Thursday, October 30, 2008

Treating Depression in your Cat

How to help your cat if it suffers from depression.
Best way of course is to avoid it - and how do you do that?
  1. Routine vet exams - can prevent depression caused by medical condition
  2. Keep to a daily schedule - meals, quality play time, grooming sessions all at the same time each day
  3. Provide stress relievers such as scratching posts, cat trees, perches, toys, etc
  4. Always keep a clean litter box
  5. Establish a quiet safe place for your cat to be alone
  6. Regular interactive playtime for 20 minutes twice a day
  7. Be an immediate peace keeper if there is conflict between pets
You have tried them all, and nothing seems to help, so now what?
You may have to engage the help of an animal behavior counselor to work with you and your cat to find the root cause of the problem and come up with suggestions to help the situation. The last resort would be working with your vet and putting your cat on some type of antidepressant medication.

Most depression can be totally avoided but it means you must have a behavioral baseline to compare your cat to what is 'normal' for it. Then once you see subtle changes you can modify behavior or the situation to prevent your cat from becoming depressed.

If you think a new cat tree is a possible solution be sure to take a look at our many stress relievers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cat Depression

Is your cat suffering from depression? Many people don't realize that cats' can become depressed just like their owner, and for many of the same reasons. The worse thing you can do is to ignore it, hoping it will go away and the cat will return to its normal obnoxious self. Sometimes its very difficult to recognize depression in your pet because some of the tell-tale signs are so subtle that if you are not conscious of and looking for, you will miss them. Here is a quick list of cat behavior that may be an indication your pet is suffering from depression:
  • Constant meowing
  • Neediness
  • Change in grooming habits
  • Increased sleeping
  • Overeating
  • Change in playing habits - may be disinterested
  • Signs of aggression (biting, scratching or hissing)
  • Not using the litter box
  • Hair loss
  • Spots of different color in the fur
If you notice some of these changes in your cat the first course of action is to make a vet appointment to rule out a medical cause. Once that has been done you should follow the advice of your vet to bring your cat out of its depression.

For more information on cat depression go to our website and sign up for our newsletter.