Cats and Depression: How Our Cats Help With Mental Illness

You may think the words cats and depression have very little to do with one another. You’re wrong. Our feline friends can boost our mental health.

cats and depression
Sarah / Flickr

If you’re a cat lover, you will already know that having a pet changes the way that you feel on a daily basis. In fact, there is a major link between cats and depression. Owning one of these cute little fluffballs may help ward off that mental illness. With 15 million Americans suffering from depression in the modern world, it’s important that we look for answers. Well, here’s one of many things that people may want to try and why it just so happens to work.

Watching cat videos boosts your mood

Even if you don’t have a kitty of your own, cats can still help to lift your mood in the best possible way. Just head over to YouTube, and there are thousands upon thousands of cat-centric videos. From hilarious kittens to oh-so-cute felines, there’s something for everyone here. The next time you’re feeling a tad down, it may well be worth checking these clips out for yourself. The reason is simple: They might just change your mood.

In fact, according to a 2015 study from Indiana University found that after watching these videos, people reaped numerous emotional rewards. For example, they felt ‘fewer negative emotions’ and had more energy than before. What that suggests is that the small and seemingly insignificant act of watching cats online can genuinely make you happier.

Cats offer companionship to everyone

Often enough, people struggle when it comes to relating to other people. Social anxiety is a real thing and not something that should be overrated in any way, shape or form. What’s most troubling of all is that having this issue often leaves people feeling isolated from those around them. Since social interaction makes them uncomfortable, they find making genuine relationships with people particularly hard. Soon enough, this alienation from the world around them can lead to depression.

That’s where cats come into things. Felines offer a level of companionship like no other. The fact of the matter is that when you take the time to care for a kitty, they will love you back a great deal. When you come home from work, they will greet you at the door and show you the attention that you crave. Much of the time, it’s this level of companionship that can help people who are otherwise struggling. This is just one of the fundamental ways that cats and depression are linked.

Owning a pet is good for your mental health

You may have heard people say that pets are a waste of money, but nothing could be further from the truth. According to a study from the American Psychological Association, owning either a cat or dog can help your mental health. What’s more, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got good mental health or whether you’re struggling, this companionship seems to help you regardless of that fact.

The takeaway here is that looking after and caring for an animal really does make all the difference. When you have to take responsibility for a pet, it means that you think outside of yourself and begin to care for something else. Doing so is a seriously mentally healthy action. After all, it shows that you have empathy and want to help other living things. It’s no wonder that so many people love having a purring kitty at home!

Caring for a cat gives you routine

When you’re in the midst of depression, one of the things that all decent therapists will tell you is that you need some form of routine. Of course, without a normal routine, many people start to feel anxious, depressed, and generally out of sorts. So, if a person happens to be jobless or work irregular hours, they can quickly fall into a pattern that is likely to be detrimental to their mental health.

Caring for a cat is about more than merely having a pet; it gives people the routine that they so desperately need. When you have to get up to feed the cat or change their kitty litter, it means that you have no choice about it. Sometimes, it’s that tiny little push that really does make all the difference to someone’s mental health. Having the responsibility of looking after a pet means that they always go through the same motions, which is, of course, mentally healthy!

Skinny Kitty? Here Are The Top Reasons For Cat Weight Loss

Nobody likes the thought of their cat being too thin but what are the reasons for cat weight loss? We look at some of the most common causes.

cat weight loss
Jim Ratliff / Flickr

Of course, none of us like to think of our kitties being ill in any way. When you notice that your pet starts to slim down in a rather dramatic way, it’s nothing short of troubling. You may start to worry yourself with all the terrible possibilities here. You should know that there are a great many reasons for cat weight loss — some troublesome and others not so much so. Here’s just a quick and easy rundown of some of the most likely causes for the problem.

1. Cat anxiety or stress

Yes, you might not believe it, but cats can suffer from stress and anxiety just as we can. What’s more, when your pet is suffering with this problem, they are likely to encounter some serious cat weight loss too. Much of the time, this is down to the fact that they stop eating as much as they used to before they were stressed out.

