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.

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Excessive Jealousy – Mild bouts of jealousy are normal with most cats, but it becomes an issue when they physically and verbally show this.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 fecal or urine outside of the box.

  • 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.

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.

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Do you have a bipolar cat? Share your experiences in the comments!

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Tazza
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Tazza

Hello I am having problems with my one cat. I got him and his sister over 2 years ago as kittens and they were very shy bit super sweet. I’ve been noticing over the last year that the mail has been acting crazy every time someone new visit my house. It’s so hard to figure out because his sister will be perfectly fine let the new person pet her whatever then he gets upset abd then they both and hissing and I have to put them in another room. And the male he doesn’t just Grill in his he makes his horrible screaming noise like he’s being attacked even when it’s just me trying to pick him up because he’s growing at a new person. I feel like we’ve failed as cat parents cuz he acts like a Farrel cat when I have company. I feel like I don’t know… Read more »

Jay
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Jay

You could also try Feliway to keep him calm, here is a link to Feliway products on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Olby2c

Michael C.
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Michael C.

Hello, I need help with my KittyG. She is Approximately 4 years old, Tortise shell Female. Youngest of my Three cats , she has always showed dominance over the others. She too would become tired of me petting her, then scratch me. Most of the Time she would show me affection on her own time,but as of late, she has secluded herself outside, doesn’t come when I call her,acts very skiddish, goes one way and then another,and doesn’t have much of an appetite. This had happened one time before, where she just disappeared, which was very strange as she is a Homebody. What can I do ?Thanks.

Ruth
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Ruth

I am starting to think my six month old male cat is Bipolar. He is displaying almost all of these ten things. He bites both my boyfriend and me all the time. He doesn’t like to be petted for even a few minutes. He chases me through the house and attacks my legs. I just want him to calm down and stop biting and scratching us.

Megan
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Megan

I think my cat is more OCD than bio polar.

Steven
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Steven

“Bipolar in humans is classified as an imbalance of chemicals in the brain causing short-tempered emotions.”

This is not exactly correct. Although classified as a mood disorder, Bipolar disorder is connected to the nervous system and is often incorrectly treated (in humans and animals) as a chemical imbalance. Medical treatments include those also use for epilepsy.

Bipolar disorder, like any mental illnes, requires a healthy environment, regular routines, proper diet and exercise, and appropriate medication to reducing challenges for pets and owners. Understanding the physiology behind the songs along the mood spectrum–from depressed to manic–helps you to see your loved one in a new light.

I encourage readers to do some research on human bipolar to better understand your companion animal’s.

Rebecca
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Rebecca

Good morning, I’ve been debating on if my cat was bipolar or not for years. I’ve never done the research and after reading this article it is confirmed. My cat Tiger, does 6 out of your 10 examples with no questions asked. We can never understand why so randomly he gets so angry and goes to “kill” mode and within 10 minutes he’s in your lap trying to love you and doesn’t realize that he just tried to drawl blood from you. He even attacks our dog very randomly. You’ll see Tiger purring and head bunting on our dog giving him love, within 2 minutes Tiger turns and goes for our dog in the neck trying to seriously hurt him. How do you treat bipolar disorder in cats? I love Tiger very much and want to help him get better. My husband and my family are about fed up with… Read more »

Beatrice Ingraham
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Beatrice Ingraham

my female Russian blue cat is 6 going on 7 years old. one minute she is all loving and the next she is hissing at me or my fiancé. all we are doing at the time is petting here. we can’t have guests over for long cuz she hisses and growls at them. we went through 4 couches in two years cuz of her being aggressive with the couches. can’t have any other pets in the house cuz she’s aggressive with them. she’s destroyed all her toys. she’s been like this since she was about 3-4 months old. the only time she’s not aggressive towards anyone or anything is when she’s in heat. also she barely sleeps. when she does sleep it’s never in the same place or at the same time.

Rebecca Mann
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Rebecca Mann

Hi I have a 15month old female cat. Got her at 5 months old from a woman who said her daughter was allergic. I really have no other information about her. Me and my flat mate got shadow (my cat) and Charlie (my flat mates female 2 months older cat) around the same time and given a week they became the very best friends becoming inseparable. Shadow was never a very affectionate cat towards anyone and would tolerate a clap for a moment or 2. 3 months after getting them me and my flatmate had a argument and decided to go our separate ways she took Charlie too and shadow was distraught for ages. She would rip up the house, wouldn’t sleep on her own me and my partner slept in separate rooms. She was very needy ‘s we decided to get her a friend Jessie a few weeks later.… Read more »

Estela parham
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Estela parham

My five year old became very angry and turned on me and my other two cats. She stalked me and then jumped and bit my knee so hard she tore my pants. She has always been very sweet and loving. But now she hisses and growls. I can’t go upstairs cause she will follow me growling. Do I have to get mess for her or do I have to put her down?

Gloria Bruce
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Gloria Bruce

My cat is franky and she is cranky doesnt like to be cuddled except by my son and if i get to pat her head 2x she says thats enough and will try to swipe at me with her nails. Ive been cut many times trying to get a pat in.