As it is often the case for us humans, mental health in cats is often overlooked. However, for your cat to have a healthy, fulfilling life as a whole, you should make their mental care a part of the balance. Cats can experience mental illnesses with similar symptoms and for similar reasons that humans do. Here are a few of the warning signs that your cat is unhappy.
Anxiety is the persistent sense of distress, fear or uneasiness. The symptoms of anxiety in your cat include trembling, excessive or restless grooming, aggression, hiding, and a change in eating or litter box habits. Your cat’s anxiety could have come from past trauma. If their previous home had abusive owners, then your cat may still believe that they are unsafe. On the other hand, your cat could be having separation anxiety if you find that they meow and become restless whenever you are not in the same room. Cats can be very territorial, so if you add or significantly change any part of your house, such as getting new furniture, then that could also make your cat anxious. New pets and new people moving in, or out, are just a few of the major changes that can add stress to your cat’s life.
Your cat’s anxiety may come from a need for attention. If they are showing a decrease in eating or grooming, and are just overall very lethargic, it might be from a lack of stimulation. Other symptoms include loudly meowing and crying. It can be hard on both of you if you are unable to spend much time together. While cats left alone during the day will usually be alright, your cat’s loneliness may affect their physical health. If you recently adopted your cat or kitten from a large litter or a house with other pets and people, then your cat might not have adjusted to being alone.
If you see any concerning symptoms in your cat, you should always take them to the vet to make sure that there are no physical problems. Your vet will be able to tell you what changes to their diet or routine will help. Mental health is a tricky subject, especially when your cat can’t verbally communicate their feelings to you. But, even though you can’t necessarily take your cat to therapy, there are still several ways that you can help. Look into investing in a new window perch, battery operated toys, or even a small pet-proof aquarium that will keep your cat entertained when you are away. For anxiety, you can find unscented sprays at the pet store that mimic your cat’s natural pheromones. Adding this around the house will make your cat feel more at home. But above all, the best thing that you can do for your cat’s mental health is to make sure to give them extra love and attention whenever you can.
CONTACT CATONSVILLE CAT CLINIC TODAY!
For 20 years, the Catonsville Cat Clinic has been providing quality veterinary care to the cats of Catonsville and beyond! Dr. Pam Nesbitt, who purchased the practice in July of 2011, runs the Catonsville Cat Clinic with compassion in mind. A team of professionals with an advanced level of veterinary medicine is at your service to make sure your cat is healthy and happy. So stop on by; we’d love to get to know you and your cat!