You’re so used to seeing your Bengal cat being its playful and fun self, that the moment your cat shows signs of lethargy, decreased appetite, and other concerning behavior, it worries you. You know how your Bengal acts, and the assumptions you have are more or less correct, so what’s going on with your furry friend?
Signs That Your Bengal Cat Depressed
A depressed cat is likely to eat less, grooms itself too much or not at all, reserved or vocal
Below are possible signs of a depressed Bengal cat:
Full Bowl but Empty Tummy
This is the most recognized, if not the first, sign by owners that the way their Bengal acts is becoming a concern. You may say the cat is just being picky, and even after you switched the dry food to wet food or vice versa, they still won’t touch it.
For the first two days, you can try hand-feeding them until your Bengal hopefully decides to eat on its own. What’s worse is when they go on day with little water, which can lead to dehydration and may even damage their kidney.
When their appetite goes down, it may be a sign that your Bengal is not feeling well, and depression can be factored in combined with other signs.
Little to No Energy
The less they eat, the less they’ll have energy for their usual antics around the house, which is unusual for such an active feline. Your Bengal may spend most of the time sleeping, and that can be normal as they require 12 to 16 hours of sleep, but it can be concerning if this pattern of long slumber stretches on especially if they are still lethargic when awake,
Try initiating creative ways of getting them excited to play and observe how they react. If they show disinterest in the game, then that’s surely something to frown upon.
Bengal cats are social felines, and some can be reserved too. For the former, when they start to withdraw in isolated corners or under furniture, it can be a sign that they feel uneasy, anxious, or even depressed.
Cats of the cuddly type that suddenly avoid and refuse to be touched falls in this behavior. It can be so worrisome for you as an owner, but don’t give up on your Bengal just yet because they need you even though they are acting avoidant.
Peeing/Pooping Outside of the Litter Box
It’s not fun cleaning cat feces and urine. They stain and the smell lingers when not disinfected properly, but there’s always a reason why they do this.
Changes in Character
A depressed Bengal cat may start to meow too much, groom themselves more, or less, and may even act aggressive. They may hiss when approached and become flighty, or meowing as if searching for something.
A cat overgrooming itself may incur irritated skin and leave bald spots where it constantly licks itself. In grooming, felines are relaxed as it releases the hormone endorphin, the “happy hormone”.
Why Do Cats Get Depressed?
There are various reasons why your Bengal is feeling this way. If they belong to a household with owners who are away most of the day and the Bengal is left to itself, they are likely feel lonely and bored, which can also lead to depression.
Cats also grieve when they lose someone they have bonded to. It could be a pet or a human family member, in which case they can recover from, but prolonged period of this state can be a sign of a depressed cat.
It can also be because of a change or changes in their routine in their environment. Moving to a new place is a stressful event for us humans, and the same goes for our pets, so understand that it may take your Bengal a week or so to adjust.
Make sure to introduce to your cat familiar items they used from the previous home, like using the same cat tree or even litter boxes. Play with them as much as you can and let them explore the new place.
Although Bengals love a friend to play with, sometimes they do not get along well with a newly arrived kitten. Kittens are curious and very playful, willing to bond with your cat, but your Bengal may not like this new member in the territory and can fall to depression.
Another way to explain this is due to an undiagnosed illness within your feline’s system. They could be in pain and they don’t know how to express it, or do it by excessive meowing combined with other behaviors.
Make sure to talk with a veterinarian instead of self-diagnosing your Bengal to receive an effective treatment. Their loss of appetite, excessive meowing, and various signs can be easily mistaken for depression when they can be medical matters that can be cured with the right diagnosis.
Cats Get Sad When You Leave?
Yes, cats are sensitive to their surroundings, and they can be anxious when their owner leaves them for too long inside the house. Ideally, Bengals thrive better with an owner who can provide them a lot of time and affection as they are a breed with high demands.
If you lead a busy life and barely have time to dedicate to your Bengal’s playtime, consider getting another pet if you can afford it. Bengals do well with any pet as long as it’s not too small that they see it as a toy or prey; another cat or a dog will keep them company.
What Does It Look Like When a Cat Is Depressed?
They shed the weight quickly after not eating enough. If they groom themselves too much, there are uneven patches on its coat or even bald spot from where they licked it excessively.
You’ve heard the saying, “The eyes is the window to the soul.” Your Bengal may or may not be a mysterious creature, but look them in the eyes and observe how dilated their pupils are, and how often it looks this way.
It can be an expression of pain or fear. Whichever applies to your cat, a depressed Bengal typically shows little interest in what they used to love to do.
How Do You Cheer Up a Depressed Cat?
First, you must figure out what is possibly causing your cat to be depressed. It can be due to a change in their environment or in the biological functions of their body.
When your Bengal is lacking appetite, sleeping too much, and displays worrisome behavior, it’s always best to ask your veterinarian in order to find out what’s happening as early as possible to prevent a worse progression. Still, there are things you can do to cheer up your Bengal cat.
After eating so little, your cat will return to another long resting state. Give them special treats to reward them for their effort of eating, even if it didn’t make them full.
Stress is one of many factors in causing depression, but there are pheromone diffusers that your Bengal may respond to. These products can work on their senses and calm them down.
Separate Them from the Stress
In household with multiple cats, one of them may be stressed out from the competition caused by the number and be depressed. The situation can vary; it can be because the stressed Bengal is being bullied by a more dominant member.
Feed your cats with their own bowls, and add more litter boxes for each of them to use if possible. You can also separate the depressed cat from the group when it comes to meals and feeding time.
Make the Activities Fun for Them
You can put your Bengal on a leash and take them out on a walk to get them out of the house and into a new scenery. If not, when you want indoor fun with your cat, buy toys that make them run, jump, and curious to engage their senses.
Bring out the wild in them with interactive toys. Make sure it’s not something they can take apart and swallow.
Bengals are a social and affectionate breed, so for a busy owner, they can get needy. They want your attention and so don’t hesitate to give them that.
If you don’t have the time, it’s better to look into adopting or buying them a friend to be with while you’re away. Bengal cats are expensive, but a typical domestic breed can do – even a dog!
Did I mention they love to climb and be on high places? Consider buying climbing towers, scratching poles, or even wall frames for them to walk on, but it can be a do-it-yourself project as it can be expensive.
Set up a cat window too when you can, or hang little bells that they can reach just enough to ring the bells. It will excite them to watch birds and small animals passing by, which can distract them.