It's 2021, and entertaining the idea of CBD oil for cat's treatment doesn't elicit a tongue-in-cheek moment (thankfully!). Studies are constantly growing and offering more evidence to people that Cannabis (if utilized correctly) could actually have a healthy impact on your body—contrary to its infamous old image.
And of course, its benefits could also be reaped by our fur friends too; and that's all we're going to talk about today.
Although, before going forward, we've got to make one thing clear. When we say Cannabis is good, we're only referring to the useful compounds present in the plant, like CBD, CBC, etc.
However, out of various compounds present in Cannabis sativa plants, THC and CBD are the ones that require your attention.
THC is a psychoactive compound, which could be responsible for giving you the sensation of "high," euphoria, and other mind-altering experiences. CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive compound and has medicinal benefits that we will be discussing in this article. Different cannabis plants have different concentrations of CBD.
The hemp plant is known to have large concentrations of CBD in it.
TL; DR: In the simplest of terms, imagine CBD and THC are from the same bloodline, where THC is the spoiled cousin.
So, having learned the basics about CBD, let's get into the nitty-gritty and get your kitty healthy and giddy!
How Does CBD Oil for Cats Work?
CBD interacts with animals' bodies pretty much the same way it does with our bodies. Animals also have an endocannabinoid system (like human beings) which is responsible for the well-being and healthy internal functioning and regulation of different essential functions in their bodies. It has a big influence on the cat's mood, appetite, memory, pain, reproductive health, brain, inflammation, and a lot of other essential functions.
Although cats do have the ability to produce endocannabinoids, the problem occurs when their body doesn't do that in the optimal amount. Endocannabinoids produced by cats are called endogenous cannabinoids.
Their job is to attach to different sites of the cells and help in the regulation of instructions and messages in order to ensure the body gives appropriate responses to different stimuli. This response of the body is called homeostasis.
When the endocannabinoids in the body don't deliver the instructions properly, CBD oil for cats comes into action. The endocannabinoids in CBD oil bind to different endocannabinoid receptors (which the cat's system can't do under stress) in order to let the endocannabinoid system learn what's happening and regulate the right messaging in the body.
What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil for Cats?
As we discussed earlier, cats have an endocannabinoid system similar to humans. You can imagine how CBD for cats could work in a similar way that it does for humans. Most of its benefits circle around pain management, mental disbalance, and inflammation.
CBD strengthens the endocannabinoid system of the cats, which helps them maintain homeostasis—and disorders kick in when homeostasis is imbalanced for a significantly long time.
Here are some of the most common benefits of CBD oil for Cats:
Pain management and anti-inflammation
Cats have a vanilloid receptor in their body that helps them understand the sensation of pain when trouble arises. When CBD enters their body, it targets that receptor and desensitizes it, which prevents the vanilloid receptors from turning.
So, the signals of pain aren't regulated in the body, which results in easier pain management. At Cornell University, it's been explored by the researchers that CBD has proved effective in managing pain.
To put it in other words, think of Vanilloid receptors as the security guard at the doorway of your cat's secret facility. When there's a problem (which means the cause of a pain), the guard turns on the alarm and lets the entire facility know there's a problem (the facility being the body while the alarm is the indication of pain sent throughout the body).
Now CBD jumps into the scene like a secret ninja and silences the guard. This means trouble (pain) is there in the facility, but nobody knows about its existence.
Stress and Anxiety
As cats aren't very expressive and vocal, it sometimes gets tricky to spot signs of poor mental health in them. Although if you pay enough attention, you can start noticing problems like fur loss, odd change in mood, poor digestive health, bad eating habits, unusual grooming, and other problems that are born out of stress in the cat.
The reasons behind their stress-induced anxiousness could be many. It could be as straightforward as having a poor human-cat relationship, the cat's intrinsic nature of being a shy animal, or its fear of a certain stimulus (like travelling, firecrackers, loud noises).
Researches in the past have shown that CBD has anti-anxiety properties. Therefore, CBD (for cats with anxiety issues) could be helpful as it can induce a calming and relaxing feeling in your cat. It's also said that CBD helps in managing fear in cats, moderating cortisol and hormone production, and influencing the receptors that dictate the overall mood of your four-legged friend.
Arthritis and age-related pain
Like a lot of animals (and humans), cats also experience age-induced problems like inflammation, stiffness, and pain in their bones and joints. In fact, a study conducted in 2011 reflected that around 60% of cats that are six years old or above have arthritis in at least one of their joints, while 82% of cats above the age of 13 suffer from arthritis. CBD's anti-inflammatory properties make pain management easier and reduce inflammation.
And as we mentioned earlier, CBD's interaction with the vanilloid receptor brings down the perceived level of pain. Therefore, if you see the signs like lack of mobility or energy or notice your cat experiencing pain, it might be the time to purchase CBD for your cat.
Seizures and Epilepsy
Seizures are caused due to disruptions in the cerebral cortex of the brain. That disruption results in the body losing voluntary function and making your cat's body twitch or shake violently. It can also make the cat unusually aggressive, salivate or drool excessively, or sometimes, the cat can even lose consciousness.
Some of the conventional drugs that are given to cats suffering from seizures hold a bad reputation for causing negative impacts on the heart, kidney, and mood of the cats. Therefore, a lot of pet owners try CBD oil as an alternative for their cat's well-being.