So, what causes this anxiety and how can you fix it? Well, changes in your kitty’s environment are likely to blame. If you’ve moved the place around or introduced a new animal, these could be behind the issue. Keep an eye on the situation and consult your local vet if it happens to continue.

2. The eating area is dirty

Make no mistakes, cats are seriously fussy eaters. Some pet owners are just plain lazy when it comes to cleaning up their cat’s eating area. If the bowls and area in general are unclean, your cat may not like to eat there. It really is that simple. If your cat has suddenly stopped chowing down, this could be the reason.

Check out your pet’s eating station. If it looks something of a mess, you need to take action. It will help to clean the mat beneath the bowls as well as the eating stuff itself. You should realistically do this at least once every couple of weeks to keep your cat healthy and happy.

3. Feline parasites or worms

Here’s a not-so-nice your pet may be experiencing cat weight loss. Felines can often host parasites inside them that feed on their nutrients. What that means is that it doesn’t matter how much they eat, their weight will continue to drop at a rather sharp rate. If your pet still has a seemingly healthy appetite but is slimming down, this is likely the reason.

One of the most common parasites happens to be roundworm. There’s an easy (yet disgusting!) way to check for this problem. Take a look at your cat’s feces. If there are little white worms in them, you will know just what the issue is. A trip to the vets and a course of worming tablets should do the trick!

4. Infections and viruses

If worms aren’t to blame, there may be something else affecting your cat and their weight. Viruses and infections often contribute to and even cause cat weight loss. Again, the signs of this will be that your cat is eating but still losing a whole load of weight on a weekly basis. It can be very troubling for any cat owner once they realize that this is the case.

If you worry that your kitty may be struggling with an infection, you need to get them some medical help as soon as possible. Take them to your vet and explain the situation. They should be able to advise you on what you need to do next.

5. Dental problems

Let’s face it, if your cat’s teeth are causing them pain, it’s only natural that they would lose their appetite. In fact, this is one of the leading reasons that many cats tend to start to lose weight and get thinner and thinner. You need to check your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some of the major signs of dental issues include discoloration and browning. When you find out that there is an issue, the best thing you can do is consult with your vet.

6. Just old age

Finally, here’s one of the most natural causes for cat weight loss. The truth of the matter is that cats tend to get smaller as they age. This is a normal part of them getting older, and should be of no major concern. If your cat is more than 15 years old, you needn’t worry too much about this problem.

Then again, if you believe that your pet is thinning down at a super fast rate, you may want to get some professional advice. Looking after your cat’s best interests should always be your top priority, and so it’s important that you keep an eye on them even as they age.

Can Cats Catch A Cold? We Answer the Question Once and For All!

Has your poor cat been sneezing and sniffling all the time? Have you asked yourself can cats catch a cold? Luckily for you, we have all the answers!

can cats catch a cold
Magic Madzik / Flickr

We can’t count the amount of times people have come up to us and said, can cats catch a cold? For some reason, many people find it hard to understand that kitties, just like humans, can fall ill at a moment’s notice. If your cat is sniffling or generally looks unwell, it’s important that you do something about it sooner rather than later.

Sadly, if you leave a condition like this one for too long, your pet runs the risk of becoming iller and iller. That’s the last thing that you want. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. We have all the information you need about cat colds you could possibly need. So, sit back, grab yourself a cup of tea, and get reading.

So, can cats catch a cold? And, if so, how?

The short answer is, of course, yes. Cats can get colds just like we can. When you see them sneezing away, it’s down to a little something that experts call ‘upper respiratory disease’. Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. In reality, this condition is very similar to the human strain of cold you or I get.

The problem is that the virus may never leave your cat’s system once they get it. This is the reason why there are cats out there who get colds again and again. Since the virus is still dormant in their system, the cold itself will come back at any given chance.

As for why cats actually get colds, there could be a whole host of reasons out there. These types of infections can be both bacterial or viral. That means that they can pick them up from other cats, through the air, or just by being out in the cold for too long. You shouldn’t be mad at yourself for failing to prevent the cold because doing so is pretty much impossible.

