Everyone has heard by now about how many different uses there are for CBD when it comes to holistic health and wellness for humans. Now pet owners are realizing that their feline friends can also benefit from the effects of properly grown and processed CBD.
Of course, CBD shouldn’t be a replacement for your cat’s regular medical care. You should consult with your veterinarian about the benefits and any possible risks of giving your cat CBD. While your vet won’t be able to prescribe CBD for your cat, they can help you understand how it could affect your pet and help you make informed choices.
The Down Low On CBD
What’s CBD? For starters, it’s an acronym for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound belonging to a group known as cannabinoids, which occur both in the animal and plant kingdoms.
In humans, dogs, cats, and other animals, endocannabinoids are produced naturally by the body to work within the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system in turn connects to the central and peripheral nervous systems, helping regulate common body functions like regulating temperature, appetite, mood, and pain signals to the brain.
Phytocannabinoids are made naturally by plants, like the Cannabis sativa plant. As it turns out, these also can work with an ECS, mostly by boosting the capabilities and longevity of endocannabinoids.
Psychoactive Vs Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids
The other main cannabinoid most people have heard of is THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. Unlike CBD and a host of other, lesser known cannabinoids, THC is psychoactive. That means it can connect directly to receptors in the central nervous system, and alter perception.
THC is the cannabinoid in marijuana, which makes people “high” (inducing states of euphoria or paranoia.) THC is the reason that CBD was illegal for so long. However, the 2018 US Farm Bill changed all of that and differentiated between cannabinoid-rich plants for legal purposes.
Now, any Cannabis sativa plant with less than 0.3% THC (a trace amount) is considered to be “industrial hemp”, and it is federally legal to grow these plants, derive CBD from them, and use the extracted CBD to manufacture and sell CBD products.
Plants with more than the 0.3% limit? Still classed as marijuana, and still illegal at the federal level. It’s important to get CBD products made from legal industrial hemp with only trace amounts of THC in them, because THC can be toxic to cats in any dose larger than that.
Different Types of CBD Oil for Cats
Let’s talk about the CBD spectrum. Not all CBD oils are created equal. Each type of CBD has its own benefits and drawbacks.
CBD isolate contains CBD and only CBD, infused into a carrier oil. This means the chemical compound is isolated as the plants are processed, and the result is a 100% pure CBD product. You might think this is the best type of CBD for cats, but you could be wrong. Keep reading to find out why.
There’s an interesting thing about industrial hemp plants and all the different compounds they contain. Taken individually, they have varying effects, but taken together, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Broad spectrum CBD contains CBD plus other cannabinoids that are non-psychoactive, such as cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabinol (CBC). It can also contain other compounds such as terpenes and flavonoids, all of which boost the efficacy of the CBD.
Full-spectrum CBD has all of the chemical compounds from the industrial hemp plants. CBD, CBG, CBC, and the more than 100 other cannabinoids, including legal trace amounts of THC, plus the flavonoids and terpenes. This creates the most effective form of CBD available. When you take full-spectrum CBD or give it to your pet, you’ll see the biggest effects.
The Best CBD Oil For Cats
Obviously, full-spectrum CBD is the right choice if you’re looking for a CBD product that will give the most benefit. Just make sure you get your CBD products from a reputable vendor who can prove that the legal limit of THC is being abided by.
The best way to assure this is to buy from a company that uses third-party testing to check for potency and ensure THC levels are below the approved limit. All Yummy CBD products are batch tested and the results applied to the package in the form of a scannable QR code.
Our CBD is also infused into a neutral, safe, and highly absorbable MCT coconut oil. This breaks down easily in the body after maximizing the effects of the CBD, which works best when taken with some form of fat. You’ll be able to get full bioavailability of the CBD without worrying about your cat putting on pounds.
CBD for Cats: What It Is Good For
So many humans love CBD because of the way it works for so many different complaints. They enjoy benefits such as lessened anxiety and stress, improved joint health, enhanced appetite, and lower inflammation.
CBD is used by people to help them sleep better, eat better, feel less down, and even experience fewer seizures. Many people take CBD to help combat the side effects of cancer and/or cancer treatment. The possibilities for this natural plant-based product seem endless.
CBD for cats hasn’t been studied as much, but what research does exist seems to indicate that CBD is just as safe for cats as it is for humans. Here are just a few ways CBD might be beneficial for your own beloved feline.
Cats are notorious for not handling change well. Moving to a new house, having a new pet or baby in the home, visiting the vet, riding in the car, or even changing the furniture around can send some cats into a frenzy of anxiety-related behaviors, such as hiding, aggressiveness, hyperactivity, excessive grooming, hair balls and/or hair loss, and refusing to eat.
