With droopy eyes and a dramatic stare, you may sometimes notice a somber expression on your kitten's face. But does this mean that your cat is depressed? In this article, we'll look at the different signs of a depressed kitten, determine why your kitten may be sad, and explain how you can cheer your kitten up when he or she is feeling down in the dumps.
Has it been a while since you've noticed your kitten being less active or looking despondent? Even though kittens need a lot of rest, it is still important to be able to recognize abnormal behavior.
Signs of feline depression
Depression is an illness from which kittens are not exempt and it can become serious if we overlook it. But how can this problem be detected? The answer lies in one word: observation. Even though a kitten sleeps much more than an adult cat (about 20 hours a day), it is not normal for adult cats to have a constant downbeat attitude. Note that his or her sleeping hours must be interspersed with moments of wakefulness, curiosity, or excitement.
My kitten nevers plays
Your kitten is not as lively as she used to be. Even when your kitten is awake, he or she doesn't do anything. Nothing interests him or her. Your kitten's only concern is sleeping. In this situation, it is advisable to observe your kitten more attentively in order to rule out any suspicion of pain or illness.
My kitten isn't affectionate
Kittens need affection and contact, just like infants. If your kitten runs away from you, doesn't come to you, or even worse, refuses your caresses, he or she may not yet feel at ease. This may also be due to an emotional state of depression.
My kitten doesn't eat much
Even though kittens have a small stomach, they very often nibble small amounts at regular intervals. It seems logical. They need more energy than ever to grow well! If you notice that your cat is eating very little or no food at all, it may be a sign of low morale.
Attention: A kitten's diet is a factor to be observed with the utmost care. In fact, a kitten that no longer eats can mean something more serious. It is, therefore, necessary to speak to your veterinarian.
My kitten seems depressed: determining the causes
Just like humans, kittens also have their reasons for not being in good spirits. Analyzing your kitten's environment will allow you to know the potential causes.
A stressful atmosphere
Kittens need peace and quiet to develop properly. A constantly noisy and hectic atmosphere can quickly become uncomfortable for them. If you have children, it is then important to warn them of the importance of serenity in their environment. Moreover, if they do something wrong, don't shout at them. They will then feel stressed without even understanding why.
A new element in your environment
Kittens are more easily destabilized than adult cats. A newcomer in the household, such as a baby or a new pet, can quickly disturb them. He or she will then need a little time to adapt and take into account this new element in his or her life.
A move/change of furniture layout
A kitten's physical environment is its only reference point. A move or even a different layout of your furniture can be a disturbing factor. He or she may be disoriented, but he or she will adapt over time. Be careful not to disrupt his or her lifestyle too regularly.
Does your kitten seem sad? Cheer him or her up!
First of all, make sure you provide a calm and comfortable place for your kitty. Don't forget that cats appreciate being high up. Don't hesitate to buy a cat tree that is tall enough. Also, you can put blankets on your shelves or cupboards to let him or her climb up them.
A sad kitten is a kitten that has no joy in life anymore. It is then time to change things! Stimulate your cat by playing with him. From a simple ball of wool to more sophisticated toys, take the time to play with your kitten.
Show your kitten affection
Show your kitten how much he or she means to you. It may seem small, but affectionate gestures are very important to them. These demonstrations can take the form of long caresses, massages, or simply being present. Indeed, it is important that you make yourself available for him in order to build a real relationship of trust. Also, if you have to be absent, leave him a piece of clothing with your scent on it. This will allow him to get used to you gently.
If, despite your efforts, you notice that your kitten's condition is not improving, talk to your veterinarian. He or she will then be able to suggest appropriate solutions.
Has your kitten seemed sad lately? Share your experience or advice in the comments below!
Article originally written in French by Marie Valadier (Yummypets)
Translated and rewritten by Jennifer Eubank