Can cats be bipolar?

Cats are generally thought of as the perfect pet. They are more independent than most other pets as they can mostly take care of themselves. However, this type of thinking can create problems when something goes wrong.

If your feline friend starts to display symptoms of bipolar disorder, what do you do?

Maybe it’s not bipolar disorder?

Many people will find themselves at a loss of how to treat bipolar in cats. As with many other pets, a change in behavior can be the result of a change in environment. Do you frequently move your cat’s litterbox? Or maybe you’re moving houses?

What can you do if your cat doesn’t use its litterbox anymore? One solution is changing the presentation of the litterbox.

This can include moving it to a different place or simply changing the type of litter. Additionally, you can even buy a box that’s a different shape. In cases of excessive scratching, you can consider buying your pet cat some toys or a scratching post.

However, there are instances where you can’t solve your cat’s behavioral problems using simple methods. This could indicate some deeper issues such as bipolar disorder.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder was first known as manic depression. It is a type of mental disorder that can cause periods of low mood and periods of high mood. During the periods of high mood, the individual will be excessively happy and energetic.

On the other hand, during the periods of low mood, the individual will be excessively teary, depressed, and suicidal. The cause of bipolar is a chemical imbalance in the brain.

So, can cats be bipolar? It’s important to remember that just like us, cats will display different emotions at different times. You must pay attention to the level of which their emotions change. Also, try to identify the source of your cat’s change in behavior.

If you’re able to get to the root of the problem, there’s a high chance that your cat is not bipolar. On the other hand, if you’re unable to find the cause of the problem then it’s likely that your cat is bipolar.

So, can cats be bipolar? It’s hard to say, although some do show signs of bipolar disorder similar to humans with bipolar disorder. In cases of cats with bipolar disorder, the cause is often very hard or even impossible to find.

What are the symptoms of bipolar disorder?

  • Aggression
  • Jealousy
  • Abnormal sleeping pattern
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Refusing to properly use his or her litterbox

These are all symptoms of bipolar disorder in pets. Sometimes, cats may show these symptoms although they are not bipolar.

For example, your cat may become show signs of depression after moving to a new house. Or they may have been fighting with other cats, or a death of somebody in the family. Mood swings and change in energy are also normal for cats.

Whether domesticated or wild, cats spend a large part of their day sleeping. When they are awake, they will hunt with fierce intensity. Therefore, it can be hard to pick up symptoms of bipolar disorder in cats. You may have to be very observant.

If your feline’s mood changes are so severe and happen very often, you may want to consider taking him or her to the vet. This way, the vet will be able to properly diagnose your cat. The vet can also provide him or her with the treatment he or she requires.

How can I treat my bipolar cat?

The first option is medication. Firstly, upon visiting your vet, your vet may provide you with the option of medical treatment. Many cat owners will feel uncomfortable giving their pet medication. However, in severe situations, experts recommend medical treatment.

Some vets may recommend Prozac as a medication for your cat. Of course, this will be in a much smaller dose than humans. Additionally, you should always remember to consult your vet before giving your cat any medication.

The second option is behavioral therapy. Qualified professionals will examine specifics about your cat’s behavioral problems. Then, they will be able to develop a plan for your cat to change its negative behavior.

In some instances, people will combine both medication and behavioral therapy. Experts state that the combination of both options will result in quicker resolution time.

Is bipolar disorder in cats avoidable?

Can cats be bipolar? Can you avoid your cat being affected? Unfortunately, there are no steps you can take to avoid your cat being affected by bipolar disorder. Bipolar is a disorder that experts still don’t completely understand.

Although the cause is from a chemical imbalance in the brain, researchers still can’t find the cause of the chemical imbalance. Bipolar disorder occurs as a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

Cats are creatures very easily affected by even the slightest change in their surroundings. Therefore, this means that the slightest change could cause them high amounts of stress.

Other mental disorders in cats

It’s possible that your feline friend may not be bipolar, but have a different mental disorder. Instead of wondering, “can cats be bipolar?”, you should wonder if your cat has a different disorder.

Depression, compulsive disorder, and bipolar are closely linked. This section of the article will define the symptoms of each of the other possible disorders.

Depression symptoms

Common symptoms of depression in cats include:

  • Lack of grooming
  • Laziness
  • Change in personality
  • Aggravation
  • Oversleeping
  • Disappearing to hiding places for extended periods

Depression in cats can be aided by paying extra attention to them. Quality time with your pet cat is essential to his or her recovery.

The main cause of depression in cats is loneliness. If you aren’t at home a lot, put on the radio or television for your furry companion. Additionally, you could consider finding your cat a friend to keep him or her company.

Obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms (OCD)

Common symptoms of OCD in cats include:

  • Constant meowing
  • Over-grooming
  • Pacing back and forth
  • Chewing/ingesting fabric

Cats with OCD will engage in repetitive behaviors for no reason. When these behaviors continue for an extended period, it may become a habit that requires no trigger. Your pet cat may depend on performing these behaviors to cope with stress and anxiety.

Can cats be bipolar like humans?

There is no straight-forward answer to this question. Bipolar disorder is a diagnosis for people. In animals, bipolar is usually classed under depression. If you suspect your cat to be bipolar or have another mental illness, take him or her to see a specialist.


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