Depression in Cats – What Can You Do?

We humans are not the only beings who are susceptible to depression. Cats are sensitive animals and can suffer from depression due to certain triggers.

We humans, too, can transfer our moods to animals. If we are often engulfed in a stressed-up state at home, this can lead to mood changes in cats.

It is difficult to recognize this, especially when they sleep 18 hours a day. But there are a few points that point to this and should not be ignored.

You should consider them so that you can prevent the situation from going out of hand.

Signs of Depression in Cats

Of course, the signs may also indicate other underlying illnesses. These must be ruled out first and you should take your cat to your veterinarian if you notice the following signs below so that you can professionally check if a physical illness is the cause.



We know that cats can sleep up to 18 hours a day, but a physically and an emotionally healthy cat is usually very active in the waking phases (due to age).

She stretches, wants to play; explore and hone their hunting instinct. If your cat sleeps longer than normal and shows disinterest in an otherwise active activity, this can be an indication of depression. (e.g. her favorite toy no longer excites her).

Loss of Appetite

Cats have a normally healthy appetite if they are not ill. You will certainly notice for yourself especially the morning after getting up.

Your cat will be eagerly waiting for you to get their treats. They snuggle around the legs but as soon as you open the can food lid, they get excited about it, as if they had not had anything to eat for days.

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If a cat is depressed, it may not have the appetite and enthusiasm, even if you were offer it the best of fishes.

Your Cat Creeps Up or Turns Away from Your Affection

Depending on the character, some do not want to cuddle so much or are naturally shy around the cat owner, yet a turn away from affection may indicate that your cat is depressed.

A warning sign that something is not right is when the cat withdraws and avoid their normal social contacts. Depressed cats hide because they do not want to deal with us, or with other pets.

It can also go to another place in the room if you sit down with it or shrug and retreat when you try to give affection.

Your Cat Meows Too Much

Your Cat Meows Too Much

Cats have different types of communication through sounds with different meanings.

If the “meow” is very different from ordinary and does not sound like she is doing well, then it may be that she wants to express her dissatisfaction with it. This can also be expressed by unusually long and loud sounds or relatively often at night.


Depression can cause even the most loved and friendly cats to get irritated or nervous. If they are not doing well, they usually want to spend time alone. This can cause them to start snarling or even attacking if you do not respect their will.

Cat Toilet

Another sign of depression in cats is that they no longer perform their “nature calls” in the allocated container. If your cat is urinating outside of the designated area, it is definitely a sign that something is wrong. This can happen if she is scared, depressed, or frustrated.

Possible Causes of Depression in Cats

Depression can have different causes as in humans.

Lack of Freedom

Cats need space to run, jump and climb. They want to play, climb on trees, or cupboards. Keeping domestic cats in a very small space is not recommended.

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They need a certain amount of freedom in which they can move about. They are usually very active and want to explore their surroundings.

If you have a balcony in your apartment, you should secure it with a cat net, so there is extra space for fresh air.

The Lack of Stimuli

Depending on your character, your cat needs a lot of attention and places that interest them. Scratch trees, boxes, toys, and cat tunnels are a few good examples.

Even if you are not available to accompany them, they should have something to play with when they are alone. If there is a lack of attention, there is a high possibility of causing a depression.

Change of Place of Residence or Family

It is often claimed that cats are independent and are loners, which is far from the case.

They are very sociable animals and suffer when the environment around them changes, or when they must move from one habitat to another. For example, a cat that has been with another keeper needs a while to get used to you, initially displaying signs of depressive behavior.


cat loneliness

Even if cats react differently from dogs, cats can suffer if they are alone for a long time. In this case, intelligence toys or possibly a playmate are suitable. Affection and loving toys are very important in cat care.

Dispute in The Family/Partnership

Cats feel people’s hostility and they can react in a depressed state by withdrawing, or not wanting to be close to a heated argument between adults.

Adoption of A Dog or Cat

Sometimes you meant well and decided to get a second cat for companionship. But then the newcomer may be sitting on the cat’s favorite place, food disputes arising, or it is jealous of the new “intruder”. This can cause sadness and depression.

Treatment of Depression in Cats

Important! – Have your cat examined by your local veterinarian if possible.

If your cat shows one or more of the symptoms discussed above, it is best to contact your veterinarian immediately.

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Behind all these signs may be underlying health problems. If these are excluded, it will help you figure out what caused the symptoms.

If it is depression, he can give you tips on how to treat it. Medications can help for short or long periods of time.

What You Can Do Yourself Against Your Cat’s Depression

As mentioned at the beginning, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian as your first port of call, if you have noticed most of the signs indicating depression in your cat.

There can be very serious illnesses that can only be solved professionally. If these are excluded, then there are some things you can do for your cat so that they can live a happy life again.

  • Talk to your cat: Even if she does not understand you exactly. A loving voice attracts a feeling of affection. Avoid talking to your cat in a high tone and try to care for it as much as possible.
  • It is important to spend time with your cat: prank them frequently, because this improves the relationship and quality of life between the both of you.
  • Play at least 30 minutes a day with your cat, the longer, the better: it does not matter how you do it, it is important that both actively participate. There are many different toys for cats, which allows for variety.
  • Find a distraction for your cats for when they are alone. There are many intelligence toys on the market with which she can pass the time.
  • Sunlight is equally important: if possible, place a scratching tree next to a window so that the sun’s rays can be felt. Alternatively, a lounger at the window is sufficient.


Ultimately, cats are also vulnerable to depression! If you notice any signs of this, check with your veterinarian. If he excludes physical causes, then you can work with him to find the reasons and try to eliminate them.

As with us humans, it is important that you strive to understand your cat with patience, eventually leading you to solve the problem.