CBD Oil For Cats , Although we generally view cats as calm and somewhat aloof creatures, the truth is that they can experience anxiety, just as humans do. This anxiety can be generalized or situational, and it can be triggered by anything from traumatic events to seemingly minor changes in the environment or in daily life. For this reason, treating and managing anxiety in their cats is a common concern for many owners. Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions that are widely available: scent remedies, toys, music, behavioral therapy, and veterinary prescription medication, to name a few. Recently, however, more and more cat owners have turned to cannabidiol (CBD) oil, an alternative treatment product that is said to help with managing both chronic physical pain and anxiety-related behavioral issues.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD itself is a chemical compound found naturally in the cannabis plant (also known as the hemp plant). As one of the main ingredients used in medical marijuana, it is believed to help with managing a range of disorders including seizures, insomnia, anxiety, inflammation, nausea, and chronic pain. It is also important to note that although CBD is found in cannabis, it does not induce psychoactive reactions (i.e. the sensation of “getting high” that is commonly associated with marijuana). The compound that does induce psychoactive reactions is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and any CBD product must contain less than 0.3% of THC in order to be considered valid.
To make CBD oil, CBD is extracted from the flowers and buds of the cannabis plant and then diluted with a carrier oil. The most common carrier oils are coconut oil and hemp seed oil.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
Similar to humans, cats have an endocannabinoid system that plays an important role in maintaining bodily homeostasis (i.e. balancing bodily functions). The endocannabinoid system is quite complex, but basically it has a role in regulating sleep, appetite, immune system responses, and sensations of pain. This system consists of endocannabinoids (a type of neurotransmitter used by the body to send and receive signals) and cannabinoid receptors (proteins to which the endocannabinoids can bind for the purpose of sending and receiving signals). While cannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body, they are primarily found in the nervous system.
Although the body is capable of producing its own endocannabinoids, it is also able to respond to external sources of cannabinoids such as CBD. This is because CBD acts upon– but does not bind directly to– cannabinoid receptors and influences those which regulate functions such as pain perception, body temperature, and inflammation. It also stimulates the release of anandamide, also known as the “bliss molecule”, another type of neurotransmitter which is most commonly associated with feelings of pleasure and motivation.
Thus, the usage and consumption of CBD-based products are not only good for managing pain and anxiety, but it is also a way of supplementing the endocannabinoid system.
Benefits of CBD Oil
Since CBD oil is best for treating symptoms of chronic conditions that affect mood and/or physical comforts such as arthritis and anxiety, it is no surprise that its benefits are all relevant to these conditions. There are, however, some general health benefits as well!
- Decreasing pain and swelling
- Reducing inflammation
- Easing anxiety and depression
- Improving skin and coat health
- Managing seizures and epilepsy
- Boosting overall energy levels
Side Effects of CBD Oil
The most common side effect of using CBD oil is sedation or lethargy. If your cat seems to be consistently less energetic than usual, that may be a sign that the dosage you are giving is too high. Once you reduce this dosage, you should see a return to normal energy levels.
Other side effects can include nausea, changes in appetite, upset stomach, or anxiety. These are typically very mild; if you do notice them in your cat, however, it may be safer to discontinue usage until you can discuss these with your veterinarian.
Is CBD Safe for our Cat?
The fact that CBD for cats is considered a more natural remedy and can result in an overall behavioral improvement without causing any psychoactive or harmful side effects makes it a very attractive option for many cat owners. Moreover, despite the fact that there has been little to no research done on the direct effects of CBD on pets, holistic veterinarians are for the most part comfortable with allowing cat owners to give their cats CBD oil for the purpose of managing anxiety, inflammation, and pain. Still, there are a number of caveats you should be aware of: although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a prescription CBD product for treating two rare forms of severe epilepsy in humans, the organization still has its concerns about the safety of CBD usage in any form because there is limited data available on the subject. Additionally, the market for CBD is fairly new, with few government regulations on its production and quality in place. If a CBD oil for cats was manufactured incorrectly, it could potentially be toxic. The inconsistency of available information in combination with exaggerated marketing claims makes it especially easy for consumers to unknowingly buy low-quality CBD oil products.
It should also be clarified that CBD from hemp is not the same thing as CBD from marijuana. Hemp and marijuana plants may come from the same plant family, but they are fundamentally different. For our purposes, the main distinction between the two plants lies in their concentration of THC. Hemp plants are grown to have a low THC and high CBD concentration, so they are suitable for usage in natural alternative remedies. Marijuana plants, on the other hand, can contain up to 30% THC, which is what makes them popular for recreational drug use. This THC concentration, however, is far above the 0.3% limit imposed on CBD products. Thus, while hemp-based products are generally safe for pets, marijuana-based ones are definitely not. Marijuana products can actually be very harmful, so make sure not to confuse the two plants or there could be some serious consequences for your cat! As always, it is recommended to exercise caution and common sense when purchasing CBD products, whether online or in-store. Use your best judgment! Do your best to make sure that the CBD oil is free of pesticides and herbicides, that it has been lab-tested for purity by a third party, etc.