Although there isn't a lot of research done for the long-term effects of CBD for cats with seizures, there are some studies that suggest that CBD could minimize the disruptions occurring in the brain, resulting in subduing the occurrence of seizures that might occur in the future.
Similar to arthritis, neurodegeneration is also common among ageing cats. It's simple to detect. The symptoms could be the cat becoming unusually vocal, yowling or howling for random reasons, or looking confused or disoriented for the most part of the day.
There aren't a lot of studies that directly point towards CBD oil for cats being a sure-shot answer. But since humans and cats have the same receptor system for cannabinoids, it's worthy of considering CBD's neuroprotective properties that have proved effective for humans in the past.
Are there any side effects of using CBD oil for Cats?
There aren't any significant side effects of CBD oil on cats. Although, there are some very understandable things that could be a result of CBD on your cat's behavior. For example, CBD's dry mouth effect could make them more thirsty than usual. CBD induces a relaxing and effect, so don't be surprised if you see your cat a little drowsy or tired while roaming around.
There could also be a loss of fatigue too. If your kitty's sleepiness or tiredness looks concerning, you can reduce their dosage and check the impact. If it doesn't change, it's advisable to have a conversation with your vet about it and stop feeding CBD to your cat for some time.
However, the important thing to keep in mind when your purchase CBD oil for cats would be to check if it's coming from a trusted source.
There are a lot of third-party labs that test the CBD products for contaminants, amounts of THC (which shouldn't be higher than the advised amount), and other potentially harmful contents. Hence, in order to purchase the best CBD oil for cats, make sure you do your research properly.
What's the Best Way to Give CBD Oil to a Cat?
There are good chances that your cat won't like the taste of CBD. Sometimes the oil is mixed with other ingredients to make its taste more acceptable. But there are still ways to get the not-so-pleasant-tasting CBD into your feline's system.
Apply it on their gums or other soft skin parts
Oral application of CBD has been proved to be the most effective method to give CBD oil to a cat. As the skin around their gums and cheek is soft, it can easily absorb the CBD oil when it's applied there.
It's obviously not easy to open your kitty's mouth. Therefore, the trick is to get them relaxed on your lap. Pet them slowly. And when they're all ready to do whatever their caring parent tells them to do, you know what you're supposed to do next.
If this doesn't work, you can pick another soft skin part, which is their ear. When the oil is applied to a soft skin part, it can quickly reach the bloodstream and get the job done for you.
Trick them into licking it by applying it on their paws
Since cats love licking their paws, why not make most of that habit?
When your cat would notice you're applying CBD oil on its soft pads, the force of habit would make it lick its paws clean.
What happens then? Ba dum tss!
Make them curious about the dropper
You can take the oil in the dropper and hold it over your fur friend's mouth to catch its interest. As soon as it starts licking it, squeeze the dropper and watch the oil go straight into its mouth. Although, make sure you clean the dropper before you put it again inside the CBD oil bottle.
Put it into their food
Well, if none of the abovementioned methods works for you, you can add a few drops of CBD tincture to your cat's food bowl. Although it might take more time and require more CBD oil to get the same results, it should get the job done for you.
Can I Give My Cat CBD Along with Other Medications?
The first thing on your to-do list before giving CBD oil to your kitty should be to consult your vet if your pet is already on some medication. Studies have shown that CBD can interact with a group of liver enzymes that are collectively called cytochrome p450.
The enzyme's role in the body is to break down the pharmaceutical drugs and allow oxidation of the drug by adding oxygen molecules to its structure.
The process makes the molecules water-soluble, which makes the filtering job easier for the kidney. The fun fact is, cytochrome p450 is used to metabolize somewhat around 60% of the medications available in the market. So, you've got to tread carefully. Here are some common drugs that may not function optimally when they interact with CBD:
- Fentanyl and other narcotics
When CBD enters the body and gets metabolized by cytochrome p450, it occupies the activity rea of the enzyme in the liver, which inhibits the enzymes from breaking down the chemicals. So, the medication which was supposed to be metabolized by cytochrome p450 would stay in the cat's system longer than it should.
To be clear, this doesn't mean you can't take any amount of CBD with the abovementioned medications. Just that you need to be more careful and be in touch with your vet to make sure nothing bad happens.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Cat?
The first thing that you need to understand is a cat's dosage depends on its size. Therefore, before you think about purchasing the best CBD oil for cats, get your fur friend weighed.
Most veterinarians suggest 1-2 milligrams of CBD per day for every 10 pounds of body weight to be the starting point. If you don't notice any significant change in them, you can slowly increase the dosage and note down how that impacts them.
Every wise cat owner should maintain a journal to keep track of their kitty's response increase in the dosage. If the cat is suffering from cancer or seizures, the usual advice is to give 4-5mg of CBD per pound. Depending on their response, you can alter the dosage.
Keep in mind that the right dosage is important. So, keep analyzing (with patience!) and find the right dosage as per your cat's unique needs.
Being a cat parent isn't as easy as it sounds—especially when conventional medicine doesn't work effectively on your four-legged friends' poor health. Therefore, like a lot of happy pet parents, you can also give CBD a try and see if it works well with your pet.
And to save your time on research, you can find yourself the best CBD oil for your cat in our catalogue that features a wide variety of CBD brands suited to the different needs of the buyers. Try one out on for pet, and we'll wait for you to leave a comment about how it helped your fur friend!