What you really need to do is make sure that you catch the virus as soon as possible. The moment that you see your cat is sick, it’s important that you do something about it. A few sneezes here and there are likely no massive problem. However, if your cat is sneezing all the time, you may find that they need medical attention right away.

What are the symptoms of cat colds?

Of course, the first step is identifying the fact that your kitty actually has a cold. There are some common signs that you should look out for when your cat starts to seem unwell in anyway. If they show the following signs of a cold, you should take action:

  • Coughing and sneezing
  • Dripping (discharge) from the eyes and nose
  • Dyhydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Ulcers around the eyes, nose, or mouth
  • ‘Mouth breathing’

In general, you should be able to tell when your cat is ill. All of the above signs don’t have to be there, but if some are, you need to do something about it. When people ask ‘can cats get a cold’, they are often surprised to find out that they can. It’s what you do next, though, that really does count.

What should you do next?

When you’ve figured out that, yes, your cat most likely does have a cold, what should you do? Well, there are a few home remedies that you may well want to try. These will help your cat to feel better and make the illness easier for them to cope with.

Please note: When your cat is seriously ill, you absolutely have to take them to the vets. They need an expert’s opinion sooner rather than later!

Give them a little steam!

Now, your cat may not like spending a whole load of time in the bathroom, but it could be a good idea right now. When the room gets all steamy (after you’ve had a shower or the like!), get your cat to sit in there for a while. The steam and heat will help to open up their nasal passage making it easier for them to breathe.

Give them a little extra food

Do you remember that old saying? ‘Feed a cold and starve a stomach bug.’ Well, that’s what you need to do here. Your cat’s body is fighting off an infection, and so they need as much energy (and food) as possible. Give them a little extra food in their bowl each day. It might just make all the difference.

Groom your cat

When your cat has a cold, you may notice that their eyes, nose, and mouth starts to run with clear liquid. You should be sure to clean this liquid away as soon as possible. Basically, this will make your cat very uncomfortable and that’s the last thing you want. Get a bowl of warm (ish) water and a clean dry cloth. Dip the cloth in the water and gently wipe around the areas where there is liquid.

How to treat cat colds

All of the above remedies are the perfect way to help your cat deal with their cold, however, they probably need medical help as well. If your take your pet to the vets, they will be able to look them over and see just what’s wrong. Much of the time, a cat with a cold will need a prescription to help treat it. You may find that your vet suggests an antibacterial oral medication and perhaps even some eye ointment as well.

Hint: To get your cat to take oral medication, wrap it in a bit of meat or cat food. They will swallow the tablet in no time at all!

Here’s How to Stop a Cat Meowing and Begging for Attention

Is your kitty crying out for attention all the time? It’s a little… annoying at the best of times, right? Here’s how to stop a cat meowing easily!

how to stop a cat meowing
rhibiki.geo / Flickr

Make no mistakes, all cats meow from time to time. It’s just what they do! Think of meowing as chatting; some kitties just love to do it more than others. Still, if your cat is crying 24/7, you honestly have to do something about it. Not only is this a tad irritating, but it could be a sign of a deeper problem. Here’s how to stop a cat meowing and begging for attention all the darn time.

Why do cats meow all the time?

You should remember that meowing is the only way that cats have to communicate with uss. For that reason, there are actually many different ways in which a cat will meow and different types of call they tend to use. Here are some of the most common reasons that cats tend to meow excessively:

  • Hunger

Yep, if your kitty needs food, they will find the perfect way to let you know about it. After all, they have to communicate this to you ASAP.

  • They want to mate

If your cat has yet to be spayed or neutered, they may have an urge to mate. Since there are no eligible animals around, this could make them cry out for some attention.

  • Illness

Aw! This one is just so very sad. When your cat is feeling sick or ill, they might let you know. If your cat excessively cries out, you may want to take them to the vets to get them checked out. There could be an underlying problem you just don’t know about.

  • Attention

Cats hate it when you don’t pay them attention. They can’t stand it. If your kitty has gotten used to having your attention at all times, you shouldn’t be surprised if they start to meow more and more when you’re busy.

Of course, one of the easiest ways when it comes to how to stop a cat meowing is to figure out what the cause is. If you can identify why your pet is so wound up, you can help them out. If not, though, you may just have to persevere and try some of the following tricks.

