How to recognize depression in a cat?

Pets can be a source of comfort for people, but they also face their own emotional challenges. Just like humans, animals can feel sad sometimes. If your furry friend seems down, you might wonder if they’re experiencing depression like people do. If they are, how can you help them feel better?

If your cat has been behaving strangely and you’re worried about its mental well-being, it’s important to recognize the signs of depression in cats. Here’s what you need to know about cat depression and how you can help your pet feel happier.

Do cats get sad?

Yes, cats can feel sad and even suffer from conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This isn’t just about having a rough day while you’re away or feeling lonely for a night. Cat depression can be long-lasting and serious, needing treatment to help them feel better.

What makes cats sad?

Lots of things can make cats feel down. Moving to a new home, losing a beloved family member, or a pet friend can trigger depression in cats. They might show signs of sadness as they cope with these changes, similar to how humans would feel.

Even small changes in your routine can affect your cat’s mood, which is why it’s crucial to pay attention to your furry friend and notice any signs of emotional distress.

Signs your cat might be sad

Are you concerned that your cat is feeling down? Here are some signs that your kitty might be dealing with depression.

Loss of appetite

If your cat isn’t eating as much as usual, it could be a sign of depression. Just like humans, cats can lose their appetite when they’re going through a tough time. If you notice this happening, it’s important to contact your cat’s vet to address any related concerns promptly.

Changes in behavior

Different behaviors can signal depression in cats. If your cat is less interested in playing or seems more needy than usual, it could be having mental health problems. Remember, you’re the expert on your cat, so don’t hesitate to tell a vet about any unusual behaviors you notice.

More meowing

While some cats are naturally talkative, increased meowing might indicate depression. Like humans crying, cats might vocalize their emotions when they’re in pain. If your cat is meowing a lot, especially with long and intense sounds, it’s worth mentioning to a professional.


Feeling depressed can make your cat feel tired all the time, and lethargy is a common sign of mental distress like depression. If your cat seems to be lounging around more than usual or isn’t as lively as usual, it might be a good idea to take them to the vet for a mental health checkup.

Neglecting grooming

Just like humans find it hard to keep up with self-care when they’re feeling down, cats might stop grooming themselves when they’re depressed. If you notice your cat isn’t grooming as much as usual, it could be a sign of depression.

More peeing

Another sign of depression in cats is increased urination. If your cat is visiting the litterbox more often than usual, it’s important to first take them to the vet to rule out any other health problems. If there’s nothing physically wrong, you can consider whether depression might be causing this symptom.

Taking care of a sad cat

If your cat shows signs of depression, don’t worry too much, this is something that can happen. Your first step should be to take your cat to the vet, who might recommend medication or other treatments.

Here are some extra ways you can help your kitty: spend quality time with them, watch out for any new or worsening symptoms, introduce new toys or games, and make sure your cat is looking after itself. Just like humans, cats with depression need love and support as they go through their struggles.

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