Depression and CBD in cats
Depression is an illness too often associated with humans alone, but all animals can suffer from it. Our friends cats are even frequently affected by this disease, just like dogs. Sensitive and routine by nature, they appreciate it when their life is calm and regular. So when a grain of sand seizes up the gears of their stability, everything can tip over.
What are the symptoms of depression in cats ?
Symptoms of depression in cats can manifest themselves in a variety of ways, the most common of which are as follows :
- Apathy : the cat is insensitive to what is going on around it, moves very little, and remains inactive most of the time. Apathy is considered one of the main symptoms of depression in cats.
- Decreased appetite : Cats are animals that have the habit of eating small but frequent meals. If you notice that your pet has little or no interest in his bowl, there may be something to dig up. If your cat doesn't eat for more than a day, quickly seek the advice of a veterinarian, because cats are animals whose fasting effects are very poorly tolerated by the body.
- Abandoned litter : If your cat prefers your carpet, or any other place to its litter to relieve itself, when it has always been very clean, this can be a sign of depression, since depressed cats often let themselves go. When a cat defecates in the wild or in its litter box, an instinct drives it to bury, hide its excrement from potential predators or enemies (dogs, or even other cats). When this survival reflex is lost, it is not insignificant.
- Exaggerated licking : a cat in depression may find that its anxiety pushes it to lick its hair so intensively that it may leave bare areas, its skin may then be irritated and become infected.
Causes of depression in cats
Have you noticed that you have many of the symptoms listed above, and your veterinarian has just confirmed your suspicions? It is now important to determine the causes that may have led to this condition in your pet. Here are a few clues :
- A change of environment : Cats are extremely territorial. A move can sometimes deeply disturb them, to the point of making them depressed if their new environment does not suit them. For example, a cat that used to go out and can no longer do so.
- The absence, or loss of a loved one : cats can be very attached to a human or even another animal, such as a dog for example. A separation, perhaps experienced with difficulty by your hairball, can cause anxiety, which can lead to depression.
- Boredom : Lack of stimulation or stimulation can be seriously detrimental to our pets. When cats live in an apartment or house, without the possibility of going out, stimulation is sometimes rare, especially if there are no facilities to avoid boredom for the animals.
- Weaning too early : veterinarians agree that a kitten should not be separated from its mother before the minimum age of 8 weeks. To take the kitten away from its mother before this age, is to lose it in an unknown world, and difficult to face without the reassuring presence of its mother.
How to help your pet overcome depression ?
Now that you have determined the reason(s) that plunged your fur ball into this sad state, you will be able to act more easily before the depression gets worse. For example, if boredom is the cause of the illness, plan several times during the day to play with your pet and to change new toys regularly so that your pet doesn't get tired of them. More activity will also contribute to a better quality of sleep and a quicker recovery. When changing environments, place the things your cat is attached to in different areas of your home so that they are more welcoming to him.
How can CBD oil (cannabidiol) help your cat regain its joie de vivre ?
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is a molecule obtained from industrial hemp (Cannabis Sativa). Few people know it, but cannabis is a family of plants with very different virtues :
- Cannabis Sativa (industrial hemp) rich in CBD, very very low in THC (less than 0.2% according to the law, then 0% in the finished product).
- Cannabis Indica, poor in CBD, and very rich in TH
- Cannabis Ruderalis, low in CBD and THC
THC is a psychotropic molecule, which is banned in many countries. The CBD itself is not psychotropic and its marketing and consumption are therefore perfectly legal. There is no THC in CBD oil, your cat will not get high. But his anxiety will decrease, in fact several studies have shown the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol :
- According to one study, CBD acts as a fast-acting antidepressant by amplifying the signaling pathways used by serotonin, as shown by the University of Cantabria (Spain, 2015).
- CBD acts as an antidepressant according to an Israeli study published in 2016.
- Cannabidiol reduces anxiety. (Campos et al. 2012, Elbatsh et al. 2012).
- Two 2012 studies (CAMPOS et al, ELBATSH et al.) showed that cannabidiol (CBD) has anxiety calming effects in both humans and animals.
- In 2013, a study on 48 subjects suffering from anxiety highlighted the anxiolytic effects of CBD, even at low doses.