Believe it or not, cats are surprisingly fickle and emotional little creatures. Like their human counterparts, cats can be slaves to their own emotional state. This means that they can potentially suffer from depression, just like you! Although some of the signs and symptoms of cat depression are similar to human forms of depression, these things can vary a bit from human depression as well. Luckily, cat depression can easily be treated if you know what to look for. Throughout the course of this brief article, you'll learn a bit about cat depression, such as its signs, symptoms and treatment.
Signs and Symptoms
The first step in identifying cat depression is knowing what to look for. Some of the signs that cats are depressed are some of the very things you would notice in a human being who is depressed; however, some of the signs and symptoms are quite different. If you believe that your cat is suffering from depression, you may have noticed that your feline friend has lost his or her appetite, has lost weight, is avoiding you, is spraying or marking things in your apartment, has an undue sense of anger or aggression, is losing hair, or is licking or biting his or her hair. These symptoms can be indicative of other problems, however, so it is imperative that you save a proper diagnosis for a qualified vet.
It can be difficult to pin down an exact cause of depression in your cat. As your cat can't speak, you will have to look for certain impetuses in your cat's life and must also carefully observe your feline's behavior. Among the reasons why your cat can be depressed are boredom, lack of attention, loss of a family member, or other health issues. Your vet can help you more accurately pinpoint the cause of your cat's depressive episode, although you will have to inform him or her of your cat's recent behavior and medical history.
Treating a cat's depressive episode is not a particularly difficult proposition. Your vet will tell you that the first thing that you should do is spend more time with your cat. Make sure that you shower your cat with affection and lovingly stroke him or her.
When you speak with your cat, make sure your tone is hushed and you speak with a slow, steady voice. Exposure to sunlight or soothing can ease your cat's mood and will tend to make him or her less depressed. Exercise and play can also serve to rid your cat of its depressed state. Pet stores tend to have numerous homeopathic medicines, which work quite well with cats. These medicines include topical ointments and plants such as St. John's wort. The scent of chamomile is also something that can ease your cat's mood if he or she is in a depressed state.
If your cat's depression is due to the fact that he or she has lost a family member or companion, it is important to remove traces of the companion from your cat's living area. Even something like the former companion's scent can serve to cause a depressive episode with your feline. If none of the above treatments work, you should consult with an animal hospital about perhaps putting your cat on a prescription medication.