Last Updated on April 15, 2020
If you have a cat that is fine one minute and angry or depressed the next, you may have a bipolar cat. This is not as common as people believe. Bipolar in humans is classified as an imbalance of chemicals in the brain causing short-tempered emotions. A typical cat is normally spontaneous when it comes to emotion and play so is often confused with real signs of bipolar. To know the difference between normal cat behavior and a true bipolar complex, you must closely observe your cat’s behavior. Here are 10 of the most common signs of a bipolar cat.
Aggression With Toys
When you play with your cat, they become angry and hiss or snarl at the toy. Their joy is masked with uneasiness and aggression. They appear to be unhappy with you playing with them yet still continue to play. Heavy panting may be present as well.
Aggression With Food
They are easily agitated when you do not feed them when they want. This can be followed by destructive behavior to get your attention. This can also become an issue if more cats are in the house as they may turn this anger into redirected aggression and begin attacking other cats in the home because they are not being fed when they want or did not get a particular food or treat they wanted.
Aggression With Petting
No particular spot triggers this, but rather, random bouts of anger when you are petting them. They will be happy with you one moment and become very mad at you the next. This is also common with feral cats due to improper socialization with humans.
Mild bouts of jealousy are normal with most cats, but it becomes an issue when they physically and verbally show this. If you notice your cat becoming angry or uneasy at you over giving another cat, pet, or person attention, it may turn into unwarranted attacked on you or the other cat, pet, or person.
Abnormal Sleeping Pattern
Most cats sleep at the same times throughout the day. A Bipolar cat will sleep only some nights or some mornings. They always change when and where they sleep. They tend to not be fans of other pets taking their sleep spots either and may attack them over it.
Over Stimulation After Eating
It is normal for a cat to play after a meal, but with a Bipolar cat, they typically go INSANE after eating. Running around, destroying furniture, hissing at toys or objects, etc. Don’t confuse this with general spikes of energy commonly seen in kittens, young cats, and cats who are generally bored.
Bouts of Sadness/Depression
Your cat will be sad or “down in the dumps” randomly throughout the week. This doesn’t last long and seems to happen after they were very angry, or very excited. They just appear to be emotionless and want to just lay around. Some will turn down food and treats as well. If your cat does turn down food for more than 2 days and is also very lethargic, be sure to take them into a vet ASAP.
DID YOU KNOW?
White or mostly white male cats are twice as likely to suffer from a bipolar disorder because white fur is a female dominant gene. This is also why only one in every 3,000 calico cats are males. Do you have a white/mostly white male cat? He is incredibly rare!
Loving to Angry to Loving
One minute your cat is very loving, the next they look like they want to kill you. A few minutes pass, and they are loving and content again. This happens without any action on your part. Sometimes they will rub up against you and then start swatting at you or attacking you without you even touching them.
Poor Litter Box Behavior
Your cat may go in and out the box just recovering old waste. They will kick the litter out the box aggressively and sometimes even hiss or growl while using the box. You may even notice feces or urine outside of the box and because this is common with other medical conditions if your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, it is a good idea to take them in to get checked.
Varying Emotions With Other Pets
You will see your cat joyfully playing with another cat or even your dog, then the next minute, they want to fight them. The other pet did nothing aggressive nor did they show signs of dominance. You want to keep a close eye on this to prevent severe injuries. If your cat likes to pick fights, it is a good idea to have a small time out crate you put them in for 10 minutes to give them time to calm down.
Keep in mind, it is common for cats to change their minds or change their emotions often. You have to really pay attention to the degree they actually change. Passive changes, even ones with anger, are often observed as normal cat behavior. There is almost always an underlining cause as to why your cat’s switch flipped. With a Bipolar cat, the reason or cause is not easily identifiable or in extreme cases, non-existent.
TIP! Using Comfort Zone’s Feliway pheromone spray and diffuser isn’t just for spraying, it helps calm down cats naturally. I have used it myself with great results. Spray their favorite places to sleep or use a diffuser in your home.
Do you have a bipolar cat or suspect they may be bipolar? Tell us in the comments below about their behavior and any concerns you have.