You’ve noticed your cat is not his usual self lately? Instead of being playful and active, he seems a little lethargic, maybe even depressed and spends his days sleeping? Before you panic, remember that a cat sleeps an average of 16 hours a day. It’s quite normal that by “human” standards, it might seem to you as if he’s always napping! However, you may also have noticed changes in his behavior, a lack of appetite or maybe he just seems a bit more of a sleepyhead lately. Did you know that just like humans, our feline friends can suffer from depression? What can you do if your kitty seems to have the “blues”? Here are some suggestions to cheer him up and make sure that his symptoms are not caused by more serious health issues.
Plan a Visit to The Vet
Your cat seems under the weather and you’re worried? Don’t panic! Book an appointment to the vet to get to the bottom of things Some symptoms related to depression can sometimes hide serious medical problems (but it’s not always the case, so again, don’t panic!). Your animal’s health professional is in the best position to give you useful information and advice. If in the end, your cat does suffer from depression or is going through a bit of a rough patch, it’s important to find the root of the problem. Has your cat experienced a move, a change of schedule or the arrival of a new member in the family recently? By identifying the source of his mood change, you can take appropriate measures to help your pet feel better.
Although cats are independent creatures, they still need affection and care. If your kitty cat is going through a difficult time, your hugs can help. Without overdoing it (you don’t want to invade his space), a gentle stroke when you’re near him, a daily cuddling session, a few comforting words can reassure him and help him feel better. As they say, you should never underestimate the power of a hug!
An active cat is a happy cat! In the good ol’ days when cats use to run free in the great outdoors, they had more opportunities to entertain themselves and fulfill their natural instincts such as hunting, climbing, etc. Now that they have become mainly indoor pets, they still need to get a chance to do all those things, so they don’t become lethargic and bored. It’s important to provide your little fur ball with interesting toys, as well as active sessions with stimulating interaction. Keep things simple! A small fabric mouse, a string or a ball can all keep your cat entertained. If at first your pet doesn’t seem interested in playing, don’t force things. Offer him a treat and don’t give up hope. With consistency patience, willpower and love, you can help him get back to his old self.
A Spot of His Own
Cats like to have a place of their own to hide when they need peace and quiet. They especially love when they can perch somewhere safe, where they can take a nap or observe what is going on around them without being bothered. Give your cat a space where he can hide, a cozy little corner on a window sill or at the top of a piece of furniture where he will feel safe, confident and happy.
Like humans, every cat is different and will recover at its own pace from depression or fatigue. With your help, he can get back to being the playful kitten he used to be. If his symptoms persist, don’t hesitate to consult your veterinarian for help!