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Depressed cat

1853 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  cinderflower
One of our cats passed away a few weeks ago. She was 9. We have another cat who is 8. The two cats had been together since the youngest was a kitten. They were both typical, domestic indoor cats... both female. They were not very close, at least by appearance. The older cat (that passed) was the typical sleep all day cat that was rarely seen unless she wanted to be. She was not a cuddle cat and seemed to stay away from the other cat (Misty).

Misty, on the other hand, is extremely affectionate and is always around us or the kids. She would lay (or sleep) on someone 100% of the time if able.

Since Hailey passed, Misty has mostly stopped eating.... we fed them both a combination of dry food and a 1/2 small can of wet food (each) every day. Misty will now only eat the wet food and then sometimes not all of it.

Before.. she was the "pig" cat and would eat all of her food, then some of Hailey's food then anything else she could find. She was somewhat overweight.

She's lost a good bit of weight now, though she probably needed to lose some I'm now worried she will continue to lose weight. She's been sleeping more and just seems depressed....

Can cats get depressed? Since this all started with Hailey passed, I'm guess it's related... any suggestions?


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poor misty. and my condolences as well for you for losing hailey.
it certainly does sound like misty is depressed. cats have emotions like us. we just don't understand them sometimes because they can't talk.
even though she wasn't best pals with hailey doesn't mean she didn't still feel content just knowing she was around. cats are social creatures like us and need companionship of some kind. losing hailey disrupts her normal routine and she probably is a little scared, confused, and yes, depressed.

do you think you're ready for another companion cat? i don't have personal experience with this myself, so i don't know if this might be rushing it. it would be good to hear other people's suggestions on when to introduce a possible buddy for misty and what gender and age might be suitable. maybe just a nice mellow cat like hailey would be good. it could be that misty just needs to know there's another feline presence around that won't challenge her but be there to "talk" when she wants.

i know i tend to attribute too much human emotion to cats, but i know they're smart. in fact, comparing them to humans is probably an insult to the cats!
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How long has it been since Hailey passed?

Cats can get depressed and they do go through a bereavement process. From what I've read about feline depression is that you should give them more attention, try to get them playing and basically just be there for them.. as someone would for us.

If it gets too bad, get a vet to give her a look, in case something is going on. Not eating can cause complication obviously.

As for a companion pet, they say not to do this too soon. And also depends on the cat. Some cats take to another one right away.. and it stresses others out. That would be a judgement call on your part.
yes, i think cats get depressed. i had one get depressed because i got a kitten--he got over it but it took a couple of years. then when he died, she got really upset so after about 6 months i got another kitten.

i think a couple of months is a reasonable grieving period (as in severe) but after that you probably need to take steps to do something else. (go to the vet, consider getting another cat, etc.)
Cats do grieve for another. I had one that was especially close to another and when her friend died she grieved for several months. Even tho she saw her body, the next day she went around the whole house meowing for her and insisted ever door of every closet or room be opened so she could check it out. She did this for several weeks. She would sit when her friend sat and did go off her food a bit, but slept more than usual. I would consider getting another companion cat, tho not a kitten which could be too rambunctious for a 9 y.o., either male or female from a rescue or foster that is very laid back in temperament, friendly to and enjoys company of other cats. Do pay some extra attention to your cat in the meantime, grooming her every day if she enjoys that. If she continues to lose weight and not eat, definitely take her to the vet; she may need an appetite stimulant.
One day one of our cats spent the night outside and when I let him in the next morning he got a real thrashing and dressing down from his older female companion...Just like I would have gotten had I come in with the sunrise so I think yes, they do indeed express feelings.

8 yr old female might take to a kitten or two. Any shelters around that you could foster a kitten or two till they got adopted? That way you could see the effect on Misty.

Is Misty an indoor only cat? If so have you ever put her on a leash with you outside? I'm thinking that such a change might bring her out of her depression. Spend time with her doing things you don't normally do? As long as the non eating doesn't get too serious, you might not have to worry unless her appetite doesn't return.

After reading a lot of posts here the last months I am reminded how little we have been playing with our cats. I took out the fishing rod with the mouse on a string, gonna build a cat tree house and opened up the basement windows and let them down there more. Now if I can find the mouse that runs around in circles in the plastic disk, Marble might lose a little weight the wife is putting on her.
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I wanted to thank everyone for the help… quick update: She completely stopped eating over the weekend. Took her to our local vet this morning and found that she has a large mass in her abdomen. Doctor says she only has a few days left though it doesn’t look like she’s in any pain right now. She’s simply not eating and is very weak. She is drinking water but that’s about it. Tried to get her to eat tuna (cat crack) and she won’t even do that.

She was the “pig” cat and ate just about everything before. It’s very sad.. especially since my kids (6-4-2-2) are very attached to her. It’s part of life but sad.
i'm so sorry! depending on how much time she does have left, don't know if you want to ask for an appetite stimulant so that she can at least enjoy the taste of some tuna a few last times. i had no idea that was available when our first kitty died from cancer and would have loved to have given her that if i had known. :sad: my heart goes out to you all.
i'm so sorry. that's very sad.

try meat baby food (mine like chicken or turkey. i think they also make ham and lamb). gerber's because other brands have onion which is toxic to cats.
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