4. In this sense, this reaction is the same as when people who, have a bad day, cry or to are angry over silly things as they are more susceptible to these emotions. The Signs That Your Cat Is Sad Cats have two ways of communicating with you. You can warm your cat's food a bit to make it more enticing, or add in bits of special treats like tuna or chicken pieces. Cats can suffer from depression just like people. Cats can grieve. In the wild, a dying cat instinctively understands that they are more vulnerable to predators. If your cat is no longer drinking water by herself, feeding tubes can also be used to make sure your pet is receiving adequate hydration. A foul odor coming from your cat’s mouth, ears or skin may be the indicator of dental disease, infection, or other problem. You too can know if a cat is depressed because they communicate less with you. In this OneHowTo article we will show you how to know if a cat is sad giving you some tips to help you recognize the mood they're in. Be cautious in adding another housemate too soon to the family. Or, for the kitty who has everything, try a cat video. Most animals (cat,dog) can sense that your sad. Remember that, as a general rule, these animals sleep about 16 hours a day but when they are sad their sleeping time increases and they will look much more listless all day. If you notice behavior changes that result in your cat being scared or abnormally aggressive then they may be sad. Sadness or depression in a cat also affects their mealtimes as the animal will seem much more listless and lifeless. Can cats get depressed? It is also common for depressed cats to stop using their litter tray where they normally do their business. A depressed cat withdraws and ceases doing things they used to enjoy. It is normal for these animals to meow, purr or make sounds when they are happy and content, so if your cat is sad they might stop "talking" to you as they did before or their meows may sound more intense. Part of the series: Cat Behavior & Care. Many of the tell-take signs of loneliness can … Another sign that a cat is sad is if you notice lately that they hide much more frequently. 10. 3 Ways to Tell If Your Cat Is Depressed How to Tell if Your Cat Is Depressed. Your cat may lack an appetite during the initial stages of grief, but it's important to encourage him to eat. Conditions such as fatty liver disease, FIV, FeLV, upper respiratory diseases, diabetes, hypothyroidism, dental disease, and others are all serious health problems that can affect your cat’s happiness level. Sudden dilation of the eyes indicates they are extremely happy. DO NOT give pain medications designed for humans or dogs to cats. If you suspect your cat is depressed because it is sick, then you should schedule a visit with your vet as soon as possible. Make sure that your cat is active and entertained. If your cat seems glum or uninterested in things, even food, it could be a sign that he isn’t getting enough activity or mental stimulation. First, consider how much the average cat sleeps -- 50 to 70 percent (12 to 16.8 hours) of the 24 hours in a day, and up to 80 percent for seniors and kittens (more than 19 hours). If your family pet has died from a cause that doesn’t pose a risk of infection to your surviving cat, and you feel comfortable doing so, you can show your cat the body of your deceased pet. Pain after an injury can also keep your cat from feeling as happy as it usually is. But if you find urine or feces in your home it could be that the animal is depressed however, it is true that there are other factors that can cause this behavior such as, for example, that their litter tray is dirty. If all your cat does is lie around, he might be under-stimulated. However, when the animal is sad they are likely to neglect this and, therefore, their hair will look more lacklustre, tangled or dull. Get your cat a pet to watch, like a gerbil, or put a bird feeder outside the window. The cat might feel nauseated, not want to eat, have a hormonal imbalance, or have no energy due to the illness. There can be several reasons why a cat gets depressed. There's a lot you need to know to make things go smoothly with your new friend. Well, not exactly. Thus, if your feline stops doing something that usually makes them purr, you may have a sad cat on your hands. Here are some ways and other answers you can tell if you cat is sad. You can tell if your cat is happy by the way they look. The clinical signs we see tend to be loss of appetite, avoidance behavior, less active, and abnormal behavior, like his… Also, learn more about some frequent causes of depression in cats and your best course of action. Dogs will pick this up. They are at risk for diseases like diabetes and joint issues. Use a stopwatch or your smartphone to count the number of beats you feel in 15 seconds. Make sure you are following your veterinarian’s recommendations regarding pain relief or if your cat seems to be in pain, schedule an appointment to have it checked out. Related posts on this topic. Every cat has its own personality, with some being more outgoing than others, but when a typically social cat is suddenly quiet and reserved it can be concerning. If your cat is dying because of kidney disease, cancer, or diabetes, keeping her hydrated is very important. If you think I am about to say ignore the vocal one because a cat can’t tell you it is sad, you’re wrong. But what does it mean if your cat is acting depressed? If pain is the culprit, then take your cat to the veterinarian. What you can do in order to treat a sad cat is the following: If you want to read similar articles to How to Know if my Cat Is Sad, we recommend you visit our Pets category. Find out more about how to tell if your cat is stressed in our video. my cat is sad when there's nobody home enough, when she doesn't get fed on time (and I mean to-the-minute) and if her routine is stuffed up in any way. No matter the reason why, be sure to give it extra time and attention until its happiness level improves. ), this usually done for heat and protection, it is their natural instinct; however, if you notice that lately they've been hiding much more than before perhaps it is because the animal is not happy