CBD Oil for Cats: How to Reduce Discomfort & Inflammation Naturally
Recently, studies have suggested that the potential benefits of CBD for humans may also extend to our feline friends. We reached out to Juliana Carella (the founder and CEO of Treatibles) and Stephen Cital (a registered veterinary technician, SRA, RLAT, VTS-LAM, and the co-founder of the Veterinary Cannabis Academy) to learn more about CBD oil for cats and how it may support better health for your furry friends.
Understanding CBD and Hemp
Cannabinoids are a group of chemical compounds that naturally occur in all humans and animals in the form of endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoid systems have been found to help your body maintain its neurological, immunological, and physiological systems.
Cannabinoids are also found in plants of the genus Cannabaceae, which includes cannabis and hemp. Although THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most well-known cannabinoid and the most active compound in marijuana, CBD is another common active compound found within the Cannabaceaegenus. While THC is most notably associated with its psychoactive properties, CBD is better known for instilling a “body high” that may potentially contribute to greater relaxation, improved sleep, and other elements of your health and wellbeing.
Hemp and cannabis are closely related, but they have distinctly different effects as a result of their phytocannabinoid content. Phytocannabinoids derived from hemp are free of any psychoactive compounds, preventing the high that is usually associated with cannabis. In fact, hemp contains less than 0.3 percent THC. Hemp-based phytocannabinoids are legal in all 50 states.
How Does CBD Oil Work for Cats?
The naturally occurring compounds in cats and other animals include THC and CBD, among several others. These cannabinoids then attach to receptors within your cat’s body, known as cannabinoid receptors type 1 and 2 (or simply CB1 and CB2). When a cannabinoid attaches to one of these receptors, it essentially flips a switch, resulting in various physiological effects.
“As with all animals, cats have a concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brains and bodies,” says Juliana Carella. “Think of receptors as a lock with cannabinoids as a key. When they connect, the door opens. If there is a deficiency of endocannabinoid production, the cat’s multiple receptors will utilize the addition of phytocannabinoids to help create balance and provide support for relaxing, repairing, or restoring.”
Although CB1 receptors can be found throughout the body, most are located within the brain. THC attaches to CB1 receptors, which controls various functions, including:
- Mood and emotions
CB2 receptors center more in the immune system and have been found to affect pain and inflammation. While some studies initially believed that CBD attached to CB2 receptors, more recent research suggests that CBD doesn’t have a direct effect on either type of receptor and instead affects your body’s own production of cannabinoids.
What are the Benefits of CBD for Cats?
CBD may offer a wide variety of benefits for your cat’s overall wellbeing in an all-natural formulation.
“What we do know is that cats have an endocannabinoid system like all mammals,” says Stephen Cital. “The endocannabinoid system is responsible for aiding other physiological systems in the normal ‘maintenance’ of the body, while also playing a role in decreasing pain, inflammation, anxiety, etc.”
Carella suggests that CBD and phytocannabinoids, in general, are particularly effective in relaxation and bringing calm and balance to cats experiencing various health conditions. She says, “In addition to promoting healthy joints and digestion, phytocannabinoids are recognized for supporting organ health, helping with general anxiety, separation anxiety, discomfort, loss of appetite, nausea, end of life comfort, and more.”
Are There Any Side Effects of CBD Oil for Cats?
As with anything you give your cat, you want to make sure your feline friend won’t experience any negative side effects. Thankfully, CBD is all-natural and generally should not lead to any unwanted side effects.
Carella says, “Although there are no known negative side effects from cannabidiol, every cat is a unique individual with individual needs. CBD is not a sedative. However, some cats may relax to the point of sleeping. Because hemp-derived phytocannabinoids are non-psychoactive, they are non-toxic. It is virtually impossible for a cat to overdose.”
She also confirms that CBD products are safe for cats to take along with any over-the-counter or prescription medication. However, as with any new supplement or addition to your cat’s diet, make sure to discuss it with your veterinarian first.
What are the Best Ways to Give a Cat CBD?
Delivering any sort of supplement to your cat can be a challenging task. As Cital says, “Cats are notorious for being difficult to give anything to that is not of their inclination.”
Both Carella and Cital agree that tinctures and oils tend to be the most effective means of administering CBD, as they allow you to measure out how much you give your cat.
However, CBD oils are not always the most palatable products for cats when used on their own. Carella suggests stirring the oil directly into moist cat food or mixing it with butter, yogurt, tuna juice, or other treats your cat loves. CBD oil has the potential to be a great tool for pet owners to help promote the wellness of their beloved furry friends.
Everything You Need to Know About CBD for Cats
Is CBD oil safe for cats?
It has been proven that, unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects. Herbal Renewals: CBD for Cats is extracted from the industrial hemp plant, which contains THC levels below the legal maximum of 0.3%. Additionally, research shows that CBD is not an addictive substance, so you can be sure that CBD for cats is safe for kitty consumption, without any risk of addiction, overdose or psychotropic effects.
Is CBD oil helpful for stressed out cats?
Cats are commonly prone to experiencing stress and nervous tension. As creatures of habit, change in their environment can trigger stress in cats, or stress may be experienced as a result of a chemical or hormonal imbalance. The potential calming effect of CBD makes CBD oil a great way to possibly assist cats who are prone to experiencing feelings of stress and nervous tension.
Can CBD oil help cats with chronic inflammation?
Unfortunately, inflammation of the joints is a common problem for older kitties, resulting in stiff, achy joints, which impacts mood and movement. CBD may help to reduce the symptoms of chronic inflammation and help to keep your cat feeling mobile and active as they enter their senior years.
How much CBD oil should I give my cat?
The appropriate CBD oil serving size will depend upon the size and weight of your cat, along with your cat’s tolerance to CBD oil. When using CBD oil for cats for the first time, it’s best to administer a small amount of one or two drops. Wait 15 minutes for the effects to be observable, and then, if necessary, increase the amount until your cat has received the desired effect.
To accurately calculate your cat’s serving size, you’ll need your cat’s weight. For every 10 pounds (or 5kg) of weight, use three drops of Herbal Renewals: CBD oil for Pets Blend. For cats in need of sustained relief from pain, stress or discomfort, it is safe to administer CBD oil to your cat up to three times a day.
The serving size should be given twice daily. Like most natural supplements, CBD can take up to a week for your pet’s body to get used to the effects.
How do I administer CBD oil to my cat?
The easiest way to administer CBD oil to your cat is to add it to your cat’s food. Herbal Renewals: CBD Oil for Pets Blend has a natural hempy flavor that is easily disguised in most types of cat food. To serve, simply drop the appropriate serving size of CBD oil onto your cat’s meal (and don’t forget to mix the oil in well if your kitty is fussy).
If your cat won’t tolerate you tampering with their food, you can apply the oil to the top of your cat’s paw for your cat to lick off at their leisure. Your cat should feel the effects of the CBD oil within about 15 minutes of consuming it.
Will CBD oil make my cat high?
No, your cat will not get high from consuming CBD oil. As Herbal Renewals: CBD Oil for Pets Blend is made from industrial hemp, it contains less than 0.3% THC, so there is no risk of your cat becoming high after consuming CBD oil.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about CBD oil for cats, contact us or take a look at our frequently asked questions.