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Is Sasha depressed? Signs to look for?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Sasha is a strapping, rock-solid DHS black and white boy cat of 11 years, never sick a day in his life. He lost his mother to a coyote in May, and then our little Freddie (his new younger brother as a gift after SiSi) just two weeks ago. Sasha has always been a quiet kitty, and introverted and subtle. He might be exhibiting signs of depression over yet another loss, and I wondered if anyone can talk about how older cats show sadness? He is sitting with his head against the wall, bowed, as if humble, like bumping the wall with his head! The same wall where Freddie's fishing pole toy still hangs over a chair against the wall....
other than that, he is eating, sleeping, being Sasha...but there are some subtle signs we have not seen before. He sat underneath the dining room table in May, after SiSi disappeared...but in Freddie's case, Freddie was sick for so long that I'm sure Sasha smelled it (can they smell the sickness??) and Freddie must have told him. Do you think Sasha is depressed or grieving and do cats communicate when they are near death??
Elizabeth and Eric
post #2 of 14
I would tend to believe that cats do experience a sense of loss, I just don't know how deep. I'm also sure that Sasha could probably smell something wrong with Freddie.

I'm interested to see what other people have to say.
post #3 of 14
I think cats abd dogs know when a other one is sick or something is wrong . I remember when Calipso was not feeling so well over the weekend Thailee were the hole time on her site . Usualy he like to snuggle up with Angel together in a differend heated bed . Thailee stay by Calipso site all the way to the end , he kept licking her and snuggling with her . Gosh I just want to cry now .

How ever , I don't know if he is grieving or not . Are you sure he is otherwise ok ? If you are not 100% sure you may want to go to the vet with him just to be on the save site .
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
I think Sasha is just fine physically. I know his every breath and move, but sitting w/his forehead against the wall is new. He wants his regular pets and tummy rubs, but is starting to walk through the house looking for Freddie. I found him standing on two feet looking in the toilet...something he has never, ever done in 11 years. I think he is depressed! I do know that 24 hrs before Freddie died, he managed to stand up and walk over to Sasha who was keeping a vigil of sorts, just like yours, Hedi, and Freddie leaned over, bumped noses w/Sasha and then lifted a paw. Sasha just looked at him and then watched Freddie go back to his little bed. I think they were saying goodbye, maybe my mind wants them to have said so - this is why I've asked if anyone knows if cats communicate death, like they do with birth, to each other???
post #5 of 14
sashacat, sometimes in the midst of mourning, a cat can actually make himself ill. I would err to the side of caution and take your cat in to the vet and ask for a blood panel and general exam. Although it is true that animals feel and acknowledge grief, there could be an underlying health issue going on here. Even if you don't see it right away, it could be *cooking* inside and it is always better to be safe than sorry.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
I did not know that! Thanks you guys for pressing further with me, I'm sorry - didn't mean to sound like a know-it-all, it's just that Sasha has never been sick a day in his life. But I had no idea. I'll call in the morning sand get him in before all my crazy family lands here for Thanksgiving and it's nuts. Hissy, have you come across any reading on cat bereavement communication between cats?
post #7 of 14
I don't know about cat bereavement. But when Joji's brother died and I was burying him in the garden, I saw Joji in the distance,her nose up in the air as if smelling something. Then for 2 days she was looking for him. This was followed by a whole day of just lying around,eyes open and looking sad. But she would still eat, play with me, etc. After that, Joji was back to normal. There is also one more thing, Joji knew I was sad...On the third day, when she would lie around, she was always near me and she is not a lap cat!Weird huh?
post #8 of 14
I know this makes me a candidate for a rubber room and a strait jacket, but when Shredder died, his brother Kabota was inconsolable. Shredder died in my arms and Kabota leaped up into those arms minutes after I had laid Shredder to rest and he cried one short heart breaking meow and leapt out of my arms and ran off.

A couple of weeks later, I captured him in my arms again, and sat down with him. I asked him if I could talk to him and I just told him about Shredder dying and why. He watched me the entire time I talked, and when I was finished he crawled up my chest and wrapped his paws around my neck and we hugged. After that, though he was still sad, he wasn't as sad as before. I had already taken him to the vets prior to that to see why he was so mopey. He checked out fine. He was just in mourning for his brother.
post #9 of 14
I do also believe you can talk to animals . Now I don't know if they understand everthing what we say to them . But I think they understand the meaning of our conversation . So M.A. Kabota may very well have known what you talk to him about .
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
hhmm , all this is very good to hear ~~ thank yuuuu..... and BTW, nobody is a candidate for (LOL!) a rubber room and a straight jacket when caring for a kitty!
post #11 of 14
When our cat precious died we were told to watch signs of
depression from patches because she was so close to him.
cat's can suffer from loss and depression just like humans
post #12 of 14
You can add me to the rubber room, but when Max died suddently from cardiac failure, we brought him home from the vet and showed him to each of our other cats. We thought it would be better to "tell" them what happened rather than having them confused by his disappearance. In a way we held a wake for him before we had him cremated.

The behavior that we witnessed was very interesting. Those closest to him spent a bit of time with him, smelling his entire body then when they had their fill, walked away obviously distraught. Others sniffed quickly and walked away. Those that spent the most time with him grieved the hardest afterwards. The one who stayed the longest was Stumpy, who was only 2 at the time and the obvious successor as alpha cat.

We spent a lot of time with the cats that were grieving after that. Lots of talks and hugs and comfort for them until they were back to their normal self (or at least adjusted to the change). Stumpy took it the hardest (he is the toughest yet most sensitive cat in the house).
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
indeed, yes, Freddie died in Eric's arms and we had a beautiful woven basket with the softest cotton sheet to wrap him in with his beloved red ball and chicken. When we brought him outside.....ugh, <sigh>this is hard to write out...I picked up Sasha and brought him over to the place where we chose to lay Freddie to rest. We showed Sasha Freddie in the basket, and had him w/us, without any forcing, and he watched the funeral. He sat on the ground for awhile after that, and then walked around the little stone with the engraved kitty on it, and we thought he really knew. I too believe you must expose your babies to what the earth brings. I am so grateful to all of your notes - really needed it. I am spending lots of quality time w/Sash - sleeping really close and lots of hugs and kisses.
post #14 of 14
(((((*hugs*)))))) sashacat
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