and they don't want to socialize. So if you notice that the animal's behavior towards food has changed, it may be because they are sad but it can also be down to other reasons connected to their physical health, so it is best to take them to a vet to get a check-up. Worried about your dog's sudden change in behavior? Cats are known for their diverse, often feisty, personalities; some are anxious, some reserved, others inquisitive. Resting with her eyes half closed shows she is relaxed and doesn’t feel threatened, McMillan says. Certainly cats can exhibit depressed behavior, but the general consensus is that they do not experience the same emotional changes associated with clinical depression in humans. Another sign to tell if you have a happy cat is through his head. Don’t dismiss any subtle change to your cat… Pet AVision offers the adventures of Larry Lizard, Freddy Fish and Betty Bird. Multiply the number by four to get the heart rate beats per minute. One of the simplest ways to know if a cat is sad is to observe their sleeping habits. Your cat is likely upset if their ears are held back and their fur is standing on end. How to tell if your cat is sad. Does your cat recognize your voice? Depression in cats can also be diagnosed by observing your friend but if you think this may be the case with your friend, it is best that you contact a vet who will help confirm the diagnosis and show you the best way to proceed in order to improve the animal's quality of life. Cats are supposed to be agile and active, so you can see why this raises flags. They bond with human and non-human family members and can grieve when the dynamics of the relationship is lost. Do be aware that the body may smell differently to when your pet was alive, and this may upset your cat and cause them to react in a way that is not as calm and ‘respectful’ as you might hope. How to Tell if a Cat Is Depressed. Ears held back, tail tucked, hair standing on end, and other body signs are all forms of silent communication that your cat may be sad. If your sad your not yourself a dog must sense this as it can tell your not being yourself. A change in how you sound will signal to your cat how you feel. For a cat, the system is mostly the same as humans but it is more for the practical reasons (cleaning and lubricating the eyes of the cat) than for an emotional response. The cat may not be its playful self if it hurts to move around. Aggression or fear: Sad cats tend to be more reactive and act out with aggression or fearfulness. How to understand your cat? If your cat is depressed because another cat in the household has passed away, they may benefit from a new cat friend (or they may not). Remember that for cats, meows can be interpreted in different ways as they can denote joy or they may be asking for something or they may be crying, so it's important to be aware of their behavior and you can know what they are trying to communicate. If your cat blinks slowly or has dilated eyes, then that means he feels affection and happiness. Abnormal vocalizations. To tell if your cat is depressed, pay attention to any changes in sleeping habits, vocalization, eating habits, and behavior. If nothing appears in the results, then it is likely that the change is of an emotional nature and, therefore, we have to start paying more attention to them for this to improve. Your cat’s eyes can tell you a lot about her emotional state. Depressed cats may over or under eat and vocalize more than usual when depressed. This happens because they are having a difficult time emotionally and they are feeling out of balance and, therefore, are more irritable with their family and friends than normal. How to Know if my Cat Is in Heat or Pregnant, How to Know if your Pit Bull Is Purebred - Foolproof Traits, How to Lower My Dog's Fever with Home Remedies. One of the simplest ways to know if a cat is sad is to observe their sleeping habits. Of course they’ll slo… This is usually only a temporary behavior and with some time your cat will return to normal. to cheer kitty up, just be with her. One of the most prominent features of felines is that they are very clean and neat animals, spending much of their day preening and caring for their fur. A joyful cat’s tail will stand straight up, with just the tip crooked to greet people and other pets that the cat considers friends. In most cases, cat owners have no idea why their cat is sad or depressed. If your cat is only moving from the couch to the food bowl, you could have a bored feline on your hands. If you notice any of the signs that we have mentioned above, the best thing is to take them to a vet so that they can examine the animal and determine if there is any other condition that may be affecting the animal's behavior. Head Tilting — Head tilts in a disoriented manner and Cat seems to have lost its bearings while moving about constantly ( not in a confused or curious manner) could indicate neurological issues or even a ear infection. Cat depression can be difficult to diagnose and may happen for a number of reasons. Both signs may show that something is wrong with the animal. Well, yes and no. Ever heard a dog whine? she may not want to be touched, but by being near she will feel safe. Saying goodbye to your pet cat is a sad reality. Place your hand over your cat's left side, right behind his/her front leg. metro.co.uk. If this is your cat's case we invite you to read our article what to do if my cat won't eat. In order to know if your cat can tell when you are sad, first you need to understand if they even recognize your voice. Time is usually the best remedy for major family member changes, but there are also natural remedies such as pheromones and nutritional supplements that can help your cat be happier in the meantime. A picture is worth a thousand words. Bring your cat to a vet immediately. It is true that these animals tend to hide in the most remote places (boxes, closets, sheets, etc. The first is vocally, and the second is their body language. 