So CBD may help your cat feel more relaxed and less stressed, dealing with their anxiety issues, and making events like visits to the vet or a move to a new home easier to adjust to.
Yes, cats can get arthritis. Animal can experience this inflammatory reaction as they age and joints start to wear out. Sometimes it’s hard to pin down when a cat is hurting, but if you notice irritability and/or a refusal to jump up onto or down off of things, it could be that arthritis is causing severe discomfort
Fortunately, it’s been found that CBD can be highly effective as an anti-inflammatory, meaning it could be a good addition to your cat’s arthritis management plan. Talk to your vet if you know your pet is suffering with arthritis.
Cancer and cancer treatment can both have unpleasant side effects. One of the worst is the nausea and lack of appetite, which can cause rapid weight loss and weaken the immune system further.
CBD is well known for its ability to help stimulate appetite, making it a sought-after holistic supplement to add to a cat’s cancer treatment plan. CBD won’t cure cancer, but it can be helping in making the cat’s days and nights more bearable.
CBD has been shown to have anticonvulsant properties. If you have a cat that is suffering from epilepsy or another condition that causes seizures, the frequency and duration might be reduced with appropriate dosing of CBD oil.
Since CBD is actually prescribed for humans with seizures, there’s more research around this than other uses for CBD. Of course, most of these studies are done on humans, but cats are now also able to reap the benefits.
Upper respiratory conditions are terribly common in cats, as is asthma. There are even special masks designed for cats to make administering inhaler mist easier. If your cat has asthma, you might be able to reduce their propensity for breathing problems with CBD.
CBD is an anti-inflammatory, as previously noted, and can help reduce likelihood of bronchial passages swelling closed. Ask your vet if CBD could be a good additional therapy for helping your asthmatic cat.
Finally, cats are known as picky eaters with tummies that can get upset faster than you can run for paper towels as they throw up on your carpet. Many chronic gastrointestinal issues such as IBS are inflammatory conditions.
As we know by now, fighting inflammation is where CBD is known to shine. Giving your cat a daily dose of CBD might help keep their stomachs from revolting as often.
CBD Dosing For Cats
Cats, like humans, are unique in their physiology and metabolism. Starting with a low dose and slowly increasing based on observed results is the best way to determine the best dose of CBD for your cat.
Most vets recommend anywhere from half a milligram to five milligrams of CBD per every kilogram of body weight. That’s roughly .25 mg to 2.5 mg of CBD per pound of body weight. For anxiety, starting at the low end of the scale and working up is usually advised. For upper respiratory issues, a higher dose may be recommended immediately.
There are two ways to administer CBD to a cat. The first way is to give it sublingually, squirting it under their tongue and gently holding their mouth closed for about 60 seconds. This is the fastest way to get CBD into their bloodstream, because it absorbs into the soft tissues under the tongue and enters the capillaries.
If your cat isn’t the type to take this kind of treatment with good grace, you can simply add it to their food or a treat. Some cats will enjoy CBD squirted on their daily meal of dry or wet food. Others may take it more readily if it’s given in a spoon of sardines or injected with a syringe into a soft cat treat.
The CBD will still work using this method, but you’ll be waiting longer to see the effects, as the CBD will have to go through the first stage of metabolism in the digestive system before it reaches the bloodstream.
Whatever you do, don’t make getting CBD into your cat a battle. That defeats the purpose of giving CBD in the first place, which is to help them feel better. Even if you’re not giving CBD for anxiety or stress, fighting with your cat can cause anxiety and stress, which makes other health issues worse.
We would recommend first giving the sublingual dosing method a try. But if it just doesn’t work, try disguising the oil in a strong smelling and tasting treat, like sardines or liver. If your cat enjoys taking their CBD, everyone wins.
A Few Final Words About CBD For Cats
THC can be toxic to cats in more than trace amounts. Repeat, toxic, as in can cause death. You absolutely must make sure you’re getting CBD oil that has been batch tested and has less than the limit of THC legally allowed.
Overdosing your cat with CBD is unlikely, but do try to track your cat and their behaviors when you start with CBD. If you notice they are very sleepy all the time or lethargic and uninterested in playing, back down the dose a little.
Many CBD products on the market are sold by people who don’t abide by the strict laws regulating industrial hemp and THC content. Always look for a vendor who sells CBD sourced from industrial hemp, and who can prove their CBD potency and legality with third party lab work.
One good thing about CBD is that cross reactions, interactions, or allergic reactions are almost unheard of. CBD is very safe for your cat and can be used without fear of harming them. Most cats tolerate CBD very well and owners notice no negative issues.
CBD used wisely can be helpful for your cat. Just make sure to let your vet know of your plans to start dosing with CBD, and get their input about your cat’s specific needs.