Can Cats get depressed?

In cats, Pet Healthby Emotional Pet Support TeamLeave a Comment

According to the definition, depression is a state of mind producing severe, long-term lowering of enjoyment of life or inability to visualize a happy future. It can also be a period of unhappiness or low morale, which lasts longer than several weeks.  Since many people around the world keep cats as their pets in their homes, I know you are wondering, can cats get depressed?Cat’s depression may differ slightly with depression in human beings. For instance, when human beings get depressed, they can express their symptoms verbally to a doctor or a psychologist. The case is different with cats because she cannot express herself to a veterinarian.

Depression in humans is considered a multifactorial disease. This means that it can be situational (caused by a stressful situation) or medical (this is due to medical imbalances in the brain). By this, diagnosis is based on self-reported symptoms. This diagnostic procedure is not available to vets since they cannot ask a cat what she feels; being sad, angry, anxious, or joyous. So, we must rely on the clues cats give us through their behavior and daily activities to make our assessments.

There are many reasons why a cat can get depressed. No matter the reason why a cat is depressed, it should be worth noting that extra time and attention is needed to see if the happiness level of the cat improves. But if the pain is the leading cause, you are supposed to take your cat to a veterinarian. The three leading causes of depression in cats are illness, injury, and loss of a beloved one.

Illness can make your cat not to feel well and even possibly be in grave pain. She will not be as playful as the moves around because she hurts very much. She may feel nauseated, not want to eat, have a hormonal imbalance, or have no energy due to illness. The following conditions can affect the happiness level of your cat hence making her depressed; fatty liver disease, diabetes, upper respiratory disorders, hypothyroidism, and dental disease.

Injuries are also one of the reasons why your cat may get depressed. They limit the ability of the cat to do things she enjoys most. This is because injuries result in pain. So, it would be advisable to visit a veterinarian regarding recommendations on pain relief of the cat.

When human beings lose their beloved ones, they get into the somber mood, which means they are very deeply depressed. This has no exception also in cats; they grieve and get depressed. If you notice that your cat is griefed because another has died in the househood, she may benefit from a new cat friend.

A depressed cat can have many signs which are easily noticeable. It is worth paying attention to these signs. They include; vocal clues such as mournful yowls, aggression, fear, clingy or hiding, poor grooming, which is a sign of unhappiness, not eating, urinating in inappropriate places, and excessive scratching.

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DVM, Lina

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