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How to Help Dogs and Cats with Depression

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How to Help Dogs and Cats with Depression

Posted by Sara Ochoa on
Updated at: April 06, 2021

How to Help Dogs and Cats with Depression

Can cats be depressed? Without the assistance of verbal communication, indications of dog and cat depression are very challenging to detect. But pet parents still can get ready for the possibility by noticing the indications as early as you can and learning how to aid a depressed cat or dog. Become acquainted with the conditions of feline and canine depression and prepare methods of helping your own cat or dog is feeling better.


1. What You Should Know About Depression In Cats Or Dogs
2. Is My Cat Depressed?
3. How To Make Sad Dogs And Cats Happy
4. Cat: Health, Weight Loss, And Grooming
5. Therapeutic Advantages Of Having A Dog Or Cat
6. How Can Pets Help With Depression?
7. How Can Pets Help With Anxiety?
8. How Can Pets Help With ADHD?
9. How Pets Can Help With Stress

What You Should Know About Depression In Cats Or Dogs

Symptoms of depression in human beings oftentimes depend upon the person who experiences them. Feelings of hopelessness and guilt are subjective, as are most of the other mood or behavior changes. For that reason, it may be hard for human beings to recognize those symptoms in themselves and start treatment.

Can cats get depressed? Similarly, it may be hard to recognize symptoms of cat and depression. However, there are some predicting factors to be on the lookout for. You might see your dog or cat becoming depressed after their favorite brother or sister goes to college, or if a new human moves into the house.

In particular, cats are creatures of habit. Your cat might become depressed after switching types of litter or pet food brands. Whether it is a new face or new food, it is vital for pet parents to temper their expectations, as well as make the change as gradually as they can.

One other typical trigger of canine and feline depression is the loss of a member of the family. You have probably noticed one of those stories which pulls at your heartstrings: a pet parent dies, and the dog waits at the human’s final resting place or favorite pup park. Those stories focus on the powerful bonds between owner and pet. However, they also show the way grief impacts pets just as deeply as it does people.

Is My Cat Depressed?

How to Help Dogs and Cats with Depression

For anyone who’s lived through depression or grief, it might be a main priority to keep an animal from going through the exact same thing. Become familiar with the following indications of depressed cats and dogs. Remaining informed will assist in addressing concerning behavior sooner instead of later.

Felines that experience depression might have a loss in appetite, or they might begin to overeat. The exact same patterns apply to a feline's grooming habits, which leads to under- or over-grooming. After a change within home environments, depression cat sufferers might begin to hide from people or avoid affection altogether.

One other signs of depression in cats is excessive vocalization. Oftentimes, lonely cats meow out of boredom or attract the attention of owners. Also, depressed cats might soil areas of the house or be involved in other inappropriate behavior in a litter box.

Apart from meowing, canines suffer most of the same indications of cat depression. A canine that has depression might stop eating, or excessively eat as a type of comfort. They also may avoid humans and hide within secluded areas like a basement or closet.

Although it might seem like a harmless habit, paw chewing or licking is a common canine depression symptom. In addition, paw chewing is a symptom of food sensitivities; therefore, thoroughly check your pet’s paws and skin to narrow down what’s bothering your cat or dog.

Dogs that have depression also may become disobedient or they may lose interest in playtime. Dogs, when left alone, usually nap and wait for friends to arrive home. However, a depressed dog might sleep much more than usual. Instead of jumping at the door, your dog might not even respond to your arrival.

How To Make Sad Dogs And Cats Happy

Although they might not be in the proper mood for it, keep on trying to engage with a depressed dog or cat. Cats generally are considered antisocial yet neglect and loneliness is among the causing factors of cat depression. Spend a little more time with your kitty to make her feel like the royalty of your home again.

For dogs that have depression, dog owners ought to avoid the use of positive reinforcement for the unwanted behavior. Showering a depressed canine with attention and treats will seem as if it’s a reward for secluding themselves or acting out. Help your dog remain healthy and happy by keeping routines for feeding and exercise.

The majority of the time, animals are bundles of joy which liven up a day. As a matter of fact, having a cat or dog may have therapeutic advantages for people who have depression. Remember that even though depression impacts both humans and pets, it does not need to affect your loving and warm relationship with your pet. Get yourself ready for the best of days and worst of days by making your dog or cat’s health a steady priority.

