CBD FOR CATS (SAFETY, BENEFITS & DOSAGE)
Kirsten Thornhill |
GUIDE TO CBD FOR CATS
Although CBD has been taking the world of human holistic health by storm, our furry friends are available for CBD benefits too. You never forget about your sweet feline or cute canine, especially when they’re in distress or discomfort. So why not try CBD for cats? There may be a handful benefits for your four-legged companions, starting with CBD oil.
CBD FOR CATS
CBD oil for cats hasn’t been around for too long, but it is an exciting stride in the right direction in holistic veterinarian health. CBD for cats benefits may help with more than just your feline’s occasional hyperactivity, it may even help them in their day-to-day routine.
WHAT IS CBD AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Just like us humans, all animals have an endocannabinoid system, ECS for short. This system plays a lead role in keeping us (and our animals) healthy and in a homeostatic balance.
The body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which are very similar to the cannabinoids that are found in cannabis. These cannabinoids and endocannabinoids travel throughout our bodies, attaching to cells, and delivering messages and instructions to other organ systems in the body.
Instead of endocannabinoids circulating through their system, CBD takes its place. CBD is cannabidiol, a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. CBD is special in the fact that it is non-psychoactive, it won’t get your cat “high”.
The crazy thing is most of us didn’t even know we have an ECS, but endocannabinoids effect almost all bodily processes, without us even realizing.
There is definite anecdotal evidence pointing to the idea that CBD may be able to help with cat anxiety, inflammation, and stress, however, we still can’t say 100% for sure.
IS CBD SAFE FOR CATS?
Prior to starting your cat on a CBD regime, we highly encourage that you talk with your holistic vet first.
So if cats can have CBD, is it safe? Instead of endocannabinoids circulating through their system, CBD takes its place. CBD is cannabidiol, a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. CBD is special in the fact that it is non-psychoactive, it won’t get your cat “high”.
CBD goes through their system, checking to ensure that everything is not under more stress than usual, helping bring your feline to a balanced state of homeostasis.
Even though there aren’t yet studies showing that CBD is completely safe for felines, there is discussion that CBD may be as safe for cats as dogs.
IS THERE CAT SPECIFIC CBD?
The hovering question: Which CBD oil for cats do I purchase?
CBD for cats usually comes in a tincture oil, mixed with other natural ingredients to help make it more nutritious and tasty for your furry feline friend.
CBD oil for humans and dogs may not be fit for your cat! Let me explain. Most human and canine CBD oils are mixed with coconut oil. Unlike dogs and us humans, cats can’t process healthy fatty acids that are found in plants, such as coconuts (aka they can’t process coconut oil).
So make sure you’re looking for CBD oils and products that contain other essential oils and extracts. If you do use a coconut oil based CBD oil, make sure you get a concentrated one so your feline friend isn’t taking in too much oil.
For instance, here at Petly CBD, our CBD oil for cats contains hemp extract and minimal MCT oil. Our feline droppers have been scientifically crafted for our small furry friends. Formulated with 125 mg of organically grown phytocannabinoid-rich hemp.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CBD FOR CATS?
CBD is well-known for its ability to decrease chronic pain and inflammation in animals. Researchers have found that CBD oil may be great for treating pain in animals.
Cannabidiol may also be a great neuroprotective, making for an excellent treatment for neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and seizures. A 2015 research study found that CBD oil was effective in reducing the severity and frequency of seizures, with a reduction rate of 45.1%.
CBD oil for cats can also help with their:
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Inflammatory bowel disease
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF CBD FOR CATS?
A 2019 CBD-rich hemp study investigated the effects of single-dose CBD usage in healthy dogs and cats. Researchers found that cats absorbed or eliminated CBD differently than dogs, with cats showing lower serum concentrations of CBD after hour 12 of administration.
Even though there is a promising safety profile for CBD oil for cats, there are still potential side effects that may occur, including:
- Allergic reactions
- Increased appetite
- Gastrointestinal upset
HOW WILL MY CAT ACT AFTER RECEIVING A DOSE OF CBD?
CAN CBD HELP ALLEVIATE MY CAT’S ANXIETY?
Just like us humans, our cats can also experience anxiety and stress, varying at different levels with similar symptoms as us at times.
Common stress factors that contribute to your cat’s anxiety may be being in a new environment, having other pets in the house, poor human-to-cat relationships, and or health issues.
Unfortunately, animals are infamous for masking their pain or stress. Oftentimes, us paw parents don’t notice that our cat may be stressed or having anxiety.
Studies have suggested that CBD may help alleviate anxiety and stress, through cortisol production, influencing receptors in the brain that are responsible for mood regulation.
CBD may help in how the brain responds to stressful situations or signals, thus, our furry friends may be able to reduce their stress with cannabidiol.
HOW DO I GIVE MY CATS CBD?
CBD oil for cats can be given in numerous ways. CBD tincture oils are a great option for CBD for cats because you can drop the oil directly onto their food or into their mouth. Simple! Though your cat may not really like the taste of CBD oil, mixing it into their food may do the trick.
Also, CBD treats may be a great incognito option for your furry feline. With CBD hemp extract blended directly into treats, your catto will be feeling the benefits over time, in no time.
There are also CBD creams, lotions, or topicals that may better suit your cat’s needs. For instance, if your cat is experiencing hot spots, CBD topicals may be able to help alleviate irritation in that specific area. Plus, if your cat tries to lick the CBD topical off, you can feel at ease knowing that it is non-toxic.
HOW MUCH CBD SHOULD I GIVE MY CAT?
How much CBD oil you should give your cat depends on a few factors, including:
- Frequency of use
- Reason for taking CBD
These factors are so important because every cat reacts differently to CBD oil. Again, talk with your veterinarian prior to starting your catto on any new supplements or CBD oil regimes. They may be able to help you customize a personalized dosage for your cat and their needs.
Each of our Hemp CBD Oil for Cats tincture bottles contains 125 mg of organically grown hemp. Each bottle contains 30 droppers, at 4.16 mg per dropper.
We recommend starting low and slow. There’s no rush to get your cat feeling the CBD benefits, so slower and lower is better. If you notice your cat still being super anxious or stressed, slowly increase their daily dosage. Maybe even work up to one full dropper a day.
HOW MANY DROPS? CAN CATS OVERDOSE?
Though the research is sparse and new in regards to CBD for pets, there is an increasing promise for the safety profile of cannabidiol for animal usage.
A 2016 Colorado study examined the effects of CBD treats on people’s pets. 93% of paw parents felt that CBD treats performed equally or even better than other standards of holistic care. This study found that almost 82% of pet parents hemp-derived CBD for their pet’s veterinarian-diagnosed illness or condition and 88% rated the products as safe.
All in all, we recommend giving your cat 2 - 4 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. This may seem like a high dose, but again, you can always start lower.
Cats don’t have as many cannabinoid receptors as dogs, so they should be okay with a high dosage to see therapeutic effects.
The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association is currently the only veterinary organization that officially encourages researching the safety, dosing, and uses of cannabis in animals.
So until more research develops, continue to do your homework, talk with your veterinarian, and make sure and give your catto all the pets they deserve!
* DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It does not exploit or provide medical advice of any kind. Therefore, any reliance you place on the information below is strictly at your own risk. Please check with your medical provider before starting or changing a CBD routine.
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Kogan, L. R., Hellyer, P. W., Robinson, N. G. (2016). Consumers' perceptions of hemp products for animals. J Am Holist Vet Med Assoc, 42, 40–48.
Nolen, S. R. (2014). Bad medicine natural remedy? States’ legalization of marijuana has implications for veterinary medicine. JAVMA, 245(7), 726–750.