Just like people, cats don't usually talk to you if they're feeling depressed; the furry little felines keep it to themselves and have you guessing what's wrong with them. However, do not fear; there are giveaway signs that can let you know if you have an emo cat.
Some of the signs are actually really obvious when you think about them and are very similar to humans; for example, they may sleep a lot more than usual, stop grooming themselves, become clingy, lose their appetite, lose interest in activities they used to enjoy or start urinating in inappropriate places. Actually, forget the last one, that's not something that all humans do, just some.
Apart from these familiar behaviours, there are some other things that might be signs of depression in your cat, so make sure to look out for the following:
- Noise (or lack of it): If your cat is making low-pitched noises or mournful yawns, this could be a sign of depression, and basically, if your cat is normally vocal and starts being quiet or your cat is usually quiet and starts making a load of noise, then this can also be a sign of sadness.
- Body language: Your cat's body language could also indicate something is wrong; look out for if their ears are held back, their tail is tucked in, or their hair is standing on end.
- Changes in behavior: Your cat may become scared or abnormally aggressive, or they might start scratching objects more so than usual to relieve stress and mark their territory.
There could be several reasons why your cat is sad, and if it's because of pain or illness, then, of course, you should take your cat to the vet. It might be that it hurts your cat to move around, or it could be feeling sick and not want to eat. Another thing to be aware of is that losing a family member, whether human or animal, can cause cats to grieve as we do. This is usually only a temporary behavior, and with some time, your cat will return to normal.
To help your cat overcome depression, it's essential that you try to keep their routine similar when possible and don't move things around in their environment. You could try providing them with a safe haven to retreat to; this can be a cardboard box on its side with some familiar bedding, a toy, and maybe some treats.
If you do think your cat is feeling sad, then give it some extra time and attention. Most cats love to be groomed and enjoy being combed and brushed as this increases their feeling of wellbeing and is an excellent way of bonding for you both. Make time to play with them too, and they'll soon start to feel happy again.