What you must NOT do!

First of all, let’s talk about what you simply must not do. You may have heard that ignoring your cat is the best way forward. After all, you don’t want to reward them when they cry out for no real reason, right? Well, as logical as that may be (oh, and it is!), it’s not always correct. You see, if your cat has a genuine problem, like an illness, ignoring them is a neglectful. You should always try to make sure that your kitty is content and healthy!

Another thing that you want to avoid is punishing your kitty. Don’t hit, shout at, or spray your cat with water. Doing so will make your cat distrust and hate you in the long run. Cats are not as good at learning as we imagine. Sadly, they will not learn to be quiet next time, but will remember that you punished them harshly.

How to stop a cat meowing

So, let’s address the main point; how to stop a cat meowing in a safe and easy way. There are a few little tricks that you may want to try before you do anything else. Here they are:

  • Give your cat the essentials!

Make sure that your kitty has water, food, and a clean litter box. These are the essentials that your pet needs, and so they should have them at all times. Ensuring that they have all of the above will mean that your cat has no reason to cry. If the crying and meowing persists after you’ve done so, try the next tip.

  • Work out when your cat cries

Okay, I’m guessing that your kitty does not cry all the time. At least, I’d hope not. (If so, see the next point!) So, that means that there are times when your kitty is quiet and content. Figure out when they are relaxed and when they meow for attention. For example, if your cat only meows when you are busy, you can be pretty sure that the reason is because they want attention. By figuring out what the issue is, you can make sure that you can solve it or train them out of it.

  • Take your cat to the vet!

Finally, if the meowing goes on and on, there’s only one thing that you should be doing; you need to take your cat to the vets! Crying and meowing may be a symptom of illness or other issues. If you get your vet to check over your cat, you should find that they have the answers. Easy!

What Causes Cat Diarrhea And How Can You Treat It?

So, your little pet is suffering from the dreaded cat diarrhea. It’s not the nicest subject in the world, but here’s what you need to know.

Causes Cat Diarrhea And How Can You Treat It
Natasia Causse / Flickr

It’s every pet owner’s worst nightmare, but when this issue starts to affect your little kitty, you need to know what to do. Cat diarrhea is nothing to smirk at; it’s just not a laughing matter. It’s something rather awful that can happen to your kitty at any given time. When it strikes, you need to take action sooner rather than later. After all, the very last thing you want is for your cat to get more and more sick over time. If you’ve seen the signs, here’s what you need to do next.

First of all, you need to clean the area where your cat has had an accident. As horrible as this job will surely be, it’s crucial that you make sure that you disinfect the area sooner rather than later. If you don’t clean up the cat diarrhea properly, you could find that your kitty picks up even more germs from the area. In time, that will mean that they get ill once again and, honestly, there will not be all that much you can do about it.

Once you’ve cleaned up, it’s time to address some rather pressing questions. You will need to figure out what caused the problem in the first place and how you can stop it happening again. As you may already realize, there are many, many reasons that this can happen to your pet. After all, just like us humans, there are a variety of ways in which your kitty can get sick every single day. Here, we will take a look at some of the major causes of cat diarrhea, how you can treat it, and how you can stop it ever happening again.

Major causes of Cat Diarrhea

So, what are the causes of cat diarrhea? Well, there are a number of things that could affect your cat’s bowel and digestive system. It’s worth taking the time to consider the many things that could have hurt your kitty before you take any action. After all, the sooner you know what the problem is, the sooner you can do something about it. Here are some of the possible causes:

  • A change in their diet

If you’ve started feeding your cat new things (such as a new brand of cat food), you may find that it doesn’t agree with them. This could be down to them having a weak stomach or even some allergies to certain ingredients! Try changing back to the old brand of food you used to see what happens next.

  • Viral infections

Cats can pick up viral infections from pretty much everywhere. Don’t forget that kitties tend to be particularly inquisitive. That means that they are more than happy to go sniffing and licking things in a bid to see what they are. The downside to this is that not everything is as clean as it perhaps could be. That means that they can easily pick up a nasty stomach bug.

