You may think that cats have it easy, but it’s not uncommon for them to experience bouts of depression. Here’s how you can help a depressed cat bounce back.
Do You Have a Depressed Cat?
Before you envy your house cat’s lounging lifestyle, consider that constant napping could be a sign of depression. As many as 40% of felines fall into funks out of sheer boredom, says Nicholas Dodman, director of the Tufts University animal behaviour clinic. Why? Cats are safer indoors—away from cars and dogs—but the soft life can be downright dull. Signs of a depressed cat include overeating, lax grooming and sleeping at daybreak, when they should be up and hunting. Want to help your feline get out of their funk? Try one of these four ways to cheer up your depressed cat!
1. Give Kitty Your Attention on a Daily Basis
Play with your cat every day, even if he doesn’t seem interested at first. “It’s a misconception that cats are antisocial,” says Dodman. “Some need just as much attention as dogs.”
2. Purchase Toys That Your Cat Will Enjoy
Engage predatory impulses with interactive toys, like feathers on a string or laser mice toys.
3. Keep Kitty Active
Provide climbing towers and scratching poles to keep your cat from climbing the walls (or curtains).
4. Find a Friend for Kitty
Get your cat a pet to watch, like a gerbil, or put a bird feeder outside the window. Or, for the kitty who has everything, try a cat video. Pet AVision offers the adventures of Larry Lizard, Freddy Fish and Betty Bird.