8 Ways to Help Cats With Depression

By Alberto Roy

Published on:

I’m sure every cat owner reading this knows how much joy and fun your little kitty can bring into their lives. 

But recently I came to realize that cats do get their moments of depression too! I knew this the hard way when my cat stopped eating and using her litter box and didn’t even want to play with her favorite toy.  

If you’ve ever felt like your cat is depressed, we’ve got you covered with 8 ways to help them recover. So, read on to learn more! 

Signs of a Depressed Cat

There are many things that can affect your kitty’s mood and make her stressed and depressed. These things include a change of routine, a change of diet, moving to a new home, welcoming a new cat in the house, medical conditions, etc. 

Now, how do you know if your cat is depressed or not? Let me share with you the most common signs of a depressed cat:

  • They stopped purring when you pet them
  • They neglect you when you call them
  • Eating is not their priority anymore
  • They stopped using their litter box
  • They sleep more than usual 
  • No more interest in their favorite toy 

If you find most of these signs in your cat, especially after a recent change, then your kitty is probably depressed and you need to help her. 

How to Help Cats With Depression?

Here are some of the best ways to help your little friend.

  1. Spend More Time With Them

I know it might seem like your cat doesn’t want you anywhere near her and she’s annoyed at you all the time. However, cats need constant attention all the time. They are clingy and needy and won’t stop meowing until they get your attention. 

If you leave your cat for a long time, she will feel lonely and might end up getting depressed. You need to spend some quality time with your cute friends and give them even a tiny bit of your attention every day. 

Pet your kitty and show that you love her, stroke her fur, or maybe give her some of your silly baby talk! 

  1. Take Them to the Vet

Probably the best thing you can do when you find that your kitty has been depressed for a long time is to take them to the vet. 

Their depression might be caused by an underlying medical condition. They might be feeling pain or discomfort but they cannot communicate or tell you how you feel. So, a checkup at the vet is very important. 

Several conditions like pancreatitis or diabetes can cause your kitty to be depressed and not feel so good and playful. 

  1. Motivate Them to Play 

I know you just wanna scoop up your little buddy and squeeze their chubby cheeks and probably eat them entirely – not literally. I get that and I would totally do the same. After all, who could ever resist this cuteness overload?

Yet, keep in mind that your depressed cat doesn’t need that. You need to encourage her to play instead of force her. Yes, they do want your company, but they really appreciate their personal space. 

One of the ways to encourage them to play without invading their personal space is to give them a toy to play with. You can also make them chase a laser light and give them a treat whenever they catch it – it’s my cat’s favorite game! 

  1. Groom Your Cat

Grooming your cat should be on your daily to-do list from now on! Cats are clean creatures and they like to stay clean. Grooming your furry partner every day will make them feel a lot better about themselves. 

It will also help them bond more with you and feel safe and happy around you.

  1. Don’t Change the Routine 

Cats love to have a routine. I once fed a stray cat and she came to me every day at the same time to feed her. 

I know it’s hard to adjust your life according to your cat’s needs. However, try to stick to a routine as much as possible. When you change the routine, give her time to adapt and give her a bit more attention and playtime. 

Make her like the new routine and adapt faster to it by giving her things to look for. For instance, you can give her a treat once you come back from work, a grooming session, or even spend some time playing and petting her. 

  1. Give Up on an Item of Your Clothes

One of the best ways to help a cat with depression is to give her a piece of your clothing. I noticed how my kitty’s mood improved a lot when I gave her my old t-shirt to sleep on, especially when I was not at home. 

Your baby kitty will smell your scent with every sniff and feel your presence even if you are not around. It will provide her with a sense of security and love. 

  1. Give Them Proper Food

Just the way humans need proper food to function well, cats do too! You need to ensure that you feed them the right kind of food and at the right time. 

Generally, you should feed your cat twice a day. Also, when it comes to their diet, don’t give them a lot of carbohydrates. Instead, give them protein-rich food, like meat.

You should also ensure that you don’t feed your cat many treats, as it may lead to obesity. Some veterinarians warn that obesity can also cause depression and anxiety in cats. If your cat is obese or has gained excess weight, here is a list of the best cat food to feed them.

  1. Be Gentle 

Talking to your cat gently might motivate her to play and improve her mood. Get down on the floor and lie next to her. Start petting her gently and talk to her very softly. 

If she’s hiding in her spot and doesn’t want to leave, you can give her a treat and make her go out. But don’t force her to go out. 

Final Thoughts

Cats get depressed too and with the right steps, we can help them. I hope this article helped you get your purr buddy to get back on her paws!

"Passionate dog trainer with years of experience. Transforming pups into well-behaved companions through positive reinforcement and love. 🐾🐶"