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Sad or depressed kitty??

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi, My wife thinks Tuffy is sad or depressed because he sleeps so much or lays and looks out the window for long periods of time. She also thinks he has a sad look on his face allot.

I know he sleeps allot more than or younger cats, but I don't think he is depressed, but sometimes I get a feeling he might be missing his old home or owner. I have no way of knowing this for sure because he was a stray we found in a campground, but its the gut feeling I get sometimes. He has a old pillow on top of our safe in the bedroom under a window and he will lay there and stare out the window for long periods but doesn't seem to be watching anything in particular. He never tries to get outside and run away so I think he is OK with living here.

He plays and eats and drinks fine when he is awake so I don't get the feeling he is depressed as much as wife does. She also don't spend near as much time with him as I do, she is a RN who has worked ICU and is now doing home health so she notices things I don't sometimes.

Anyway my question is can cats get depressed in the same kind of way people do? I know allot about depression because I have had clinical depression since I was 8 years old after I watched something really bad happen, I also have PTSD and fibromyalgia, all hit me at the same time at 8 years old and is also why I am on disability now. My wife can tell if my depression is getting bad because I will also lay on the bed and look out the window but I am not really looking at anything out side, she says I have this kind of blank stare and thats what I see in Tuffy at times.

I wouldn't have posted this stuff because I think over all Tuffy is doing good for what he has been through but Yvonne has said something to me about Tuffy a few times now. Are there any kitty cat "shrinks" out there?? lol
post #2 of 7
Is Tuffy older than the other cats, because certainly that might account for his sleeping more than they do, but having worked in teaching hospitals myself, I also know how easy it can be to unconsciously analyze and diagnose your pets as having human problems, especially if we have similar ones ourselves. Maybe the cat needs a break from being a 'patient' if he's eating well, etc., and just be allowed to be the good cat that he sounds like. People can be quiet, or pensive a lot without being depressed or ill, and I'm sure cats can too. But ask your vet about it if you are worried, though try to not project your experience onto the cat if possible. Have you tried playing with him, with those cat toy 'wands' that have feathers, etc. attached at one end? Does he respond? Give him some playtime and see if he joins in, though older males don't always.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi, I have had Tuffy for a little over 5 months now. He was a very sick kitty that picked me out of a bunch of people at a campsite so I have no way of knowing his exact age. I asked the vet tech and she thought maybe 3 or 4 years old.
Like I said I am not overly concerned about him sleeping so much, Sometimes I think he is older than the 3-4 yrs the vet guessed so I think that has allot to do with it. I only asked this because Yvonne has asked me about him different times.
I play with him allot, he is also real good at finding things on his own to play with if the other cats don't feel like playing with him.
Also when he first came up to me he was not far from death. It has been a tough time for him, the vet and me to get him well again. He was on kitty antibiotics for 3 times to try and kill the infection he had. The vet finally put him on zithromax for 6 weeks and that seems to have done the trick. He has been done with meds since about Christmas and he is still doing great. He used to get these real bad coughing attacks and sneezing attacks to the point of sneezing out blood. Since the zithromax treatment I have never heard him cough and he might make a little sneeze now and then like from dust or dry air.
So even though I have had him for 5 months it has only been a little while since he has been feeling good and not having to take meds all the time so I am still learning who he is. You are right, he is a special kitty to me. I have no idea why he came to me in the campground that day, he looked so bad with yellow junk comming out of his nose and eyes and his back end all covered in diarea I was afraid to touch him at first, but I felt so bad for him I found some meat to feed him in the motor home, he could hardly see and he couldn't smell so I had to basically put little pieces of food in his mouth to get him to eat till he figured out what I was trying to do then he ate some on his own, so I left him alone to eat what he wanted to and was laying in a chair by the campfire and when he was done eating he came over and meowed and I answered him and he climbed up on my lap by the fire and went to sleep. I cried for him and I knew he had me hooked lol. I made him a bed out of a old box and a old towel and slid it under the motor home and showed it to him and he spent most of the night in it and was with us the whole weekend.
I just couldn't leave him there to starve so I brought him home, took him to the vet, many times it turned out and we have 5 cats in the house, lol.
Sorry for getting so long and off topic some but I thought maybe it would help you to understand everthing better. The trust he had in me right from the start was really amazing, Its like he knew the horrible tasting meds I was making him take were to make him better and he never complained about having to be all by himself in a big dog carrier out in the garage the first couple weeks so he wouldn't get the rest of our cats sick. I am so proud of him for never giving up and wanting to be with me and trusting me. My original plan was to find him a good home after he got better but it has took so long and I have grown so attached to him it would break my heart and I bet his to if I gave him away.
I have to stop before I have a whole book writen here, my point is I guess he has earned the right to be lazy and sleep all day if thats what he wants to do. Thats how I came up with the name Tuffy for him because of everything he has been through. I really wish I had a picture of him the first day he found me to show everyone compaired to today to see how far he has come since then. He was down to 5.4 lbs his first vet visit, he is back to a little over 11 lbs now and still gaining.
I have no idea if cats can get "depressed" in the same way people do. That is one of the reasons I started this topic. I think it must be in the weather or something because some days all or cats just lay around and do nothing and the next day they are all crazy and tearing around like little kittens.
This site is so great for me, I have always had a cat since I moved out from home many years ago but have been real lucky and never had any health issues with them. But now that Tuffy came along I have learned more about cats in the last 5 months than I did in the last 25 years, most of it from this site. I hope he is done being a "patient" and I can let him be a normal happy kitty cat from now on.
He also has been good for my depression on my bad days to. I had to get up and take care of his meds and feeding him and watering him and cleaning him up till he was well enough to take care of himself on days I probably would have been in bed all day if he wasn't here. Like I said to my little sister, maybe it was god working in his funny ways having Tuffy pick me out of the campers to come to, I saved a special kitty cat and Tuffy has been good for me also. This is me as I write all this
post #4 of 7
Since it seems like he's just now starting to really recover from the illness he had, it's possible he's just recooperating. One of my purrbabies didn't really begin to play until a little after she'd recovered from her problems.