CBD Oil Dosage for Cats
Since it is still considered a relatively new market product, there is currently no industry-wide established CBD dosage for cats. As with most other medications, the appropriate dosage will depend on your cat’s body weight as well as the concentration of the product. It can also vary depending on your cat’s needs: once or twice a day is sufficient for consumption as a general health supplement, but CBD oil can also be administered more often to address any anxiety-triggering incidents when they arise. When starting out, it is recommended that your dosage be around 0.5mg/kg or 2mg/10 lbs of body weight. If you think your cat may need a higher dose, you should still start with a lower dosage in order to avoid potentially giving a dosage that is too strong. Once your cat has gotten used to the CBD oil, then you can safely work your way up to a higher dosage. If you are still unsure, consult a veterinarian.
One of the biggest concerns surrounding CBD oil for cats is an overdosage of the product. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
As for how to administer the dose, it should be fairly simple because most, if not all, CBD oil products will come with a dropper that allows you to measure out the appropriate amount. You can then apply the oil directly under your cat’s lips or tongue (only if they would be willing to let you do that though– sometimes this action of “force-feeding” a substance will make them nervous), or add it to your cat’s food or water. It should be noted, however, that adding it to your cat’s food or water supply will take longer for the oil’s effects to kick in since the oil must pass through the digestive tract first.
A couple of important things to keep in mind:
First of all, products that contain high levels of CBD can be very expensive and increase the likelihood of overdosage, so it is in both your and your cat’s best interests to figure out the minimal effective dose for your cat before making any purchases.
Secondly, if you do decide to move forward with giving your cat CBD oil and your cat is taking other medications as well, you should definitely check with a veterinarian first. It is possible that the CBD oil may affect the efficacy of those other medications or that more serious side effects may result when it is taken with other medications.
Finally, you should always observe your cat carefully after first introducing CBD oil or changing its dosage. If you happen to notice any concerning side effects, stop usage and continue to monitor your cat until you get a chance to speak with a veterinarian
The Best CBD Oil for Cats
There are many options for CBD oil for cats available on the market. Here are a few products that we have found for you!
Fur Goodness Sake HempGold Hemp Oil Dog & Cat Supplement
Made with organic hemp seed oil, Fur Goodness Sake’s Hemp Gold not only has all the benefits of regular CBD oil, but is also a good source of omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids for your cat!
Formulated using medical CBD, this HempRx product can be used on both cats and small dogs. The plants from which the oil is extracted are grown without pesticides or herbicides.
HolistaPet CBD Oil for Cats and Dogs
HolistaPet’s CBD pet tincture contains no THC and is non-GMO, organic, and vegan. They also state that their hemp seed oil formula promotes healthy skin and coat for your cat!
Honest Paws Purrity CBD Oil for Cats
Honest Paws’ Purrity CBD Oil formula is THC-free, all-natural, and lab tested. It is specifically formulated for cats that weigh under 25 pounds.
Innovet CBD Oil for Cats
With a THC-free hemp CBD and virgin hemp seed oil formula, Innovet’s CBD oil is a safe choice for your cat! They also claim to currently be the most trusted pet CBD company in the business.
Anecdotal evidence from cat owners has generally been favorable, and there are certainly many success stories about CBD oil for cats out there. However, it is important to remember that CBD oil is best used as a way to subjectively improve your cat’s level of physical and emotional comfort as well as the quality of life; it is not necessarily a medical cure for anxiety or pain disorders, only a means of managing them. If you find that you are still unable to alleviate your cat’s anxiety after regularly using CBD oil, you should consult a veterinarian and consider seeking additional professional help from a licensed veterinary behaviorist or a cat behavior consultant.
Furthermore, just as no two human beings will respond to medical treatments in exactly the same way, no two cats will respond to CBD oil in exactly the same way. Keep this in mind when other cat owners recommend a product to you, or even when you recommend a product to them. At the end of the day, evaluating whether CBD is right for your cat should be a decision between you, your cat, and your veterinarian!
Ultimately, CBD oil for cats is a very promising product and a lot of good can come of it if you do all the necessary research and use it correctly! More scientific studies still need to be done on this, but until then CBD oil will still be available to cat owners everywhere as a popular natural alternative remedy.