Can Cats Cry? Do They Suffer Depression Too? Find Out Here!
As a cat owner, have you ever asked yourself, “Can cats cry emotional tears?”
To us, crying is a release of sadness, grief, or pain through physical and emotional tears.
But, can they cry just like us? The short answer: no.
If ever you thought that cats cry emotional tears, they won't. Their tear ducts don't work the way ours does, so we won't be able to expect any cat tears.
Does this surprise you? I hope this answers your thoughts if cats cry emotional tears.
Although, this doesn’t mean that cats are incapable of feeling sadness. So, how do we know?
Cats have a wide range of basic emotions – happiness, sadness, fear, relief, and even frustration. Our furry friends express their feelings by meowing and not cat tears.
They can express their sadness through certain behaviors that are not in a way that we, humans, would.
They’re not the sobbers you expect with emotional tears rolling down from their tear ducts. Cats don't cry emotional tears like us as a way to release their sadness.
Instead, they do get upset and express this by vocalizing their pain. However, they need not express sadness like us.
While cats each have their personality when a typically social feline suddenly goes quiet and reserved, it becomes entirely concerning.
If you are a cat owner and have no idea why your feline is sad or depressed, try looking out for some signs. You can rest easy in knowing that some of these signs may just be temporary.
The key to a good relationship with your furry friend is learning how to recognize these emotions, and respond when needed.
How to know if your cat is depressed?
Answering the question if they cry reveals their expression of sadness being different from a human’s way of expressing sadness.
Here are the signs you need to pay attention to for possible onset of health issues such as depression.
When you sense your cat being clingy or in hiding, they might be suffering from depression. Your pet can lose interest in the activities that used to be engaging. Just like us, felines can go reclusive as they develop a preference in hiding from the public. This is one of the ways they express sadness.
Silent cats can become clingy or demanding. Anything new to them may seem frightening as their senses become heightened when depressed.
Sometimes their body language can clue you in on their happiness level. You can observe their body language becoming different day by day.
Notice how their ears are held back, their tail tucked and hairs standing on end. Becoming more reactive to stimuli with fur standing on end.
Another sign of cats becoming unhappy is when their coats are left unkempt. Cats like to groom themselves, but those who aren’t emotionally well would lose interest in doing so.
Either feeling aggression or fear, cats who are depressed tend to be more reactive and can act out with aggression to anything that frightens them. If you notice these behavioral changes in your cats then they may have developed depression.
Sad cats may begin to pee around areas they aren't supposed to such as your bedroom, or places where a missing human lingers to spread their scent.
You may sometimes sense the symptoms from their vocalizations. Cat meowing is common to hear whenever your pet expresses sadness.
Cat meows are vocal cues that are very audible and may indicate that your cat may be unhappy. Cats meowing become low-pitched vocalizations.
Even purrs do not always indicate happiness and may purr to comfort themselves. The case is different for other cats that are normally vocal, becoming entirely quiet all of a sudden.
Sleeping patterns are typically excessive for cats with depression. You may notice that they sleep over 15 hours each day.
If you notice any changes to their favorite nap spot this can also indicate sadness. They may also leave their litter box unclean. Nonetheless, you can schedule cleaning the litter box more frequently than you do.
Having less appetite. If your pet has stopped eating suddenly, it may be unhappy about something. Sad cats may ignore foods they previously enjoyed and may even lose interest in their favorite treats.
“Can cats cry?” Reasons Why a Cat Gets Depressed
Even when cats don’t cry as a way of expressing sadness, there are a lot of reasons why they feel this sadness. No matter the reason why, be sure to give some time and attention to them until your cats’ happiness level improves.
Here are the common reasons for your depressed cat:
They have an illness
Some illnesses can cause them to feel unwell. These cats feel nauseated, having a hormonal imbalance, or no energy due to the illness. If you suspect your cat is depressed because of an illness, then you will need to schedule a visit with your vet as soon as possible.
Depression due to an injury
Injuries may limit your cat’s ability to do anything they’ve once enjoyed. Pain after an injury can also keep your cat from ever feeling on top of the world like the usual. Make sure you are following your veterinarian’s recommendations regarding using pain relievers or when your cat is in pain. Consider scheduling an appointment to have the injury checked out.
Loss of a loved one
When a family member passes away it is always tough for loved ones, and your feline friend is no exception. Your cat may grieve and feel depressed.
This is mostly temporary behavior, and with some time your pet will feel better. Time is usually the best remedy for major changes.
What can we do for sad cats?
While cats certainly do have emotions, they need not shed tears to show those feelings.
If you are concerned about how your pet feels, you can observe some signs of lethargy, isolation, or disinterest in food. But before making assumptions about your cat's emotional well-being, always take the first step of checking on your cat’s health.
Pay a visit to the vet
The symptoms of a cat’s depression can mirror those of many serious medical conditions. Your veterinarian may be able to help you pinpoint the physical reasons that may have caused this cat’s depression.
It’s important to address the root of what may have caused the depression, not just the symptoms that your cat is showing.
This means that you need to reflect on recent changes in their environment and see if you can find potential areas causing depression.
Spend time together with your cat
Even when cats aren’t pack animals, they still require interaction. Often just spending great quality time with your furry friend helps them cope with their cat depression.
This means that you can work on stopping by to give your cat at least a moment of attention every time you’re close by. Sit with them, touch and stroke their fur, and play with them every day.
This assures them that you’re there for them.
Sometimes the signs of a cat’s depression can be due to boredom. Play enriches their lives as they get to be happier and healthier.
Give them some toys to play with by themselves as well as games you can do together. Reward them, too, for a job well done!
Give your feline friend a place to climb and move around as cats are natural climbers. Putting up a place that allows them to express their instinct helps cope with their depression.
Most cat owners find tall cat trees and window ledge perches as perfect solutions. It’s the perfect hideout whenever you have visitors over!
Call an expert
If these solutions aren’t effective enough to help your cat’s depression, then it may be time to call an expert!
No matter the cause of your cat’s depression, it’s important to get expert help. All cats are different, so their treatment will be based on each cat’s symptoms.
Whenever you feel that your pet is sad and struggles to recover from this, reach out to a professional. Remember, you and your furry friend need not go through this alone! Addressing this as quickly as possible will improve the overall health of your pet.
Can cats cry real tears?
Cats can do a really sad meow, but it's not like crying. It's not tears rolling down their face and bawling like people, no, but they can still feel that emotion, that sadness. While cats may not shed tears as an emotional response, they can tear up for medical reasons, just like a human can.
Why is my cat crying tears?
Cats usually cry for medical reasons such as irritation (dust, dirt, etc), allergies, infections (upper respiratory infections or other tear duct related infections), or simply a scratch in the eye. Tearing is a natural reflex to help protect the eyes by flushing out the irritant and cleansing the surface of the eyes.
Why is my cat's eye watering?
Blocked tear ducts, an overproduction of tears, allergies, viral conjunctivitis, and more can be behind your cat's abnormal tearing. Uveitis. An inflammation of the internal structures of the eye, trauma, cancer, immune problems or infections can cause the serious, often painful inflammation of uveitis.
Do cats cry from sadness?
Countless animals, including cats, shed tears. Instead, cats may shed tears in response to eye irritations, allergies and clogged tear ducts, and for other eye-maintenance reasons. There is no evidence demonstrating that cats cry emotional tears of joy, sadness, pain, grief and more.