CBD Oil for Cats
Date Published: 2019-10-20
Date Updated: 2020-01-05
You’ve heard about the amazing benefits of CBD for dogs and humans, and you’re probably wondering – are there any benefits of CBD for cats?
Cat lovers will know that their cats’ health is a high priority for them. While we do know that cats have endocannabinoid systems, we don’t quite know enough about how CBD affects cats. Here’s what you need to know about giving your cat CBD.
Do cats have endocannabinoid systems?
Just like any other mammal, your cat has an endocannabinoid system within their body. This system consists of compounds, receptors, and enzymes that affect their organs and various processes in the body. The endocannabinoid system ensures that our bodies stay healthy and perfectly balanced, maintaining something called ‘homeostasis’.
We make some cannabinoids ourselves, but other cannabinoids are found in cannabis plants. This is why cannabis affects our bodies – it interacts with our endocannabinoid system, which in turn affects our mood, organs, and bodily processes.
Cannabinol – known as CBD – is one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. Another example of those cannabinoids is THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. While THC gets you ‘high’, CBD is non-intoxicating. So, no – CBD can’t get your cat high!
Research shows that CBD has the following benefits for dogs and humans:
- Reduces the frequency and severity of seizures
- Soothes inflammation
- Reduces allergies
- Reduces anxiety
- Soothes pain
- Promotes heart health
- Promotes skin health
However, there is no proof that it has those same benefits for cats. More and more research is being conducted on CBD every day, and hopefully in the future, we’ll know how it can benefit cats.
What does science say about CBD and cats?
Not much, unfortunately. There is little to no research about CBD and cats.
While we know that CBD is well-tolerated in dogs and humans, we actually don’t have any data showing that it’s safe for cats.
And while it seems to be safe for mammals – as mentioned, we all have endocannabinoid systems – we can’t exactly assume that it will work the same for cats. After all, citrus is poisonous to cats but not to dogs or humans. So who’s to say whether they’ll have a reaction to CBD?
Most vets admit that we know little to nothing about CBD and cats. However, some vets do approve of the use of CBD on cats, and they say that there are health benefits of CBD for cats similar to the benefits for dogs.
According to online testimonials, people use CBD to treat the following conditions in their cats:
- Pain (including recovery from operations)
- Skin conditions (including itchy and dry skin)
- Anxiety and stress
- Spraying issues (that is, ‘marking’ their territory inside the house)
Some people give CBD to their cats who have progressed FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus, also known as ‘feline HIV’) to soothe their pain and discomfort.
Which CBD oil should I buy for my cat?
Firstly, it’s important to give your animal high-quality CBD. While it’s tempting to buy from the cheapest seller, your pet deserves the best.
Do your research and buy CBD from a reputable brand. Read reviews online. Ideally, you should buy from a brand that has third-party testing to ensure that their products are high quality – and if their website doesn’t make it clear, email them to ask.
Unfortunately, as these FDA warning letters from 2015 reveal, not all CBD companies are above board. Multiple companies – including companies that produced CBD-infused products for pets – faced legal difficulties when the FDA found that their products contained little to no CBD at all. So, rather fork out for good quality.
One high-quality, reputable company is Holistapet, which sells CBD products that were specially developed for cats:
Many cat lovers use dog-friendly CBD for their cats. If you’d like to do this, just check the ingredients to ensure that none of the ingredients are toxic to cats. Feel free to email the manufacturer to ask.
How do I give my cat CBD?
If you’re desperate, you might decide to give your CBD anyway. In this case, it’s important to be aware If you want to give your cat CBD, it is essential that you speak to your vet first. Your vet might be able to advise you when it comes to deciding the dosage and the brand of CBD you should use.
Dosage is essential when it comes to CBD. Cats, being small, need only a small amount of CBD. Just 0.1 milligrams per kilogram of your cat should suffice for a small adult cat that hasn’t yet had CBD. You can increase it to 0.5 milligrams gradually – increasing by 0.1 or 0.2 a week is a good idea. Be sure to measure it out carefully – a tiny syringe can be helpful.
Cats are smart, and it’s not always easy to get them to take their medication. You have a few options when it comes to giving them CBD:
- Try mixing it into wet food, tuna, sardines, or whatever else they enjoy eating.
- Add some to their favorite treats.
- If your cat is easy when it comes to taking medication, open their mouth and drop a little into their mouth with a dropper.
- Use a topical CBD treatment if you want to treat a localized area for pain (for example, a sore leg). Bear in mind that cats lick themselves, so it might be best to put them in an Elizabethan collar so that the CBD has a chance to soak in.
If your cat seems to have a negative reaction to CBD, take them to the vet immediately. Tell the vet exactly what symptoms they had, and what kind of CBD you gave them.
Unfortunately, we know too little about how CBD affects cats to recommend it as a remedy. Hopefully, in the future, research will tell us how we can use CBD to enhance our cats’ health. We strongly advise you to talk to a vet before giving your cat CBD.