10th August 2018. Pay attention to some signs of possible depression in your cat. By using The Spruce Pets, you accept our, How to Help Cats Cope with the Loss of Your Other Pets, How to Spot and Treat Leptospirosis in Cats, Top 5 Signs of Urinary Tract Troubles in Cats and Dogs, Learn Whether Cats Can Cry Real Tears of Pain or Sadness, Your Older Cat Drinks a Lot of Water and Other Reasons to See the Vet. You dont want to really play with a dog when your sad. How to make friends with your cat? But, by looking out for some signs, you can rest easy in knowing that it may be temporary. A cat's behavior can tell you about their mood, so, depending on how they move, you can know if they are happy, relaxed, fearful, and so on. A 2013 study by Japanese scientists showed that cats do recognize the voice of their human versus a stranger calling their name. There’s also a special “cat tail language.” If your cat’s tail is tucked, instead of held high, your cat might be annoyed, angry or … That does not mean a cat could not show sadness, it is just different and shows in its behavior. Next, check out the cat breeds with the friendliest personalities. Cat Depression — Signs, Causes and How to Treat It. Cats in a home can be bored. Is my cat unhappy? But the opposite can also occur: they may begin to overeat to satisfy their distress, such behavior is obsessive and seeks to alleviate something that they feel they are lacking on an emotional level. Cats aren’t pack animals like dogs, but indoor cats do require affection and play with humans or other animals in order to be happy. As with people, when we are downcast we sleep more and eat less, for animals it is exactly the same. If your cat doesn't eat for three days, call your vet for advice. This is one of the most obvious signs that there is something not quite right with the animal and they want to communicate this to you through a change in their normal behavior patterns so you can know what is happening. Tilted ears shows your cat feels good, as well as a straight tail. If cats are feeling threatened or unhappy, they can often appear to be stressed. Do cats even suffer from depression? This can be caused by a variety of factors, from moving to a new home to the loss of a beloved companion. Your cat may need a feeding tube so that she can continue eating. Swishing and twitching its tail An upset cat has a major tell: Its tail. If your cat is straining to urinate and nothing is coming out, this might be an emergency, particularly in male cats. Changes in breathing like wheezing, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, and raspy breathing should never be ignored. If your cat starts to vocalize in ways that are not normal for her, this can be a cause for concern. Hiding is a way to protect themselves. Thanks to living with your cat, it will be easy for you to know roughly how long they usually sleep, so if you notice that it has recently increased, you may begin to sense that something is wrong. Make Them Feel Comfortable When You See The Signs Your Cat Is Dying. Illnesses can cause your cat to not feel well and even possibly be in pain. In addition to warding off loneliness, having friends and playmates can help keep your cat mentally and physically healthier. Also it is very common for a sad cat to become distant, uncaring and may even have an aggressive attitude towards their owners. The cause of your cat lethargy can be as simple and benign as plain old boredom, however, such listlessness could also signal disease, and it is in every cat owners interest to know the signs. Assess whether the bpm is at a healthy or below-normal level. However, it is important to know the difference between being depressed or territorial because, like all animals, if a cat feels threatened in their territory or they feel insecure, they can clearly mark their area with a little urine. 29th March 2018 Bullied 7-year-old adopts cat with same rare eye condition and cleft lip; If your cat is sleeping more than 16 hours per day, this may be a sign of depression. Even old surgeries and injuries can cause lingering pain or discomfort in your cat and may require chronic pain relief. A cat is also in a happy-place when their ears are facing forward, but tilted back just slightly. Seems normal, right? When a family member (human or animal) passes away or moves out, your cat may grieve and become depressed. He may not be in the right mood. It’s tough as a cat parent to watch them as they near the end of their life. Amy is an award-winning Certified Animal Behavior Consultant and author of 27 pet care books. Cats can feel a bit down, and there’s a few signs you should look out for to make sure your cat is feeling cheery. You might think that he is just lazy, but if you could ask him, he might explain that he has given up and just accepted his boredom. Injuries may limit your cat’s ability to do things it once enjoyed. Your cat’s eyes are very expressive. Firstly take the cat to the vets to rule out medical reasons as many signs of stressed or sad cats are the same signs for cats with medical problems, such as being in pain. Dr. Nelva Bryant is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a retired LCDR in the U.S. Public Health service with 27+ years professional experience. Losing a family member is always tough for everyone involved and your cat is no exception. Remember that, as a general rule, these animals sleep about 16 hours a day but when they are sad their sleeping time increases and they will look much more listless all day. So, is the look of your cat. the animal will spend much more time cleaning themselves excessively and obsessively. Steady eye contact and slow blinks indicate she enjoys your presence, Barrack says. Your cat is moping around the house. Although feline sadness can also produce the exact opposite effect, i.e. Bored cats are inactive and can become obese. Here's 11 ways to tell if your dog is sad or upset. Signs of Depression in Cats The one word that best sums up the signs of cat depression is “withdrawal”. 3. Eyes and Ears. If they are stressed, it is important to make sure your cat has somewhere to hide and feel safe – somewhere up high is perfect, or a simple cardboard box should do the trick! Everyone knows that cats are the most illogical and unpredictable pets. The Spruce Pets uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. 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