  • Spoiled food

If the food your cat eats is somehow bad, you will find that it upsets your cat’s stomach. This could happen for a variety of reasons. For example, the cat food could have been slightly past its sell by date or the like. You need to pay attention to this kind of thing if you want to keep your cat healthy.

  • Kidney or liver disease

On very rare occasions, you will find that cat diarrhea is a symptom of kidney or liver disease. If that’s the case, you will find that the problem returns time and time again. It’s one of the scariest things, but the sooner you catch it, the better. Refer to your vet as soon as possible. They will be able to tell you what to do next.

How to Treat the Problem

If this is a one-off problem, you can likely treat it at home. There are, of course, a few ways in which you can treat the cat diarrhea safely and quickly in the comfort of your own home. So, what should you do? Well, the first thing to remember is that you must never panic. Here are a few tips that should help you along the way:

  • Don’t give your cat food for 24 hours

You need to let your cat’s stomach settle as much as possible. The best way to do that is to have them fast for 24 hours. Just avoid giving your cat any food for the next day. Make sure that they have plenty of water so that they can flush the problem out of their system!

  • Then, give them only dry food

The next day, you should not feed your cat any wet food. Instead, you will need to start them on something much less strong. You might want to give your cat some plain dry food (or even kitten food!) for the time being.

  • Keep an eye on your cat!

Finally, while you’re treating the problem, you should keep a close eye on your cat. Make sure that you feed them small portions regularly. Doing so will mean that your cat has a chance to digest their food slowly and easily!

Note: If your kitty keeps suffering from cat diarrhea, you will need to take them to the vets. This could be a sign of a serious medical condition, and so you need to get them the help they deserve as soon as you can. Good luck, cat lovers!

Revealed: Here’s How To Treat Cat Anxiety

If your kitty’s acting strange and distant, they could be seriously stressed out. Don’t panic! We look at how to treat cat anxiety quickly and easily!

How to treat cat anxiety
Alleycat.pet

When your kitty suddenly changes their behavior, it should be easy enough to notice. Most cats have a specific set of characteristics. The moment that they start acting ‘odd’, there is likely a genuine reason for that change. Anxiety is extremely common, especially amongst house cats. There are many reasons that your feline friend may feel worried or stressed out. Once you’ve seen the signs, you absolutely have to take action sooner rather than later. Here we take a look at how to treat cat anxiety and what you have to do next.

Give them a high place to sleep

Cats feel safest when they are up high. If you find that your kitty is anxious, the reason is likely because they feel threatened in their home environment. Often, when you have more than one kitty, you may find that social reasons are to blame. If your cat is being bullied by the other cats in your home, that is a major problem. Giving your kitty somewhere high to sleep means that he or she will have some sanctuary away from the rest of the group. When people think about how to treat cat anxiety, this is one of the tips that they always seem to overlook. Most people don’t consider the fact that their cat just needs to feel safe!

Separate their food and toilet from your other pets

Again, if it’s a social issue your cat is dealing with, you should make sure that they have access to all that they need. Separating their food and litter tray from your other pets is the best way forward. This little trick means that your cat can get the food it needs and use the bathroom without being disturbed. When it comes down to it, your kitty just needs to be as relaxed as possible. By helping them have some space from the other cats (or indeed dogs!), you’re doing them a massive favor.

Be loving and kind to your kitty

Above all else, your cat really needs your love and support right now. When we talk about how to treat cat anxiety, this is one of the things that we all too often leave out. You need to be supportive of your cat. Now, that does not mean harassing them every chance you get. Instead, you have to let your cat come to you. You should make sure that you allow your cat the freedom to come sit with you. Make space for them when you’re on the sofa and make it clear that they are welcome. What’s more, you should avoid shouting at them or telling them off. When your kitty is acting sheepish, you need to make sure that you always use a calm, relaxed tone with them. Doing so will help them to unwind and avoid them fearing you among other things!