It's possible too that he's just a quieter cat. Different cats have different personalitites.

As Larke said, do talk to your vet about it, as they might have some insight to offer.

Good luck!
post #5 of 7
If he's eating, drinking, and playing, as well as interacting with you and the other cats, it doesn't sound as if he's depressed. As Kaleetha said, he's probably still recuperating from his illnesses, so I wouldn't worry too much.
post #6 of 7
I'm so glad to hear that things are going well. You are an absolute angel for what you did! Most people, even cat lovers, would have been afraid to bother, but you're terrific! Now all you need to do is get yourself better and the next year will be fine. See what such a small squeaky thing can do? I don't want to make you feel bad here now, but my 15 year old Tuffy (really!) just went to play with the angel cats upstairs 10 days ago. He was the one (of our current 4) who I couldn't be even a bit rational about - he was also an orphan (showed up one Nov. day in the rain on our doorstep and howled) and had worms and parasites and fleas and whatever, but I got suckered (again) and he turned out to be the most all time loving fun cat we've had (and that's saying a lot!). But even tho' I used to dread this happening to him, in the end it let him rest, I was able to relax, and just knowing we were so lucky to have him (and he knew it!) and that he had a pretty good life given the possible alternatives, leaves me with really great memories. Plus he's still here somewhere... just playing hide 'n seek!
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone, Larke, I feel that if Tuffy died today at least he had 5 more months than he would have otherwise and he is around people who really care for him. And he will not have died sick, starving and out in the cold. I have had to deal with loosing a sick kitty I had for many years, she had to be "put to sleep", it was the hardest thing I ever did. l also had to deal with 2 little baby kittens who didn't make it, one died in my arms, all 3 are burried next to each other outside our bedroom window.
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