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Contrary to what can be seen in funny internet videos, not all cats like to wear costumes. Prolonged periods spent in unwanted outfits, especially post-operative ones, may have an adverse effect on pets and in extreme cases may cause the so called jacket depression. What is jacket depression and how to deal with it?
Spaying or neutering are among the basic procedures to which cats are subjected, both those that go outdoors and the ones that stay at home, for the sake of their health.
While a simple visit to a veterinary clinic is more of a routine activity, a period of recovery can be a nightmare for your pet. A protective post-operative jacket can result in your cat’s extreme depression, which can cause eating problems, reluctance to play and hiding from the family members.
Jacket depression is a disorder that can affect any cat regardless of breed or personality, although it is observed to be more common in sensitive cats. The risk of depression can also be determined individually. If a cat seems unwilling to wear outfits, it is more likely to suffer from depression. In such a case, it’s a good idea to prepare your cat for the recovery process, e.g. by being more attentive and caring.
The uniqueness of jacket depression makes it difficult for many owners to recognize it properly, taking it for granted as a postoperative fatigue of the cat. This is different from permanent depression in that it does not pass in the first few days after the surgery.
A cat affected by depression is not interested in interacting with its surroundings. It is more likely to hide under the sofa than chase its favourite toy mouse. It will not show any interest in the afternoon tenderness, and the appetite, even for its favourite delicacy, will be significantly smaller.
Both the procedure and the recovery period are tremendously stressful for a cat. A forced protective outfit may lead to jacket depression, which does not facilitate the return to full functionality. Therefore, during this period it is crucial to fully understand and support your cat. If it normally sleeps or eats on a platform, the bowls and bedding should be moved as low as possible. Reducing the effort will accelerate the recovery process. The patience and tenderness of the owner will also help the cat to cope with this challenging time.
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