Try out some natural remedies

You might not realize it but there are actually some natural remedies that can help your cat recover from their anxiety. If you look for how to treat cat anxiety online, you should find that there are some oils you can use that may help you along the way. Pet stores also often stock drops that you can pop into your pet’s food to help with stress and anxiety. If you’ve noticed that your cat has been acting out of character for quite some time now, this may very well be the best option for you. All you need to do is add the solution to your pet’s food each day. Before you know it, your cat should be calmer and, therefore, happier too.

Consult with your vet

Finally, when nothing you do changes your cat’s behavior, you may have to get an expert’s opinion. Your vet has a wealth of experience when it comes to how to treat cat anxiety. Believe it or not, this is a problem they will have dealt with time and time again. Make sure that you note down your cat’s weird behavior on a day to day basis. That way, you will have an accurate log of everything that’s been going on. Your vet will want to assess the situation thoroughly. No matter what, you should follow their advice and listen to what they say. After all, they are experts in this particular field. Trust them and they will help!

Worried that your cat is stressed out? Here are some signs of anxiety in cats!

Can Cats Get Colds? We Reveal Everything You Need To Know!

It’s been a mystery for some time, so can cats get colds just like us?

can cats get colds
Onesharp / Flickr

Wait, was that a sneeze? If your cat is looking a little ill at the moment, it’s only natural that you’d start to worry about their health! So, can cats get colds or is it just a myth?

It’s every pet-owner’s worst nightmare. When your kitty starts to get ill, your natural response may be to start worrying or even go into full-on panic mode. It might sound bizarre but hearing your cat sneeze or cough is actually very normal. Many people ask the question, ‘can cats get colds?’, on a daily basis. Well, we’re here to answer your questions!

First of all, let’s start with the basics when tackling can cats get colds? Many animals out there have to deal with respiratory problems. Whether it’s a fever or a full-on cold, cats can suffer from a whole load of illnesses just like we do. The truth of the matter is many felines can get colds on a regular basis. This is, of course, something you need to keep an eye on. If your cat gets colds more often than not, it’s worth contacting your vet and letting them know. So, what should you be looking for?

Symptoms of a cat cold

If you fear that your little kitty is coming down with something, the very best thing you can do is look out for some telltale signs. Rather than simply asking yourself ‘can cats get colds?’, you should be on the lookout for them instead. Here are some of the things that you might just notice:

  • A low appetite
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Weeping from the eyes
  • Open-mouth breathing

As you can see, many of the symptoms are similar to what humans have to deal with. That means that they shouldn’t be too hard to spot. Any one of these alone may simply be a coincidence. When you see a few of the cat cold signs together, though, it’s time that you took action and did something about it.

The sooner you notice the cold, the sooner you will be able to do something about it. Remember, the more attention you pay to your cat, the better. Cats can sometimes get a little ill without people even realizing it. If your kitty changes behavior or starts showing the above signs, it’s your duty as a pet owner to do something about it. After all, no one wants their little cat to be ill. It’s a truly horrible thought!

What should you do next?

Okay, the first thing that you need to remember is not to panic. Yes, your little kitty is a tad sick, but worrying will only make everything harder than it needs to be. You should, first of all, wipe any of the discharge away from your cat’s eyes. (Be sure to use a super soft tissue for this and be as gentle as can be!) You may also want to change the humidity of the room. Creating a steamy environment could help to literally ‘steam’ the cold out of your pet.

Finally, you should try to make sure that your cat has extra food and water on a daily basis. If they have lost their hunger, you can give them special ‘treat’ foods like meat or fish to help bring it back. In reality, the more food and water your cat has, the quicker they will be able to ward off the cold.

Possible treatments to try!

If the cold stays for quite some time, it may well be worth looking into treatments that you could try. Head straight to the vets and talk to them about what options are available to you. Some of the things that you might want to try include antibiotics or other oral medications. In all honesty, you can’t buy many of these over the counter. That is why it’s completely essential that you visit the vets and ask them what to do next.

Your dedicated vets should be able to help you treat the cat cold quickly and effectively. Of course, cat medication can be rather pricey at the best of times. For that reason, you absolutely have to make sure that you invest in pet insurance. Doing so will help you deal with any medical costs you may need to pay for your kitty. Good luck and we hope your cat feels better soon!