6 Subtle Signs Your Pet Cat is Depressed

Humans are not the only ones who can experience depression. Cats can be sensitive and can also feel whirls of different emotions. If you suspect anything strange in your cat’s behavior, try to look for these signs to help you tell what’s going on.

1. Twitching of Tail
One of the tell-tale signs of an upset cat is their tail. A happy cat usually moves its tail softly and lightly, but a depressed cat may make quick and sharp movements of their tail. Do a little investigation to find the source of discomfort. Felines are creatures of habit and resist change, so start recalling any recent changes.

2. Lethargy
Cats are good sleepers, but a physically and emotionally stable cat also enjoys some spurts of activities. A happy cat loves to stretch, explore, hunt and play every now and then. So, if you notice your cat is sleeping more than normal and seem uninterested in things that usually excites her, look into the possibility of depression.

3. Sudden Neediness
Independence, aloofness and moody—these are some of the common traits of cats. Many cat owners talk about how their pets curl up in their lap and smooches them in the morning. If this is a sudden change of their usual independent behavior, then it could be a first sign of depression.

4. Over or Under Grooming
A change on your cat’s grooming habits can also indicate depression. Some sad cats may stop grooming themselves altogether (or at least will no longer exert the same effort at it), which results to dandruff, oily fur or knots in the hair. Conversely, a depressed cat also has the tendency to overgroom, causing irritated skin, bald patches and even open wounds.

5. Pining Away at the Window
When you leave, your cat will miss you—and that alone can turn into depression if you are gone to often. While cats are known to be independent beings, they still want to be around you, bond with you and be part of the family. Playing with your cat on a regular basis helps solidify the bond you have, so take some time to cuddle and play with your kitty.

6. Pooping in Unusual Places
If your kitty is pooping in places other than her litterbox, it can be a sign of underlying health issue or depression. It is important to react to it in a positive way. Since cats are solitary mammals, they lack the capability to understand social cues or to connect the punishment to their action. Instead, use positive reinforcement and make sure that her litterbox is always accessible and clean.

Anything from unstimulating environment to a family member leaving home can cause depression to and can change the behavior of your beloved feline. However, since most of the above symptoms can also be signs of underlying medical problem, it is still vital to visit your veterinarian once you notice any of those in your cat.

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