A Sad Cat? Can Cats Feel Depressed?
We all know our cats are pretty smart! Some studies actually find that cats have more than DOUBLE the number of neurons (nerve cells) than your average dogs. Coupled with a brain that is pretty similar ours in structure, we're talking about some pretty intelligent creatures!
But can cats actually feel sad or depressed just like humans do?
Feeling sad for a cat may not necessarily mean the same things as it does to humans. But there are signs that a cat is stressed and depressed. If left unchecked, depression and sadness can shorten your cat's life span, reduce his vitality, and overall make her unhappy around humans and fellow cats.
4 signs that your cat is feeling blue
1) Lack of appetite
Whether you are a cat of a human we all enjoy eating. Food represent a hedonistic (pleasure) activity that literally gives our lives a sense of flavor. Cat's love to eat and are often excited about new food and special treats. If your cat losing its appetite it may be a sign of physical pain, but also depression.
2) Tierness and lethargy
Cats love to sleep, especially during the day. Being nocturnal animals, they are generally active during the night hunting for rodents and insects. But even a sleepy cat should not sleep all day. Cats routinely get up and stretch to keep themselves fit and active. Cats that are not interested in physical activity, and do not seem as playful may be depressed
Cats have a habit of staying clean. They may spend at least 5 hours cleaning themselves and other cats. If your cat seems unclean, with their fur run down they may be failing to keep themselves clean throughout the day. Depression in cats can often lead to under-grooming and signs such as dirty and fur and dander may appear. On the extreme, depressed cats may actually over-groom, leaving a thin coat with frequent bald spots.
4) Too vocal
Many cats, including specific breeds such as Siamese cats, are known for being chatty. It feels great when your cat speaks to you, and many cat owners learn to "understand" what their cat is saying! Cats that unhappy and depressed will often become more vocal, but their meows will sound stressed and unhappy. If your cat is changing their meow sounds to a complaining and disturbed tone, your cat may be depressed.
So while there are several indications that your cat may be unhappy, it is important to check them out. Depression can be caused by ongoing physical pain, but also due a psychological condition. Remember, caring for your cat is a major task. Always listen and feel how they feel.