Is my bengal cat depressed?

Is My Bengal Cat Depressed?

  • February 21, 2023

Similar to their human counterparts, Bengals can show depressive symptoms, leading some owners to wonder if their Bengal has depression. Not only is this a concern for the owner whose cat isn’t acting the same but also for the Bengal’s mental health. Since this is so important to Bengals and their owners, let’s look further into this with these topics:

  • Can they get depressed?
  • What are the signs?
  • Why do they get depressed?
  • How to treat it.

Can they get depressed?

Bengals, and cats alike, can get depressed, for reasons preventable or not. And since this holds such importance for Bengal owners, taking care of a Bengal showing depression symptoms is very important.

This could mean helping a Bengal who is showing depression symptoms or trying to prevent the symptoms from beginning. Initially, Bengals can get depression. Next, a Bengal owner needs to know what to look for in their cat if depression is a possibility.

What are the signs?

Depression shows up in pretty much the same ways that it does in humans. A depressed Bengal may sleep more than usual, an obvious symptom with such an active breed.

A depressed Bengal could also be showing attitude changes. The happy and outgoing Bengal could become lazy and uninterested in the things that used to make them happy.

They could also start showing less interest in food and water, which could lead to weight loss or dehydration if left untreated.

Check out the video below to see what a sad Bengal looks like:

They may further demonstrate less care being put into themselves by stopping or decreasing their grooming. This symptom has a limited physical reaction, it is more of an emotional and psychological response to the depression.

Bengals, because they are rather hard-headed and stubborn, may show their depression by acting out in cleanliness or ways that are more damaging to their human. Depressed Bengals have been known to start spraying or using their litter box less. They may also become more aggressive with their owner or other humans by biting, scratching, or hissing.

Depressed Bengals may also speak up more than normal. This is more common for Bengals who have recently lost a loved human, cat, or dog. Depressed Bengals who are vocalizing more will likely be roaming the house or other familiar area meowing, howling, or chattering, like they are searching for their loved one.

Bored Bengals most often show how they feel by finding ways to entertain themselves. They may knock items off of tall furniture, break household items, or show otherwise destructive behavior in order to preoccupy themselves. Other Bengals can become depressed in response to boredom. Bengal Cat Breeder advises that a good option to take care of Bengals reacting like this is to find them a pet companion.

Why do they get depressed?

Bengals and other cats can become depressed from a chemical imbalance like humans. They can also become depressed from neglect or from illness, whether it keeps them from acting like they want to or usually do or if it is a less life altering illness but one that is chronic.

Bengals are known for bonding heavily with one or a small few humans specifically. Bengals Illustrated specifies that because of this, moving from one home to another (even if it’s with the same human) or when their human passes away, they can develop depression like symptoms in response to the emotional shock.

How to treat it.

Treating depression in a Bengal is very important, not just for the betterment of the cat, but also for the owner, especially if the cat is acting out and knocking things over.

Giving the cat more attention daily can be a great start, especially if the Bengal has lost a loved one and needs to bond with someone new or different. This may even mean giving the Bengal as much attention as it wants, not just more attention.

Playing with the Bengal is one way to give the cat more attention. It may seem like it doesn’t want to play but with enough interest put in by the human, the cat will likely indulge in the play when the time is right.

Contributing new toys to the Bengal’s collection can also help because it gives the cat something new and interesting to keep their attention. Bengals and cats in general are predatory creatures and introducing new toys brings out this impulse, which can be rather difficult for the cat to ignore.

Taller toys, like cat trees or towers, can also help by keeping the cat active and entertained. Along these lines, giving the Bengal a new friend to play with can also keep their mind preoccupied, as long as the Bengal is accepting of having a new pet in the home.

Another way to entertain a depressed Bengal is by giving them some catnip. As long as the Bengal in question is one of the approximately 66% of cats that respond to catnip.

Keeping Bengal cats happy is very important for the betterment of the cat and the owner. Knowing how to identify a depressed Bengal cat is key to being able to help them through it and bring them back to being the beloved energetic cat it usually is.

So, what do you think about Bengals becoming depressed?  Do you agree with what was said here?  Comment below to let us know!

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