my cat is depressed
hi! I think my cat may be depressed. I just got her yesterday at a pet shop. I choose her because she was quiet and shy, cute and not agressive at all. Since we got home she has been hidding in little dark places and doesn't move from there if I don't take her out. She doesn't want to play. She lets me pet her a little and she seems to like it but she is not that interested. I just let her hide and be there the whole time. she hasn't come out the hidding place since yesterday and has been sleeping there all day. I know its only been two days, But I'm afraid she might be sick or dying or seroiusly depressed. What should I do to help her??? please help me!!
Is she eating and pooping okay? Sit near the bed on the floor for a while, and let her get more used to just being with you. Do that periodically, a little longer each time, and you'll likely win her over. She's probably still just traumatized by the whole big move. What's her name?
Cats don't like change, and new environments can be stressful for them. Put your kitty in a small room so she can adjust to one small space at a time. Go in there and just sit and spend time with her and give her some treats. She's probably just scared from the move. When I brought my kitty home, I put him in the bathroom with his litter box, bed, food and toys. Once he was confortable with me (probably about a week or two), I gradually opened him up to additional rooms in my home. As Karen mentioned above, if your kitty is eating and pooping ok, it might just be a matter of time until she adjusts. Good luck! :)
They're right- cats are heavily stressed by changes, and they have to kind of take their OWN time adjusting (in other words, you both probably want her to be affectionate and accept some loving and feeding and caring, but it's got to be HER IDEA, basically). A bathroom works perfectly for initial getting-to-know, that's what we do with trapped ferals (it's also easier on the clean-up in the event that litter-box training doesn't proceed as quickly as desired). We just sit with them and talk gently to them and hold and pet them when they allow it, and gradually they accept things-- they seem to WANT to accept us, but the change and their caution prevents them from jumping right in......but it always works! Be there for her and let her take her time......
there's nothing on earth so rewarding.....
I agree with what everyone else has responded. I fostered a depressed cat from an animal shelter recently. She was very loving and playful when I first met her there, but within 3 weeks she just sat and stared at the floor of her kennel. Nothing interested her, so I thought maybe taking her out of that environment and bringing her home to my kitties would help. I kept her in a separate room at first, but she just hid in a dark corner behind the desk and came out only at night to eat and use the litter box. I spent a few hours on the sofa in there every night so she would get used to me and within a few days, she would jump on my pillow after lights out :) She would retreat as soon as I turned on a light, though. After the first week, she would come out to eat during the day, but she still didn't want to play with anything and I couldn't pet her. She was very skittish. I gradually let one kitty in at a time so she could meet them, starting with the most laid-back cat we have. I began leaving the door open while I was home during the third week. She started exploring the rest of the house, but would run back to her corner if she confronted anything scary (loud noises, washing machine, rattling dishes, etc.). Within a week, she was sitting on our laps :D She's as playful now as the day we met at the shelter, and we've officially adopted her into the family (I guess I'm a failure as a foster mother :p)
Just give your kitty time to adjust. I've found it's a gradual process and every cat is different. It has taken anywhere from 2 days to 6 months to integrate a cat into our household. Whatever progress your kitty makes has to be on HER terms. As long as she's eating, drinking and using the litter box, she should be fine. Good luck and please let us know how she's doing.
T. I. M. E.
HI-I AGREE THAT CATS DEFINITELY NEED TIME TO ADJUST-AND IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE BEEN SWEET TO HER SO IT WILL SINK IN THAT SHE IS SAFE AND IN A HOME OF HER OWN- AWAY FROM THE SHELTER. SHELTER CATS ARE GREAT-SAMMY MY TUXEDO WAS MY PICK WHEN I WENT IN LOOKING FOR A NEW CAT. I DON'T KNOW FOR SURE OF COURSE-BUT PROBABLY YOUR NEW CAT WAS CHECKED OUT AND GIVEN SHOTS ETC BEFORE SHE WAS ADOPTED, GIVE HER TIME AND SHE WILL LEARN THAT YOU WON'T LEAVE HER HUNGRY OR IN THE COLD SO SHE WILL FEEL MORE RELAXED. I BET SHE IS ADORABLE!:love::):love::)IF YOU HAVE OTHER CATS-BE SURE TO HAVE TIME SET ASIDE WHERE IT'S JUST YOU AND HER. GOOD LUCK! SUSANSWATLIN518
Oops- i read your story again and you got her from a store, she may need a check up then. I had the wrong impression. Hmm-extra tender loving care should be used. I worry about pets in stores-but she has you now and that's great. Hey-have you ever seen the catnip toy mice that have some kind of chip inside which makes a squeeky sound even if you lightly touch the mouse! They think it's real. Again-i wish you and the new addition all the best sue
I'm going to say more of what everyone else is saying -- if she is eating, peeing & pooping regularly, then you're fine. All cats are different, but I've noticed that the really bright, sensitive ones seem to take a little longer to get used to their new environment.
When I met my buddy Zorro at the Humane Society, he was friendly to me and sociable with his soon-to-be foster brother Einstein -- but once I got them home, Zorro hid in spots I didn't even realize existed (like, inside the frame of the recliner!) for the better part of a week. But it didn't last more than the first week or so, and he is now the most affectionate and well-adjusted guy you'd ever want to know.
My guess is that your new friend is probably more "freaked out" than actually depressed -- and it sounds like you are doing just exactly the right things to help her become acclimated to her new home. Bless you for getting her out of that store -- and now you'll need to tell us her name & post some photos!
BTW, welcome to Pet Talk -- looking forward to hearing more from you!
All the best,