CBD for Cats: What You Need to Know

Everyone seems to be raving about the benefits of CBD these days, but what is it exactly? CBD is a chemical compound found in hemp that offers many of the same benefits as marijuana, but without getting you “high.” This is why so many people are currently using it on themselves, and now on their pets.

CBD Reduces Anxiety, Inflammation & Pain

CBD activates the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in humans and animals, which regulates certain bodily functions, like the sensation of pain, our body’s inflammatory response, appetite, mood, memory and more. CBD can reduce anxiety and aggression in cats and calm them down before a stressful event like fireworks, a trip to the vet or groomer. 

CBD can also provide much needed pain relief, which is especially helpful to older cats with joint pain or arthritis. CBD is jam-packed with strong anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce inflammation and even the spread of inflammation. Furthermore, scientists have found that CBD can reduce the amount of perceived pain by desensitizing the vanilloid receptors in the brain. 

 Can I Safely Use CBD on My Cat?

Although clinical research and trials are currently being conducted by scientists on the safety and effectiveness of CBD, these products are still not regulated by the FDA. This is why it’s so important that you carefully research all CBD products and the company behind them before treating your cat with them.  

CBD oil for cats comes in a variety of forms: oil, spray, treats, tincture, and capsules. These all have varying levels of quality, so read the labels looking for lab test results to find out how much THC it contains. THC is the psychoactive compound in hemp. You do not want to use a product that contains more than 0.3% THC on your cat. You also do not want to use one with pesticides or any other harmful additives.  

Recent studies have shown that some cats can experience mild side effects from CBD. The most common ones are drowsiness and dry mouth. So, make sure your cat has plenty of fresh water to drink and a soft spot where he/she can curl up and fall asleep. There are no known reports of serious side effects resulting from CBD use. 

What Dosage Should I Use on My Cat?

There are no medical dosage guidelines for CBD because it is not regulated by any veterinarian body or the FDA. Experts say that it depends on the size of your cat and whether he/she needs a standard or strong dose. 

Basic dosage amounts are as follows: 

A standard dose would be 0.25 milligrams for each pound of body weight. The standard dose for a 20-pound cat would be 5 milligrams. A strong dose would be 0.5 milligrams for each pound of body weight. A strong dose for a 20-pound cat would be 10 milligrams. It may require some experimentation on your part to find the right dose.  

The calming effects on cats take about an hour. If your cat doesn’t seem any calmer within that timeframe, you can try a little more CBD. Once you’ve hit the right dose, he/she should seem calmer but not to the point of being lethargic. CBD is very difficult to overdose on, so if you give your cat a little too much, he/she will just get sleepy and doze off.  

How Often Should I Give My Cat CBD?

CBD is most effective if given to cats every 8 hours. If you are treating your cat for anxiety or agitation, then give the CBD to him/her 30 minutes before the stressful event, like fireworks, car ride or separation. If your cat is generally nervous or aggressive you may want to give CBD to him/her on a regular basis, every morning and at night. 

Is CBD Safe if My Cat is On Other Medications?

It is important to check with your vet before giving your cat CBD oil, especially if he/she is taking prescription medications. Holistic vets are more familiar with CBD and the benefits that can be derived and should have the answers you seek. Hemp CBD is often used as a drug-free natural treatment for anxiety, inflammation, and pain in cats. It’s certainly worth a try if you want your kitty to enjoy a happier and more playful life! 

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