Behavior

Can You Help Your Grumpy Cat Out of Her Misery?

Grumpy Cat

If you have an internet connection, surely you know about Grumpy Cat by now. It wasn’t too long ago that a grumpy cat, known as “Tartar Sauce”, ruled the internet.  With his permanently downturned face, his image graced witty lines turned into memes. People thought Garfield was edgy and a bit grouchy but no one can match Tartar Sauce’s jaded reflections on life. Tartar Sauce’s permanent scowl brought smiles to the faces of millions of people. Tartar Sauce’s owner insisted that she was not really grumpy, but was actually a quite content kitty. There are videos of her owners’ playing with her; we can even hear her purring away in these videos. It was the grumpy look on her face that gave tartar sauce the name “grumpy cat” and launched thousands of memes.

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Though tartar sauces owners have a content kitty, you may have a genuinely grumpy cat. Unlike the memes, you don’t particularly feel like smiling about it. In fact, you may worry that your cat is depressed or unhappy with his or her surroundings. Just as some people are extroverts, while others are introverts, cats also have a range of personalities.  Your cat may not be unhappy with his or her environment. It may just be less communicative or may want to be left to itself. Cats personalities, just like humans, can be molded by  what their life was like as a child (or kitten). It could be that your cat had an abrupt separation from its mother or other experience that made it a bit detached.

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First, consider whether your cat has a grumpy or unfriendly personality. It may just be introverted and not unhappy.  At the same time, you should do your utmost to make sure that your cat is comfortable with its surroundings. Make sure your cat always has good food and clean water to drink. It’s possible that your kitty may not enjoy his or her food. If you notice that too much food is uneaten and your cat seems to have a sour disposition, try changing its food.

wet-cat-food-3.2There is an ongoing controversy among cat owners whether it is better to give cats dry or wet food. Each kind of food has its advantages, so it is worthwhile mixing them or alternating between the two. Dry food provides fiber, carbohydrates and is good for the teeth, while wet food contains moisture and is filled with protein. Some cats do better on one or another due to health issues. Check with your vet before switching foods. Even if you feel committed to one type of food over the other, your cat may not enjoy the food you are giving him or her. The cat’s preference, not yours, should take precedence.

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Make your cat feel special by giving him or her their own bed to sleep in, along with pillows and even a blanket. Cats don’t usually require their own sleeping space, but this might help cheer the cat up and relax it. Especially if the house is very active and crowded. The bed may become their safe place when they need to be left alone.

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Be sure to give your kitty plenty of treats to break up the feeding monotony. See which kinds of snacks your cat enjoys the most and stock up on those. You can give your cat a treat when he or she has been exceptionally well behaved and has not scratched the sofa.  Or just as a pick me up or to reward desired behavior such as coming when called.

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Cats are extremely clean creatures. So, make sure that their litter box is free of debris often. In fact, it is important to keep in mind that cats are rather territorial creatures as well.  It’s a good idea to ensure that each has its own litter box. Scooping out clumps from the litter box ensures that it is clear of unpleasant materials. Cats love having their own clean space.

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If your cat responds well to petting and purrs frequently, you need not worry too much about occasional grumpiness. If your cat tends to run away when you pet it, consider paying attention to how and where you are petting it. Try to discover what kind of petting your cat likes. Some spots that cats like are underneath the ears, the top of the head, and under the chin whiskers. Even if your cat moves to the side and exposes its belly, you shouldn’t assume that it wants you to rub the belly. If you hear your cat begin purring, watch him or her for a kneading motion with its paws. That is a sign that your cat is relaxed and feels comfortable. No matter how crabby your cat may be otherwise if he or she purrs and makes the kneading motion frequently, that is a signal of overall contentment.

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If your cat seems grumpy, you may decide that it’s a good idea to get them a companion. Avoid doing something irreversible, like getting a new cat. This is especially important if you’re not sure that the cat you already have will welcome the change. Some cats are more territorial than others.  Younger cats tend to take to change better than older cats. Start by seeing how your cat interacts with other felines and with other people in the house. Sometimes your cat is not actually grumpy, they just want to be left alone.

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On the other hand, if you notice your cat tends to have a sociable nature and is depressed visit the veterinarian.  A sudden change in mood may be health related.  Rule out any physical reasons first. If it is just loneliness or boredom it might be worthwhile to introduce a roommate for your cat. Talk with your veterinarian about the best way to help your cat adjust to this change.

If you liked this article you will love our article on “Who’s Saving Who? How Your Cat is Saving Your Life”

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