Cat: Health, Weight Loss, And Grooming 

Humans have been making resolutions for more than 4000 years. Even though that tradition means something different to everyone, most of us commit to work toward a healthier or new habit at the beginning of every year.

Why not share that motivation with your kitty and make some goals they’ll appreciate, as well? A new year is an excellent chance to reassess a variety of aspects of your feline’s health, which includes vet budget, weight goals, and grooming schedule.

Grooming Routine

Felines have effective grooming tools that are built into their bodies. Unless something stinky or sticky requires a deeper cleaning, they’ll do an excellent job at maintaining a healthy coat all by themselves. It still is vital that you set up a routine grooming schedule in order for your cat to grow accustomed to treatments which will keep shedding at bay.

Figuring out the best cat grooming routine takes different research based upon breed. With the power of the Web, consultation from a veterinarian, and a few tips from the professionals, your cat will have a shining, healthy coat in no time. However, as the majority of feline owners know, there is more to home grooming than keeping healthy fur. Add paw, eye, teeth, nail, and ear care, and you have a lengthy list of grooming to-dos feline owners must master.

Here is how to groom your kitty and why it is important:


As wax builds inside your kitty’s ears it may lead to swelling and potential problems with hearing. Their ears ought to be cleaned every 2 - 3 months, depending upon living conditions and breed. That includes both an inner and outer ear examination followed up by a short cleaning with a solution suggested by your veterinarian.


Checking that your kitty’s eyes are healthy only should take one or two minutes. Position their eye within a light and look for cloudiness inside the pupil or inflammation that surrounds the eyeball. Wipe away all crust using a moist cotton ball. You ought to do it at least one time per week, or more if your pet is susceptible to allergies.


For the majority of feline owners, trimming nails is the trickiest aspect of grooming. If you are new to this process, begin by buying nail clippers especially for felines and identify the “quick”, a.k.a. the pink area inside the nail that is seen from the outside. It’s where the blood vessels and nerves are. Don’t trim your pet’s nails so short that their quick gets compromised. It is best not to trim enough than to cut too much. However, if you do trim too short and your pet’s nails start bleeding, utilize styptic powder to stop the cat’s bleeding. Trimming cat nails might be a challenging aspect of the process of home grooming, yet it’ll prevent broken and painful claws.


Brushing your pet’s teeth a couple of times per week might save you from day-to-day brushing and other feline health toils down the line. Gum disease may quickly progress and is hard to reverse. If you see your cat excessively drooling, dark red lining surrounding his gums, a loss of appetite, swelling, or a hard time chewing food, see the vet for an examination.


The pads of his feet are sensitive and must be properly cared for if he wants to continually land jumps off of the furniture. If you reside in a drier climate, study moisturizing options for your cat’s feet. If he freely goes outside and inside, do a fast paw wipe-down a couple of times per week to check for rash, wounds, as well as to keep things cleaner around your home.


Cat hairbrushes strip dead hair, dirt, and grease from the coat. If properly done, it also can support blood flow. However, grooming his coat is more than a treat for them; it might support future digestive issues. How often you should be brushing depends upon the length of the cat’s hair.

Healthy Weight

Everybody adores a cuddly, big cat. However, as your cat gains weight, consider the strain over a period of time the legs and hip joints will take on. Sadly, the majority of breeds have a simpler time packing on the pounds than they do losing it, which may make this health resolution the most difficult to accomplish. The majority of healthy domestic cats ought to weigh somewhere around ten pounds. But some breeds stray from that average. For instance, a Maine Coon may weigh over 20 lbs. and be healthy.

Begin by weighing your pet to compare their weight to a cat breed average. If you believe it may be time for a diet, ask your veterinarian for tips. They’ll suggest a different eating routine, a new brand of cat food, and smaller portions. Promoting exercise and cutting back on treats are some other options to implement on your own.

Veterinarian Budget

Cat and dog owners may face some severe bills after going to the vet. It is vital to prepare for those expenses by saving, as well as investing in preventive services. Booking yearly visits with the vet should be a must; however, there are many other considerations to take.

Setting up a pet budget is your best bet. Begin by lining out month-to-month and bi-monthly recurring costs (medications, groomer, treats, food, etc.) and estimate expenses for each. They’ll operate as a fixed expense and will not have to change much.

