Cats are unique and smart creatures with a variety of personalities from overly outgoing and affectionate to shy and independent. One constant in all cats is typically a sense of routine. Depression can occur in animals when they experience events that are outside their control. Cats specifically are highly sensitive and can easily react to a change in their environment which can result in a change of behavior. Potential events that can trigger your cat to feel sad:
• Change of food
• Change of litter or moving the litter box
• Loss of a loved one
• Moving into a new home
• Illness or injury
Signs your cat might be feeling off
Based on your cat’s personality it’s important observe their behavior. If your normally out-going cat is acting shy or not acting normal, your cat may be suffering from the blues. Watch for signs such as:
• Low pitched mournful meows or howling
• Not eating or over-eating
• No interest in activities, attention or toys
• Poor grooming
• Sleeping more than normal or lethargic
• Inappropriate litter box behavior
• Excessive scratching
Help your cats’ depression by putting them back on a normal routine. For example, if you recently moved into a new home it’s important to give your cat extra attention and put them back onto their previous meal time, brushing, sleep and play schedule.
Exercising and entertaining your cat could prevent them from feeling bored or sad. Try providing them with mentally stimulating toys like a laser pointer, a string toy, or even puzzle feeders to bring back their natural hunting instincts.
Scratchers and cat trees are also a positive way to encourage their feline behaviors in your home and off your furniture. Cat trees give them the opportunity sit high up and scratchers let them use their natural marking behavior of scratching what they are supposed to be scratching.
A common product that can help reduce sadness is Feliway
for cats. It is a spray or air diffuser that mimics their feline pheromones in their glands to help make them feel secure and comfortable.
If your cat is not eating, lethargic, or not interacting with you it is important to make a vet appointment to further investigate provide relief. No matter the reason it’s important to observe their behaviors and improve their happiness.