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Cat Depression/Anxiety?

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Andrew Doncaster, Jul 29, 2020.


  1. Andrew Doncaster

    Andrew Doncaster PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there,My beloved 20yo cat,Baby,was put to sleep on Saturday leaving me devastated. I am left with Dolly,my 8yo cat,who i am now concerned about.When I brought Baby back to bury her in our garden Dolly seemed puzzled where she was,since then she has been restless,but lethargic,off her food,a bit anxious.This morning she didn't come to get me out of bed,she just stayed in her bed.Since losing Baby maybe I've become a bit paranoid, but I thought her breathing was fast,so I rang vet for advice,they said she could be 'grieving' for her lifelong friend and to count how many breaths she takes at rest in 10seconds and times it by 6,and to contact them if I'm still concerned in couple of days. Doing that,I get her resting breath per min at between 25 to 35.She's usually a happy vocal cat who likes to play.I don't know what I'd do if she was really ill.She will eat her favourite foods,but mainly in the bedroom where she sleeps. I'm just so concerned by the change in her. Can anyone advise? Sorry for long post. Andrew
     
  2. slw

    slw PetForums Member

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    Hi, I’m so sorry for your loss. It can be tough for cats left behind, as well as us. We have been though this recently, too, as have a few other members, so I’m sure some others will have some good advice.

    Dolly’s breathing sounds like a normal rate of breaths per minute to me. I have been a bit paranoid with my remaining cat since, as well. It must be a natural reaction for us to be so.

    Dolly is maybe sensing your grieving and worry, and is finding life a bit strange and confusing since losing Baby.

    Try not to worry too much, but obviously keep an eye on Dolly and keep in touch with your vet if you’re worried about anything at all. It will put your mind at rest speaking with the vet.
     
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  3. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    This actually is not the best way to count respirations in a cat, because their rate is so much slower than ours. Better to count for the whole minute. I check each of my cat's rate of breath periodically and make note of it so I know what's normal for them.

    I'm so sorry for your loss of Baby. Dolly is grieving, and it sounds like you are doing all you can to help her. Talk to her about Baby and tell her where he is. Give her lots of attention, at least as much as she will tolerate. Don't move any of Baby's things for now, leave everything the way it is, she may take comfort in smelling him on a special favorite toy or bed.

    If inappetance goes on too long, bring her to the vet. But you can try coaxing her with special things, like some chicken thigh poached in water, simmer it until the meat falls off the bones, then mash some up with some of the broth or break it into shreds and feed it to Dolly with your fingers for special bonding.

    Leave the bones in the water for a few more hours to simmer, to make a nice bone broth which can be frozen in ice cube trays for a special treat any time. I like to put shreds of the meat in the broth in the ice cube trays as well.

    Dispose of the bones where she can't get them of course.

    Let us know how she is doing.
     
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  4. Andrew Doncaster

    Andrew Doncaster PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks SLW and Lorilu for replying,I truly appreciate you taking the time to offer me some support.Dolly has never been an ‘only’ cat and she was close to Baby Mama,they would patrol their territory together and see any strange cats off together as well as eating together,both good natured girls.I’ve lost cats before but never have I come back from the vets to just one cat,so maybe I’m focussing all my worry on Dolly.She has had a slightly better day today,still anxious and unsettled,but eaten a little better and been in her garden a bit.She seems to eat more if I stay with her,any sudden noise seems to put her off and she needs Reassuring,but hopefully things will settle(I hope)-I’m still worried,but that’s me,the cats have been like children to me.Once again thanks,Andrew
     
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  5. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Of course you are worried! It does sound like she is feeling a little better. Keep talking to her about Baby. I'm sorry I called Baby a he. I had a cat named Baby, a big Red Boy, he was my soul mate, my first cat as an independent adult. He was a very special boy (aren't they all?)

    By the way you might try some Rescue Remedy for pets for a few days to see if it helps, especially is she goes off her food again. x
     
  6. Babyshoes

    Babyshoes PetForums Senior

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    I'm so sorry for your loss. It sounds like she's definitely grieving, as they were close. She'll need a lot of love from you, and play if she'll do that. Treats and calming remedies like Zylkene or valerian based treats might help too.

    Not a cat, but similar - when I lost my ferret Duke last year, his sister Delphi became an only ferret and she grieved so hard - she slept in his spot for a full 2 weeks and didn't want to play, had to be encouraged to eat, etc. I've lost ferrets before and their companions do always miss them, but when you have more than one they seem to help eachother get over it a bit easier.

    On the other hand, my cats aren't close -they mostly tolerate eachother. We recently lost Macavity, and although the dynamic changed, I wouldn't say any of them were grieving.
     
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  7. Andrew Doncaster

    Andrew Doncaster PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks Babyshoes,I have sent for some Yucalm,though not sure it will work or if she’ll take it,thought it worth a try though.Doll is still up and down,but seems to be feeling a bit better.I agree,if you have more than one they don’t seem as bad,maybe they do help each other over it,I’ve never had a situation like this,but I’ve never just had one cat in the house before.Anyway,Dolly has always been much loved and I have also sent for her a new marshmallow bed to see if that cheers her up too xx
     
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