Is the British Shorthair prone to depression when left alone?
I ‘rescued’ Sasha from a pet store. He was 7 1/2 months old and when he first came home he would hop like a rabbit. I thought something was wrong but after a few days, a chat with the vet and exercise he was fine. Amazing what being in a small cage and lack of movement can do!!! He is fabulous.
A friend told me that the British Shorthair is prone to depression if they are left alone and that I should get another cat to keep him company.
A friend of hers has had two die before they figured this out. I have done some searching and have not found any evidence as well as asked my vet. Has anyone had a similar experience?
Hi… nice to hear from UAE. Of course, I’ll let other people pass on their experiences as well in comments. I can guess what they will say if they want to say it!
You wrote your post from the British Shorthair page of this site so I have presumed that you have adopted a British Shorthair. If that is not the case, what I say still applies equally.
First, though, I am little shocked at what appears to be mistreatment of Sasha by the pet store. You imply that he was kept in a cage for at least several months, maybe more. Not a good start in life. It seems that he had not learned how to use his limbs. Hopping is something a cat does if his forelimbs are defective. Clearly Sasha is healthy but the caging must have been bad for him.
The British Shorthair is a quiet, no no-nonsense cat breed. They are independent and affectionate. I decided that they were the best breed for apartment living.
But they are no different, in my opinion, to any other domestic cat in terms of how they react emotionally to being left alone while their human companion is out working.
Cats in general don’t like being left alone. They like routine and their human companion around. That is why the retired senior citizen is in general the best partner for the domestic cat.
Although Sasha won’t like being left alone it won’t kill her all things being equal. Your friend of a friend who lost two British Shorthairs could not have lost them through being left alone during the day provided they were well cared for in every other way. There must have been some other reason. But see below.
Depression is a symptom of underlying illness. If the illness is undiagnosed a person might come to incorrect conclusions.
British Shorthairs are like all domestic cats. They are essentially solitary animals that have adapted to communal living with people and other cats. The domestic cat has become social and forms bonds with other cats and their human caretaker.
Being alone for long periods is not good but it won’t kill them directly. I would though consider ways of reducing the stresses that might build up if Sasha is left alone. Separation anxiety can occur as well.
Being left alone can lead to stress related illnesses such as cystitis or immune suppression illnesses. If these are neglected that health situation could lead to health problems that might ultimately lead to death. A considerably amount of neglect by the cat’s human caretaker would have to take place, I would have thought.
Try and use your imagination to change your routine to fit into his needs. And I would consider getting another cat. You’ll have to make sure that he or she gets on with Sasha as sometimes there can be difficulties between cats. If that were the case it might only exacerbate the problem.
Hope this helps. These are my personal views based on my knowledge and experience. I respect the views of others.