CBD, or cannabidiol, is becoming an increasingly popular option as an alternative treatment for a wide variety of health problems for humans. Nowadays the healing powers of hemp are accepted more and more widely, and the stigma surrounding them is fast becoming a thing of the past.

But, did you know that CBD can be just as effective a treatment for your feline friends?

In this article I’ve taken a look at some of the benefits CBD oil can have for your cats, and how to go about using it safely.

Is CBD Oil safe for cats?

Obligatory we are not Veterinarians and this is not medical advice. Also the FDA does not endorse any of this content. It is also not meant to cure or treat any illness or disease. Always consult with your Veterinarian.

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Cats share a lot of bodily properties with humans and, just as we do, cats have an endocannabinoid system and naturally produce endocannabinoids. Although there are far fewer research studies into the medicinal properties of CBD for animals, scientists and vets believe that it can be used to treat many similar symptoms and ailments in pets just as in humans.

A number of vets and holistic animal medical practitioners consider CBD to be generally very safe to use on cats, and to have significant benefits. There is the potential risk of some minor side effects, notably gastrointestinal upset and sedation, but nothing major, and completely mitigatable by lowering the dose or by ceasing to administer the oil. One thing to keep in mind, however is that – given cats are far smaller than humans – it is very important to dose their intake of CBD oil with caution (you don’t want to inadvertently give them too much!).

How should you use CBD oil for cats?

CBD oil can be used to treat a variety of conditions and issues in cats. I’ve seen recommendations for its use to combat aggression, anxiety, stress, lack of energy, lack of appetite, inflammation, arthritis, and even bowel disease. As I mentioned before, cats are (obviously) far smaller than humans, so a much smaller dose should be used than in humans and you should take extra-special care when dosing as the margin for error is also smaller.

There are a number of CBD oils made specifically for cats, although it is perfectly possible to use oils designed for humans as well, just with a far smaller dose. It is vital to do your research in advance and ensure you read the advice specific for the oil you have.

Veterinarians recommend somewhere between 0.1-0.5 mg per kilo (2.2lbs) of your cat, although this may change depending on what exactly you are treating. As I am not a vet myself, I would strongly recommend consulting one to get their opinion before starting treatment.

What cat ailments do people use CBD for?

The first thing to say is CBD does not work overnight, so don’t be alarmed if you don’t immediately see results, and certainly don’t be tempted to up the dosage on the basis of the first few days! Be patient, and keep a close eye on your cat for the first couple of weeks. If there’s no significant improvement at that point, you might want to consider upping the dose.

Just like humans, all cats are different, so it’s hard to give a concrete statement about how CBD will affect them, and what you can expect to see.

Here are a few things CBD can help with:

  • Arthritis
  • Swelling and inflammation (internal and external)
  • Asthma
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pain, both nerve-related and neurological
  • Anxiety, stress and depression
  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Bowel disease
  • Cancer
  • Overall wellness and prevention of future ailments

Are there side effects?

The side effects of CBD oil on cats should be minimal and are usually nothing to worry about. As I said above, getting the dosage right is extremely important and less is definitely more, particularly if you’re just starting to use it.

The most common side effect is sedation. Your cat might seem a bit sluggish, or be sleeping more than normal. This is nothing to worry about and can be alleviated quickly and simply by reducing the dose or stopping treatment.

Far rarer effects might include some mild nausea, a lack of appetite, increased anxiety and vomiting. These are highly unlikely and shouldn’t be serious, but I recommend consulting your vet if anything along these lines does occur during CBD treatment.

A key thing I want to stress is that your cat won’t get high from CBD! Although cannabis is a blanket term for all cannabis plants, there is a big difference between the marijuana plant which contains high levels of the psychoactive compound THC, and hemp, which doesn’t (usually having no more than 0.3%).

CBD has no psychoactive compounds, so unless you buy CBD oil which has been reintroduced to THC or that has been derived from marijuana plants, it is chemically impossible for it to provide a high.

Is it legal to give CBD to your cat?

This question is probably the biggest stigma surrounding CBD use, both in humans and in pets.

The key element here is the levels of THC. If a cannabis product contains less than 0.3% THC, then it is classified as ‘hemp’ and is not considered a restricted substance.

Given that you aren’t looking to give your kitty a buzz (!), CBD oil with less than 0.3% THC is considered the safe level for administering to cats. Therefore, you should have no problems whatsoever! It is important, obviously, to check the products you are buying carefully to ensure that everything is safe and legal, but there is nothing inherently restricted about CBD oil.

Do’s and don’ts

  • Do pay close attention to the recommended dosage and how much oil you are administering to your cat.
  • Don’t panic if you don’t see an immediate response.
  • Do undertake research and due diligence before buying any CBD products.
  • Don’t buy CBD oil derived from marijuana.
  • Do ensure the CBD product you buy is 100% natural, lab-tested, soy-free and non-GMO.

What is CBD oil?

CBD is one of over 100 active compounds found in cannabis. Unlike the main active compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD doesn’t contain psychoactive elements, so it can’t get you high. What it be used for, however, is for a variety of therapeutic purposes. CBD oil is a liquid derived from the cannabis plant, containing an extremely high concentration of CBD.

Why CBD?

There have been a number of research studies undertaken about using CBD to treat ailments. It has been proven to reduce pain and is often recommended as a natural remedy to help with anxiety and depression, epilepsy, neurological problems, and even in cancer treatments. As medical research continues, CBD is increasingly seen as an viable, affordable and effective alternative option for a wide variety of problems.

CBD affects the endocannabinoid system in the body which works to control certain functions such as immunities, pain, sleeping and state of mind. We all have naturally produced endocannabinoids in our body already, and CBD acts to supplement their effects.

Conclusion

CBD oil can be a great help for existing conditions, and an excellent way of promoting general good health in your feline companion. As more and more people begin to try out alternative therapies and the stigma surrounding hemp and cannabis lessen, I highly recommend CBD oils as a great way of caring for your cat and keeping them healthy and happy!

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