Is my Bengal Cat Depressed?

I remember how worried I was when my cat started being mopey all the time.

I did not know what to do, and then I was told that perhaps my cat is depressed.

I decided:

I need to find out everything about cat depression to make things easier for my lovely Bengal cat.

Let me share what I learned so far.

So, how can you understand if your Bengal is depressed? How any cat might behave in depression varies, just like humans. However, there are some signs that you can look out for. A sad Bengal cat might sleep more, exhibit behavioral changes, lose its appetite, or vocalize more.

No one likes to see their pet all mopey and sad; especially if it has a friendly and outgoing personality like a Bengal.

Like humans, recognizing depression in Bengals can be quite tricky as well.

Bengal cats and depression

First of all:

You need to understand that Bengals indeed get depressed.

Many people tend to recognize depression as a human condition and thus; do not consider the possibility that their precious little friend could also be combatting with the problem.

However:

Any animal can face depression and like humans, it needs attention and care at the time.

Let us deal with depression in Bengals in three categories;

  • Signs
  • Causes
  • Treatment

Signs that indicate your Bengal cat is depressed

If you know anyone who has suffered from a bout of depression, it will be easier for you to understand if your furball has the same problem.

Depression in humans and Bengals manifests in more or less the same manner.

Increased sleep

Bengals are fireballs of energy.

They seem to consider any time not utilized in playing or climbing as a waste.

Thus:

When a Bengal sleeps more, you know something’s wrong.

Bengals do not just sleep longer than usual and thus this is a sign that should set your alarm signals tingling.

Loss of appetite

It is not uncommon for a depressed Bengal cat to lose interest in eating or drinking.

If you do not act quickly, your little fireball might suffer from dehydration or weight loss.

Loss of interest

A depressed Bengal would not really care about itself.

It might give up on grooming altogether.

However:

This is not due to any physical problem but is more of an emotional state.

Change in behavior

Bengals are a strong-headed breed.

Thus:

When depressed, they might become even more stubborn.

They might show aggression and end up hurting those around them.

Increased vocalization

Bengals suffering from depression might speak more than usual.

This is mainly seen in those Bengals who have lost someone that they loved.

A depressed Bengal might give you quite a fright as it roams around the house meowing like a sad ghost.

Causes of depression in a Bengal cat

There are many causes of depression in a Bengal cat.

You must have often heard about a chemical imbalance that causes depression in humans.

The same imbalance can also occur in Bengals.

Bengals like having their own way.

Thus, if something prevents them from doing what they desire, like an illness, they might get depressed.

Bengals grow attached to humans and their surrounding easily.

Thus, when their location is shifted, or their owner dies, they might experience an emotional shock causing depression.

Treatment

Like depression in humans, depressed Bengals also need a lot of attention and proper treatment.

Bengals are a handful when depressed. They might become impossible to handle.

Thus:

You need to treat their depression for your benefit as well; that is if you love your house belongings.

Keep them engaged in playing session

Bengals are a demanding breed.

They crave attention, and thus the best way to treat depression in them is to give them a considerable amount of it.

Indulge them in playing sessions. They might not take part in the games initially.

Do not push them and give them some time. They will come to you when they feel up to it.

However:

Your attempts will make them feel loved and wanted.

Keep them occupied

Bengals are highly intelligent who love challenges being thrown at them.

Give them something new to play with which will keep them occupied and interested.

The toy should be such that the Bengal will not be able to resist.

Encourage activity

Get some tall stuff like towers for your Bengal.

Climbing happens to be their favorite activity, and thus it might play a role in drawing them out of their sad mood.

A new friend

Bengals love to make new friends.

Perhaps introducing a new pet to them might serve as the pick me up they need.

However:

Make sure that they are accepting of the new addition to their home.

Catnip

Catnips work for a majority of cats.

Perhaps the plant might take your depressed Bengal out from its sorry state.

A happy Bengal cat makes way for a happy owner.

Bengals, more often than not, make sure that they are not the only ones sad.

Thus, keeping them happy is vital for you as well; even more so since they are the entertainment packages, no one wants to lose.

How to understand the mood of my Bengal cat?

It is difficult for many cat owners to understand the mood of their cats; especially if it is their first experience with these animals.

However:

If you are indeed keeping a cat as a pet for the first time, have opted for a Bengal and have not given up yet; you deserve a bravery award.

Understanding when your Bengal is happy or sad is vital if you want to avoid getting on the wrong side of them.

MoodMovement of TailEar Eyes
HappySlow, sweeping movementForward positionLight with eagerness
MadFlickering and flashing movementFar backward Full dilated pupils
Scared Bushy tail moving slowlyBack positionDilated pupils

Happy

When your Bengal cat is happy, it will wag its tail slowly, with a sweeping movement.

Their ears move forwards while you see a glimmer in their eyes.

This is either a sign that they are happy to see you or they are expecting a treat.

For your sake, hopefully, you indeed have a treat for them if it is the latter.

Angry

It is when Bengal cats are upset that they are most dangerous.

When a Bengal is angry, its tail flickers and flashes dangerously while its ears are pushed backward.

Their pupils are dilated, giving their eyes a new color.

Indeed:

It can scare the daylight out of quite a lot of people.

Scared

While Bengal cats are quite independent, even they can get scared; happens to the best of us.

When scared:

Their tail becomes bushy as the hair on their tail and body stand on end.

Their ears move backward while their pupils dilate.

The purpose of this look is to scare away whatever is frightening them and more often than not, they do succeed.

Can a Bengal cat be left alone?

There are fewer more significant mistakes you can make with a Bengal than leaving them alone.

Bengals like to get attention and yearn for interaction and company.

Thus:

They do not respond well to being left alone, and Bengals are not the ones to hide their disapproval.

The thing about Bengals is that they are highly intelligent.

After a little observation, opening drawers, boxes, and cupboards is not difficult for them.

When you leave them alone in the house for long, they seize the opportunity and make you pay.

You will find your house in shambles when you return; clothes strewn all over, books torn and drawers upturned.

They mean no harm, though. They were just satisfying their curiosity, teaching you a lesson in the meanwhile.

If you have to leave a Bengal alone at home, it might work if they have the company of another pet.

This will keep them engaged and might protect your house from being torn apart.

There is no guarantee, though. There is no saying what a Bengal can do without supervision.

Related Questions

Are Bengal cats good house pets? Yes.

Bengals make for highly lovable, entertaining, and loyal pets as long as they are treated with respect and attention.

They require some time getting used to; the initial days might wear you out.

But once you both grow accustomed to one another, you will find it difficult to stay apart for a single day.

Are Bengal cats cuddly? Not really.

While Bengals do like to be pampered and crave for attention; they also love to remain active.

Therefore, they will not cuddle with you for long.

An occasional pet might work though.

However, before picking up or cuddling a Bengal cat, make sure that you have their consent.

You might regret picking them against their will.

Do Bengals get alone with children? Bengals get along like a house on fire with older children.

However:

The case is slightly different when it comes to toddlers.

Toddlers cannot be expected to deal with Bengals with the respect they demand.

Thus, your little furball might end up hurting the little kid.

Keeping them away from babies is ideal.

Related

Other Sources

Leave a Comment