There is little more frustrating for a cat than being forced to wear a Cone of Shame after a vet visit. Understandably, it isn’t unheard of that cats might become depressed when wearing a cone.
They might have gone through surgery or some other problem calls for them to wear a cone, but whatever the reason, it can be an uncomfortable and confusing experience for them.
While it is necessary for you to encourage your cat to keep the cone on, there are some ways that you can help them through it and make it more comfortable for them.
So, you’ve got a depressed cat wearing a cone – how do you cheer them up? There are a few ways to cheer up your cat when they are wearing a cone, including making their cone more comfortable. You would know your cat best, and the treats they like or where they like to be stroked, and all of this love and attention will definitely help as well.
If your cat is due for a procedure and you know a cone is coming up, or if you currently have a very upset cat at home already in a cone, keep reading on how you can make it more comfortable for them, and how to cheer them up!
How Do I Know If My Cat Is Depressed?
Any cat owner will tell you that cats have a mind of their own, and they definitely don’t mind changing it on a whim!
While it is never easy to predict a cat’s behavior, it is still easy enough to tell when a cat is feeling down or depressed, and especially easy to tell if they don’t like their cone.
If your cat does not like their new headpiece, they will do a few things that you would notice:
- Shake their head and claw at the cone to try to remove it
- Bang the cone into furniture or walls
- Jump around and move around to try to remove the cone
- Pretend to not be able to eat or drink with the cone on
It is completely understandable that your cat will not feel comfortable wearing a cone, we wouldn’t be either! But you do have to watch that this discomfort doesn’t turn into a depression. Some cats can deal with the discomfort, but for others, it can be really disruptive.
These are the signs to look for that your cat might be depressed:
- They are not active and act fatigued
- They hide away
- Irregular eating or not eating
- Less interaction
- Excessive sleeping
- Disruptive bathroom habits
- Lack of interest
- Lack of grooming
If your cat acts subdued, hides away, and stops eating, there is a good chance they have fallen into a depression and you need to do what you can to help them. It is also worth talking to your vet if you think these behaviors are extreme and are affecting your cat’s health.
How To Make A Cone More Comfortable
One way which you could make your cat happier when wearing a cone is to make the cone more comfortable. They do need to still wear the cone, but you can make it much more bearable for them!
Here are some ways that you could make the cone more comfortable, and hopefully cheer your cat up:
Make Sure It Fits
The first thing you should do is make sure that the cone fits your cat properly. An ill-fitting cone can be so uncomfortable for them. You should be able to fit two fingers comfortably between the collar of the cone and your cat’s neck.
Choose a cone that is the right size and fit for your cat, which is not too tight or too large. The cone should also not be so small that they could reach their wound or surgery site, and not too big that it falls off or flops down into their face.
Tie The Cone Down
Cat cones have holes at the bottom of the cone, which you can use to tie the cone down to their collar. This will help keep the cone in place and stop it from moving up and down their neck too much.
Use gauze or a soft string to tie the cone to their collar, so that it does not irritate their skin.
Clear Some Space For Them
Your cat will not be an expert at walking around with a cone on, so they will need some help at first. You should clear away unnecessary furniture and clutter so that there is less for them to bump into and hurt themselves on.
Avoid Staircases And Other Hazards
While your cat has their cone on, it is best to keep them away from staircases and other hazardous areas. It would be difficult for them to navigate down stairs and other difficult routes, so it might be better to close off these areas for a while.
If they need to go up or down a staircase, carry them instead. You don’t want your cat earning themselves another trip to the vet and even more cone time!
Remove The Cone When Eating
Some cats can be really stubborn about their cone, and they might refuse to eat with the cone on. It is worth chatting to your vet if this happens, and if they approve, then you could take the cone off while your cat eats.
You will have to stay by your cat as they eat and ensure that they do not lick or bite at their wound. As soon as they have finished eating, you would need to put the cone back on.
How To Cheer Up A Cat In A Cone
Other than making the cone more comfortable for your cat, there are some ways that you could cheer them up. You would know your cat best, and what they like and what makes them happy, so make sure to play to this when trying to cheer them up!
When your cat wears their cone without fuss, you should praise them and give them their favorite treat. The treats would work as positive reinforcement, to encourage your cat to keep the cone on for a little bit longer (these treats are our favorite).
Remember to not offer too many treats, more than what is healthy, but rather one or two now and then. Good behavior can also be rewarded with love and cuddles – but make sure to steer clear of touching or stretching their wound.
Do Not Leave Them Alone
A cat who is wearing a cone, and who has just had a procedure done, will not be the happiest cat. It is likely they would want a little more attention and they would want to be cared for.
If possible, try to not leave your cat alone while they have the cone on. Don’t go for days out or spend too much time away from home. You being close by will definitely make them feel a little better.
Play Their Favorite Games
A sure way to cheer up a depressed cat is to try to get them back into playing their favorite games. Make sure that you do not choose anything too strenuous, as they would still need to recover from their procedure.
It might take some time for them to feel cheerful enough to play around, but keep trying until they do. Light exercise is a great way to cheer them up.
Buy Them A New Toy
Cats love toys, and to cheer your cat up, you could buy them a new toy to play with. Make sure that the toy is easy to play with when they are wearing their cone, or it could just frustrate them even more!
A toy that hangs off a stick that you hold, or even a new treat toy, would be great for them to gently play with while still wearing their cone.
Cheering Up A Depressed Cat In A Cone
It is obvious why a cat would not be the happiest when wearing a cone – none of us would be either! It is necessary for your cat to wear a cone while recovering, and as their owner, you need to do all you can to support them and cheer them up.
Use some of the above suggestions to make wearing the cone more comfortable for your cat, and use these tips to cheer them up if they are depressed.
If you try all of this and your cat still does not perk up, it might be worth contacting your vet to talk about the different options you might have.
Are there alternatives to cones?
If a cone just isn’t working for your cat and you have tried everything, there are alternatives for them to wear. You could put them in a cat sweater that covers the wound, a neck brace collar, or a soft brace collar. These might make them feel more comfortable, and therefore more tolerant until they heal.
How long does it take a cat to get used to a cone?
There is no set time that it would take for a cat to get used to a cone, but generally, with consistent wearing, it should take around 24-hours for your cat to get used to their cone. This won’t mean they will be overly joyed, but at least tolerant of it.