Then, consider the age, size, and breed of the cat while examining veterinarian bills. For more mature cats, set apart more funds for potential surgeries, illnesses, or new medicines. If the cat breed you own is likely to experience ringworm, kidney failure, or another illness, inform yourself on preventive practices and medications.

Budgeting, healthy diets, and home grooming may feel like a lot at first, yet having a healthy, happy cat is worth it in the end.

Therapeutic Advantages Of Having A Dog Or Cat

Having a pet may be a ton of work, yet what the majority of folks do not know is this work greatly can benefit someone’s mental health. Not just will pets give us a lot of joy and entertainment, they also may offer many benefits to any pet owner’s problems with stress, ADHD, anxiety, and depression.

How Can Pets Help With Depression?

A dog or cat may be an excellent comfort source for their owners, particularly when you are feeling down. The companionship of a dog or cat may assist in reducing loneliness and keeping your mind busy with a feeling of purpose. Having a pet makes you go out in the world to care for your pal, whether it is walking him or going out to get him food. That dependence might keep you from withdrawing from daily life.

Pets also may offer a good amount of emotional support—you ever see when you are feeling down your cat or dog will almost always be discovered by your side? They’ll pick up on those things and it may be an excellent help for anyone who is feeling very down or depressed. And not to mention they are a consistent entertainment source! Are you feeling down? Play with your dog or watch your feline friend get into their daily hyjinx. Not just does outdoor playtime offer you healthy exposure to vitamin D, it might assist in taking your mind off whatever is troubling you.

How Can Pets Help With Anxiety?

How to Help Dogs and Cats with Depression

No matter what the anxiety is about, pets may offer a good amount of help for whatever’s making you anxious. Taking your pup out for a stroll may be a wonderful way to help owners handle the anxiety of leaving the house, it’ll keep owners active, and might help handle any social anxieties. Canines are social creatures and constantly will want to meet new humans or other pets, they also can be an extremely easy ice breaker while attempting to make new friends!

Just the simplistic act of petting a cat or dog has been discovered to vastly reduce anxiety in humans. The action of repetitive physical touch of fur will keep the mind calm for you and your pet alike and assists in keeping you distracted and relaxed. And on top of that—it also can assist in keeping an eye on your dog’s coat and skin health.

How Can Pets Help With ADHD?

Having a pet may be a ton of work as well as a bunch of fun. Folks who have ADHD are usually easily distracted or they do not have the ability to remain on task. Having a cat or dog will assist in keeping the owner concentrated on a mutually beneficial regimen.

For dog owners who have ADHD, the dependence of an animal might help you remain organized to ensure your pet is healthy and happy. And, not to mention a cat or dog will make you aware if their needs aren’t met, either by whimpering or barking, and that will help keep you attentive to their needs and wants.

How Pets Can Help With Stress

We’ll all experience a little stress during some or multiple points of our lives, no matter how hard you try and avoid it. There isn’t any way to avoid it yet thankfully, having a pet may assist in handling any stress you may endure.

Occasionally we may be so overwhelmed with stress, we cannot think straight. It’ll affect our capability of engaging in tasks and even focusing on unwinding. Like anxiety, petting your dog or cat when under stress may help you to remain calm and organize your thoughts within a clearer way.

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Having a pet may be a fulfilling experience for anybody’s life. Pets may be a little work yet after those tough nights and stressful days, the work is beneficial to a healthier mental state. Whether it is handling ADHD, anxiety, depression, or general stress, caring for animals as therapy may yield so many advantages to a pet owner’s general well-being and mental health.

So, if you’re wondering how to help a depressed cat, try CBD Oil for cat depression by Innovet Pet Products.

One other benefit of a having a pet is that they are outstanding listeners! Your dog or cat will not judge you and will listen to all details of what’s stressing you out.


Approved by:

Dr. Sara Ochoa

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, St. Georges University

Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM was raised in north Louisiana. She graduated from LA Tech in 2011 with a degree in animal science. She then moved to Grenada West Indies for veterinary school. She completed her clinical year at Louisiana State University and graduated in 2015 from St. George’s University. Since veterinary school she has been working at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she has experience treating all species that walk in the hospital. In her free time, she likes to travel with her husband Greg, bake yummy desserts and spend time with her 4-legged fur kids, a dog Ruby, a cat Oliver James “OJ”, a rabbit BamBam and a tortoise MonkeyMan.


Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. We Love You!

The Innovet Team

Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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