Is Your Cat Feeling Down? Signs Your Cat Might Have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

February 28, 2024


As winter settles in and the days grow shorter, many of us experience the winter blues. But did you know that our feline friends can also be affected by the changing seasons? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) isn't just a human condition—it can impact our cats too. Just like us, they can feel the effects of reduced sunlight and colder weather. 

Here are some signs to look out for that might indicate your cat is experiencing SAD.

Increased Sleepiness

If you notice your usually active cat sleeping more than usual, it could be a sign of SAD. Cats are naturally more energetic in the warmer months when the sun is shining bright. When winter sets in and daylight hours decrease, they may become more lethargic and spend extended hours napping.

Changes in Appetite

Has your cat's appetite changed recently? Some cats with SAD might eat more, seeking comfort in food, while others might eat less due to a decrease in energy. Monitor your cat's eating habits for any unusual changes.

Weight Gain or Loss

Linked to changes in appetite, weight fluctuations can occur with SAD. If your cat is eating more and exercising less, they may gain weight. Conversely, if they're eating less, they might lose weight. Both can be signs of underlying issues, including SAD.

Hiding or Withdrawal

Cats are known for their love of warmth and sunlight. When these elements are scarce in the winter, your cat might seek out secluded spots to hide or spend more time alone. If your cat is usually social but suddenly becomes withdrawn, it could be due to SAD.

Irritability or Aggression

Just like humans, cats can become irritable when they're not feeling their best. If your usually mellow cat is showing signs of aggression or irritability, especially towards other pets or family members, SAD might be a factor.

Excessive Grooming

While grooming is a normal behavior for cats, excessive grooming can be a sign of stress or discomfort. Cats may over-groom themselves as a coping mechanism for anxiety or depression, which can be exacerbated by SAD.


Some cats express their discontent or discomfort through increased vocalization. If your cat is meowing more than usual, especially in a distressed tone, they might be trying to communicate their feelings of unease.

What Can You Do to Help Your Cat?

If you suspect your cat is experiencing SAD, there are steps you can take to help improve their well-being.

Increase Sunlight Exposure: Try to create sunny spots in your home where your cat can bask in natural light. Open curtains during the day to let in as much sunlight as possible.

Use Artificial Light: Consider investing in a special light box designed for pets. These mimic natural sunlight and can help regulate your cat's mood.

Interactive Play: Engage your cat in interactive play sessions, even if they seem less interested. Play can stimulate their mind and body, boosting their mood.

Comfort and Affection: Spend extra time with your cat, offering comfort and affection. A warm lap or a cozy blanket can provide a sense of security.

Consult Your Veterinarian: If you're concerned about your cat's behavior or well-being, don't hesitate to consult your veterinarian. They can rule out any underlying health issues and provide guidance on managing SAD.


Seasonal Affective Disorder can impact our beloved feline companions, causing changes in behavior and mood. By being aware of the signs and taking proactive steps to provide comfort and light, you can help your cat navigate the winter months more comfortably. Remember, a little extra love and attention can go a long way in brightening your cat's spirits during the darker days of the year.

In addition to these strategies, purchasing a Kitty Lawn can be a beneficial way to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder in cats.Consider setting up a Kitty Lawn in your home. Kitty Lawn is a real grass patch that allows your kitty to get the taste of the outdoors while being safe from outdoor conditions. Place the Kitty Lawn in a sunny spot to encourage your cat to lounge nearby, soaking up the light while enjoying their mini grass paradise.