Everything You Need to Know About Using CBD Oil for Cats

CBD oil next to cat
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Cats are the second most loved animal in the United States (not to mention the stars of many of the most popular videos on YouTube). We know how much you love your cat, and how difficult it is to see them in pain or stressed out. Pet owners are turning to CBD oil as a safe, more natural alternative to treat various conditions ranging from anxiety, pain, and seizures in their cats.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • CBD can be used to treat a variety of conditions in your cat, including pain, stress, and anxiety.
  • Hemp-based CBD oil is an ideal choice as it contains no THC, which is both psychoactive and toxic to cats. 
  • CBD oil is easy to administer and safe for your pet.
  • Is it legal? You bet! CBD oil is legal in all 50 states.
  • Start your cat off with low dosages, see how he reacts, then go up as needed.

There are endless options on the market with more hitting shelves every day, so it’s essential to know which products are safe to give to your feline friend, plus the ins and outs of dosages. But first, let’s take a look at how CBD oil can help your mouser.

CBD Oil for Cats – The Basics

Many of us are familiar with the potential benefits of incorporating CBD oil in our lives, but did you know that CBD oil may have similar positive effects in cats? CBD or cannabidiol has recently surged in popularity as an alternative treatment for everything from chronic pain, anxiety, and depression, as well as boasting possible benefits with helping treat acne, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

To be clear, there’s been very little research conducted on the effects of CBD on cats. However, there are plenty of anecdotal reports from cat owners using CBD oil as a way to treat various conditions in their kitties. CBD can be derived from either hemp or cannabis. Only use CBD oils that are hemp-derived or cannabidiol which contains no THC for your cats – marijuana is toxic to cats. This means to avoid giving your cat any CBD oils containing THC.

Only Use THC-Free Hemp CBD Oil for Cats

Hemp-derived CBD oil is the way to go if you want to use cannabidiol as a treatment for your moggy’s ailments as it’s always THC-free. This type of oil is legal in all 50 states. It’s hands-down the safest option to give to a pet as some cannabis-derived CBD may contain THC (this is why it’s so important to check labels before you buy). Because CBD oils made from hemp are naturally THC-free, the hemp-based options are generally considered safer for your cat. 

THC-free CBD flower for cats

So…Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?

The long-term effects of CBD in cats haven’t been studied and again, the research on the effects of CBD in cats is fairly limited. That said, one small study by Deabold, Schwark et al indicated that cannabidiol appears to be safe for cats and dogs. As we touched on earlier, cannabis is not.

The key to keeping the feline in your life safe when administering CBD oil is to do your research first – know the strength of the CBD oil and start with low dosages. 

Giving CBD tincture to cat

What To Look For When Purchasing a Product

Only use high-quality THC-free CBD oil and watch out for other ingredients on the label. Make sure they’re cat-friendly before you buy. Pick up organic products when possible – you don’t want to give your cat anything that’s been exposed to pesticides. Have questions? Ask your vet before putting your tabby or tortie on a CBD regimen, especially if your cat is on other medication. 

Will CBD Oil Get My Cat High?

CBD is non-psychoactive which means no, it won’t get your cat high. Possible side effects include lethargy and gastrointestinal issues.

How Can CBD Help My Cat?

Like humans, cats have cannabinoid receptors. People turn to CBD to alleviate everything from chronic pain to stress, anxiety, and insomnia. The same seems to be true for cats. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it a good choice for cats suffering from arthritis, neuropathy-related pain, and other inflammatory conditions. My ancient tortoiseshell has arthritis and a low dose of hemp-derived CBD oil has done wonders for helping her move around with greater ease. At 21, she’s no longer as spry as she once was, but since starting a CBD treatment, she can now jump on and off the furniture and knock things off table surfaces a lot more like she used to. 

CBD oil can also help cats with stress and anxiety-related issues. It may help calm them down, which can be a real boon for cats with separation anxiety or relieve stress caused by moving house, new pets, or other major changes to their living situations. 

This means you could try CBD as a preventive measure if you’ll be exposing your cat to stressful circumstances whether it’s a trip in a car, having people over, or if your cat is sensitive to loud noises and there’s a storm brewing or fireworks show on.

Does your cat suffer from seizures or epilepsy? Cannabidiol has been shown to help reduce seizures in people and anecdotal evidence shows it might help cats as well. CBD offers a potential non-toxic, safer alternative treatment for cats with epilepsy and seizures with potentially fewer associated side effects.

With its anti-inflammatory effects, CBD oil can help with feline acne, dry skin, soothe allergic reactions, and help boost the condition of your cat’s coat, making it ultra-soft, shiny, and stronger. 

CBD Treats for Cats

There are loads of CBD-infused treats for cats featuring flavors felines love like tuna, chicken, and salmon. Both online and brick and mortar pet shops are great places to pick up CBD-infused cat treats.

If you want to use oil, make sure it doesn’t contain any other ingredients that might be harmful to cats like artificial sweeteners (which are found in CBD products for humans), peppermint oil, and other toxic oils. Look for tinctures specially formulated for cats. Mixing it into your kitty’s food might be a better option to treats if you’re worried about weight gain.

Start With the Lowest Dosage Possible

How much CBD to give your cat will depend on a few factors like the cat’s condition, weight, and so on. In general, err on the side of caution and opt for the lowest dosage possible to see how it affects your feline pal. Because cats are so much smaller than most dog breeds, you’ll want to use a smaller dosage for Felix than you might for Fido. Dosage-wise, the general recommendation is 1 mg for a 10-pound cat. 

One to two times a day should be enough for your cat, but start with a once a day treatment and see how your cat reacts. CBD takes about 15 to 30 minutes to start taking effect. 

How to Give Your Cat CBD

Mix the oil into your cats food (wet food is easiest, but you can add CBD to dry kibble as well), add it to packaged treats or a bit of fresh fish, chicken, or meat – whatever your feline fancies. You can also apply a pre-measured dose directly in your pet’s mouth, if she’ll let you. Many pet owners (myself included) find the latter option a tricky one, so a bit of CBD combined with food makes life a whole lot easier. Some folks have found success putting the oil directly on their cats’ paws which their pet will then lick off.

CBD can be a great holistic way to treat a variety of conditions in your cat. Do your due diligence and research cat-safe brands to make sure your cat is getting the best option for her. This way, she’ll be able to reap the benefits with little to no risk while you get the satisfaction of giving your tabby a better quality of life.