from you and help from your vet will get your fur-ever friend back to normal in no time!

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What Changes Would I See In Coat Appearance And Amount Of Shedding

Cats that are not feeling well do not tend to groom themselves very well. Therefore, you will usually see a messy or greasy coat, mats of fur, or clumps of loose hair. In some cases, you will see a difference in the coats shine or an increased amount of dandruff.

Cats that are grooming themselves excessively may also have a problem. Excessive grooming may be a reaction to a skin problem such as allergies, a parasite such as fleas, mites or ringworm, pain such as that from arthritis or a bladder problem, or a response to stress. These cats might over-groom on all parts of their body, or they may lick themselves in one area so much that they develop bald spots and the skin beneath may be red and raw or may have a rash.

Emergency Situations And Your Cat

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Certain situations may be considered urgent. You shouldn’t wait for an appointment at your vet when your cat is experiencing an emergency. Keep information about after-hours veterinarians handy in case you need to rush to one. If you see the signs of an emergency, do not delay. Go to the closest open veterinarian immediately:

  • Trauma
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Gums that are blue, white, or very pale
  • Collapse, unconsciousness, or unresponsiveness

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Is My Cat Depressed Signs Symptoms & How To Help

Have you ever wondered is my cat depressed? It wasnt too long ago that people thought of animals as not having many feelings at all, but we now know that cats and other animals feel a wide range of emotions. Cats can feel happiness, excitement and everything in between, including anxiety, sadness and depression.

How To Help A Stressed Cat

Worried about your cats symptoms or change in behaviour? While there are a lot of things you can do at home to calm a stressed cat, planning in a visit to the vet should be top of your list.

If youve found a problem with your cats physical health, such as weight loss or issues toileting, it is even more important to get them seen quickly.

Your vet may suggest things you can do at home to keep your cat calm, such as altering their environment or changing their routine.

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Increased Hiding Or Withdrawal

Its common for cats to hide out from time to time. cats should not be sitting or hiding in one spot all day, says Dr. Delgado says. If a cat becomes significantly more reclusive than usual, it may be a sign that theyre feeling down.

Hiding can also indicate that a cat isnt interested in activities they usually enjoy, such as playing with toys or cuddling up with their humans. Cats with depression are generally more fearful, and they may hide to soothe and protect themselves.

Possible Causes Of Feline Depression

8 Signs Your Cat Might Be Stressed And How to Help

Cats really feel the loss of a family member and they experience separation anxiety that leads to depression for quite a long time. The more attached the cat to the person who leaves home or passes away, the longer the cats depression lasts. Cats are creatures that connect with humans at home so when they experience a loss of a member, they feel a change in their environment that they cant process or understand.

If You Have Moved Recently

If you moved to another house or apartment your cat will have a hard time adjusting to this new environment. Cats are territorial animals and moving to a new home is like you waking up one day in a foreign country without money and not speaking the language. So its really traumatic for a cat to change the physical space they have been living because it means the absolute lack of confidence and domination of its territory, its all new. Fortunately, there are efficient ways how to relax your cat when you move to a new home.

New Pet Or Human

If you add a new pet to your home, lets say a dog or a new kitty, your cat may or may not accept this new member. If the new member is another cat and it doesnt get along with your kitty, one or both cats will start fighting or showing depressive type symptoms.

The same could happen with a new dog or any new pet that will be part of the household. But not only a new pet can cause your cat depression if a new human is added to the family, this also can create behavioral problems in your cat.

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Causes Of Feline Depression

Cats can become depressed when they are feeling upset, anxious or fearful about something in their environment, such as major changes in the household, an addition of a baby, adopting new pets or workers in the home.

Almost anything could cause depression in cats, but some of the most common causes of a sad cat include:

  • Health problems
  • Bored or understimulated
  • Change in schedule/owner not home as much

When To See A Vet

Many of the symptoms we have mentioned can signal serious health issues in your cat. Take your kitty for a visit to an animal professional to rule out any threatening and even chronic illnesses. If no household changes have occurred and your cats depression isnt from the environment, then something else is causing the symptoms of depression.

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