In this article, we would be looking at how to cheer up a depressed cat. Do you feel your cat is depressed? Many behavioral experts confirm this to be an absence of joy mainly. Many things could cause this condition, one of which could be your cat isn’t getting much interaction and playtime.
Nevertheless, other factors can cause cat depression, including medical causes. In this article, we’ll be looking at various ways to cheer up a depressed cat. But first of all, how do you know your cat is depressed?
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Signs Of Feline Depression
Several signs show your cat is depressed. The major ones include;
- Reduced energy
- Excessive sleeping
- Anti-social behavior
- Loss of appetite
- Unusual meowing
- Neglecting grooming duties
Causes Of Cat Depression In Cats
Change is the major cause of depression in cats. If you move to a new apartment, environment, or change your pets’ home environment, your cat could become depressed.
Furthermore, if you usually play and interact with your cat often and then stop, probably because of lack of time to do so, it could trigger depression.
This reaction is because cats see these changes as stress, and depression is one way they respond to stress.
Your pet can also become depressed if she’s suffering from a particular medical ailment that brings her pain or makes her very uncomfortable. This is more common with senior cats.
How To Make A Depressed Cat Happy
Here are some great tips on what to do to cheer up your depressed cats;
1. Motivate Your Cat
You can get your cat to be active once again by motivating her. In cases where her depression is due to a change of environment, this will help her adapt to her new world.
Give your cat new and exciting toys for her to play with. You can also get tasty treats and maybe use a food dispenser or stuffed Kong to feed your cat. If she already has favorite treats and toys, make them available for her to play with.
If there are other cats in the neighborhood, you can let her interact with them.
It’s important never to use force while encouraging her to cheer up. Don’t push her if she’s very unwilling as it could make matters worse.
2. Play And Interact With Your Cat
Play and interactive sessions can really help a depressed cat. This is most applicable when your cat is depressed because you’re spending less time with her than before.
You don’t need to be there always, but spend as much time and give her as much attention as possible when you are. You can attempt playing fetch games, hide & seek, crumbled papers, et al. If you have an outdoor cat you can take her on trips with you so she spends more time with you. See our post on how to train a cat for hikes at this link.
Directly talking to her is also ideal. She won’t understand – she doesn’t have to – but she’ll feel your presence and understand that you’re trying to bond with her.
3. Groom Daily
Cats love grooming; They self-groom all the time. Regular cats spend up to 50% of their waking time grooming themselves.
Grooming your cat not only makes her happy but will also strengthen the bond you share. See a list of the best cat brush for long-haired cats if you own one.
For a depressed cat, you’ll have to groom her daily if you’re going to cheer her up. It would be best if you groom your cat at a particular time daily.
The anticipation of a grooming session every day is enough to put her in a good mood. If it’s pain that’s causing the depression, you’ll have to be very gentle while at it. Also if you have to administer drugs to your cat as she is ill, be sure to see our post on how to give a cat medication easily to prevent further stressing out your cat.
4. Follow A Routine
If you are looking for how to cheer up a depressed cat, you have to set up a routine to follow.
This routine should include all activities you want to engage your cat in, For example, play & interactive sessions, feeding sessions, grooming sessions, etc.
Routines are ideal because cats like routines. You’re going to help your cat adapt to the new environment or your absence by ensuring that there are things for her to look forward to every day.
A routine will also help you so you can keep track of which activities your pet enjoys the most and capitalize on them to bring her out of depression.
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5. Get A Cat Tree
Cats like climbing and hunting. It’s part of their natural instincts. Also, being high up and out of reach increase the sense of safety which could help improve your cat’s depression. Try getting a cat tree for your cat or some other place for her to climb that can be a suitable hideout for her.
6. See Your Vet
If you’ve tried various solutions without succeeding, your cat’s depression can be medically related, as mentioned earlier. You have to see your vet.
Your vet can prescribe some food supplements with worthwhile health benefits. For example, Zylkene, which is known to help reduce stress in cats.
Furthermore, your vet can prescribe drugs. Some common drugs in cases of depression include Clomipramine, Amitriptyline, Prozac, and Paxil.
Don’t give your cat any medication or supplement for depression without consulting your vet. Also, you shouldn’t give your cat any human medication for depression either.
Need more tips? See the video below.
Pets are wonderful to own. According to the human animal bond research institute pets help 74% of pet owners improve depression and mental health. While our pets are bringing this joy into our lives we must also ensure we return the favor if our pets are struggling and suffering mental health problems.
We have learned that cats can get depressed due to several reasons. As a caring cat owner, you should know how to cheer up a depressed cat to help your cat out of the sad situation.
Experiment with all the techniques mentioned here to find out which ones help bring back her joy. Schedule more playtime for your cat; give your cat lots of love and attention. Make sure you see a vet if nothing works.
Spread the word, share our post on getting your cat out of depression if you found it useful.