By Hannah Watkins
Please note: Supportive but not conclusive research suggests that CBD can promote your pet’s overall health and wellness; however, much about CBD oil use for felines is still unknown. It’s important to check with your veterinarian if before introducing a new supplement to your cat’s regime.
You may already be familiar with the use of CBD oil humans and for dogs, but did you know that it can be benefit your feline friends too? As more and more pet owners are gearing away from traditional treatment and seeking more holistic methods for their animals, CBD oil has continued to grow in popularity. This rich oil, extracted from hemp plants, has shown many benefits for both humans and pets with some of the most impactful for cats being reduced anxiety, inflammation and pain as well as lessening certain types of seizures and and improving the digestive system.
What is CBD Oil?
Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is extracted from the flowers and buds of hemp plant, Cannabis sativa.Since CBD doesn’t contain (or trace amounts of) THC, it will not produce any mind-altering or psychoactive effects to the user. Just like in humans, cats have cannabinoid receptors in their body as part of their mammalian endocannabinoid system. The body produces endocannabinoids that bind to the cannabinoid receptors, and studies show that CBD may help reduce chronic pain and inflammation by impacting the receptor activity.
For humans, CBD oil comes in the forms of a tincture, isolate, topical or capsule. Generally for cats, it is taken orally with a dropper. It is suggested to put the recommended dosage in the pet’s food bowl. Claire Primo, Veterinary Nurse for Boulder Holistic Vet, mentionsf that owners have found great successes by putting drops directly on a treat. She also suggested putting it in dry kibble.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
Scientists are still in the process of learning the full effects of CBD oil for medicinal purposes, and as of yet, there have not been any scientific studies done to investigate the impact of CBD oil on cats. However, holistic veterinarian Dr. Gary Richter says that CBD oil is generally safe for cats, and supportive research suggest that “CBD has little to no toxicity, few serious side effects and is considered incapable of causing an overdose.”
The quality and potency of the product plays a role in the safety as well. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate the CBD products, there may be confusion surrounding the proper dosage for a particular product. Cat owners will need to ensure the CBD oil vendor is reputable, and that they would be willing to provide a lab analysis of their product. Although there is no known toxicity associated with CBD, it’s recommended to administer 1 to 5 mg for every 10 pounds of body weight.Since the strength varies per product (each with a different potency), ensure that you are giving the proper amount with your cats recommended body weight. Vendors should specify on their product page the exact mg amount of CBD you are getting in the product.
When purchasing online, look for products that mention full-spectrum hemp, rather than hemp seed oil. While hemp seed has its benefits, it does not contain CBD. Make sure to read up on reviews and experiences from other feline owners to decide if it may be right for your pet.
5 Benefits of CBD Oil for Your Cat
Anxiety: CBD oil for anxiety has been one of the most studied therapeutic effects in humans and pets alike. Anxieties and stressors can be triggered by new people in the home. For example, a new baby in the house may cause you cat to feel overwhelmed.Other types of anxiety cats experience are loud noises (like fireworks), traveling in vehicles, or contracting illnesses.CBD may be a good option for your cat if they exhibit signs of being anxious, since CBD oil is known to possess anti-anxiety properties.
Pancreatitis: This is a condition caused by inflammation of the pancreas, and is usually difficult to diagnose, since cats instinctively hide the fact that they are sick.Pancreatitis can result in fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, dehydration, fatigue, and depression. It can potentially be a very severe disease, which may require medication, antibiotics, fluid therapy and nutritional support. While CBD oil isn’t able to fight the disease, according to the Boulder Veterinary Clinic, CBD oil is known to help with reducing the inflammation associated with the pancreatitis.If you are considering using CBD oil for your feline’s pancreatitis, it’s a good idea to talk to a vet to see if it is a good option.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): IBD can be very common in cats. It is more of a syndrome rather than a disease. It can be the result of the body’s response to an “insult, injury or foreign substance.”This condition occurs when there is chronic inflammation of the cat’s bowels, and is commonly diagnosed in middle-aged to older cats (5 to 12 years of age).Symptoms of IBD may include vomiting, diarrhea or weight loss. Fiber deficiencies, dietary intolerances, stress or abnormal colonic myoelectrical activity are likely the culprits for causing IBD in cats. Celeste Yarnall, author of Natural Cat Care and Natural Dog Care and co-founder of Celestial Pets, states that CBD can help control pain.Much like pancreatitis, CBD oil will help the inflammation and thus reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Arthritis: Pets and humans alike can suffer from arthritis, which causes pain and inflammation in the joins. As cats age, joints naturally degenerate and the cartilage deteriorates and become less flexible. While there is no cure for arthritis, there are a few ways to minimize the pain they experience. CBD oil has been known to relieve aches and pains associated with this condition. According to Dr. Gary Richter, veterinarian and practitioner of integrative medicine, says that CBD can be a very effective medicine for arthritic cats.Other optionsinclude nutritional supplements, prescription veterinary medication and weight loss (if necessary).
Seizures: Epilepsy in cats isn’t very common. It’s more likely for your cat to have a seizure if they have abnormal blood sugar levels, low levels of oxygen in blood, brain damage or disorders of the kidney or liver. CBD is thought to work in the nervous system to hold back potential seizures. The compound counteracts with neural signals to lessen or eliminate the seizure.
Should I Expect Side Effects?
While no two cats are alike, research suggests that CBD can support your pet’s overall health and wellness. According to Dr. Angie, a doctor of Veterinary Medicine, there are always side effects to consider. She says that the most common side effectshe sees in her patients are “increased appetite and decreased anxiety.” She states that while being allergic to cannabis is a possibility, it’s pretty rare.
**EDITOR'S NOTE: This link is a great resource for general understanding of CBD oil and the difference between that and marijuana: https://www.cbdcentral.com/what-is-cbd/
**EDITOR'S NOTE: This link is fantastic for an overall understanding of CBD oils, the process and general grasp of the product - for people too! It also has a cute graphic to make things more clear - along with statistics and trends: https://loudcloudhealth.com/cbd-statistics-infographic/