10 Signs You Have a Bipolar Cat

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. 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.

Excessive Jealousy – 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 you cat does turn down food for more than 2 days and is also very lethargic, be sure to take them into a vet ASAP

 

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.

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More in Cat Behavior

Want to learn even more about your cat’s behavior? Pick another article to read below:

 

Redirected Aggression in Cats

Cat Dementia: Causes & Signs

Is My Cat Sleeping Too Much?

Do Cats Hate Dogs?

6 Signs of Depression in Cats

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Linda
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Linda

I have a male cat. He’s a one man cat and only allows me near him, but out of the blue he will swipe me with his paw when I’m petting him. I’ve got to know when he’s about to do it now by the look on his face. He also hates my partner when he walks into the room. He cowers and hisses at him or runs out the house, but if he sits down, the cat then starts rubbing him coz he wants food. Everything has to be on the cats terms. He constantly hunts and stalks my… Read more »

Courtney
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Courtney

Loling at all these people thinking their cat is bipolar. I have an all white, dual colored eyes, male. When he was younger he used to randomly become vicious at us biting our ankles and would get poofy and very angry out of nowhere. We never figured out a reason as to why this was happening. Our friend said to get another cat so we did. Now he gets randomly angry at our other cat who just loves his big bro and gets to the point where the other cat is yelling because white cat is biting and kicking so… Read more »

Kevin
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Kevin

I have been dealing with this for a while now — and it’s really becoming frustrating. The ups and downs have become so unpredictable. A few examples. For the last two days, my kitty, a male, has been hiding almost all the time. On occasion, he will come out, and when he does, he will play with me, nudge, let me pet him for a long period of time. Then, out of nowhere, he will take a sniff of my hand (turned upside down) and run and hide and not come out for hours again. He goes from being a… Read more »

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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… Read more »

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… 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… Read more »