“In general, depression in humans is considered a multifactorial disease,” says Dr. Lynn Hendrix, the owner of Beloved Pet Mobile Vet in Davis, California and a palliative care expert. Cat behaviorists explain that depression occurs when a pet experiences events beyond their control. The problem is cat depression can be tricky to spot. Imagine a cat that has lost a life-long companion. so how do you engage their mind? The diagnosis is based on self-reported symptoms, says Hendrix, meaning that the symptoms can be expressed verbally to the doctor or psychologist. Cats choose who they love and receiving their affection is a great honor. Regardless of the cause, a cat showing signs of depression can benefit greatly from a prompt evaluation by a veterinarian. All Rights Reserved. After all, cats are creatures of habit that feel safer with a consistent routine, and here you are disrupting it for a vacation. It should be no surprise that some cats seem grief-stricken after the death of a feline or human companion. I say he's depressed because he normally has a huge personality but since bringing home the kitten last week, Bean our older baby, has started drooling obsessively, hardly eats, won't play and sleeps a lot. These signs are general; hence check that your cat is not ill before assuming they’re depressed. Please recommend something we can do to help our cat! If we resist applying the human definitions of mood disorders to our feline friends and instead evaluate them strictly from a cat-friendly perspective, there is often much we can do to make our beloved kitties happier and healthier! The kittens will leave to have their own lives, eventually having kittens of their own. Often, “it is sick behavior,” she says. This might be moving home, the loss of a companion, or an owner returning to work. “It’s only an animal; you’ll get over it!” It actually follows the states of grief that occur when a human loved one dies. “Most of the time, there is pain or physical disease causing a cat to act ‘depressed’,” she says. You may also be familiar with your own grumpy cat, if you happen to have a particularly temperamental one at home. A cat knows only that its companion has disappeared. I want a kitten. According to Hendrix, pain is one of the most underdiagnosed conditions in cats, seniors in particular, and is one of the leading causes of clinical signs of depression. Answer. Cats can pick up on human emotions, such as sadness. They bond with human and non-human family members and can grieve when the dynamics of the relationship is lost. They just have limited ways of showing empathy. Do you have any advice on picking out a healthy kitten? Cats can suffer from depression just like people. Yes, cat depression is not uncommon. Cats are known for their diverse, often feisty, personalities; some are anxious, some reserved, others inquisitive. I want to get him back to his old self. The litter box, food bowls, bed, and some toys should all be easily accessible. Those cats know that their new owner is distressed, that meals don’t arrive on time and that no one brushes their coat. Likewise, for other changes in circumstances, try to shield your cat. Keep up the good work! Depression can be situational, caused by a stressful situation, or medical, due to chemical imbalances in the brain. When you bring your kitten home, allow your cat to sniff it while the kitten is in a carrier or your arms. Depression can be situational, caused by a stressful situation, or medical, due to chemical imbalances in the brain. Leave cat toys out while you’re at work. They may sleep more than usual and move more slowly, sulking around. Although cats tend to be independent and resilient, they can suffer from anxiety due to changes in routine, feeling threatened, or the addition or loss of family members. Post pictures of your cats, talk about cats, ask questions, get advice. It was FIP. We've now had the new kitten for 5 days. Chronic stress can have an impact on a pet’s emotional, and even physical, health. An upset cat has a major tell: Its tail. They don’t respond well to change whether it’s their food, your habits, or the living environment. Thus, if a bonded companion disappears, the remaining cat may feel bereft. Many common conditions cause a lack of energy, so always check out their health first. Cats alter their behavior when they mourn much like people do: They may become depressed and listless. 2. Here’s how to help your cat get back to a routine after your return. 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