We know that your cat means the world to you. At Honest Paws, we are all pet owners and pet lovers. Therefore, when something seems off with your feline friend, we understand that it can be a heart-wrenching time. A trip to the veterinarian will likely cause even more stress. What are all these medications? Are they necessary? Will they even work?
Let us introduce: CBD for cats.
By now, you’ve likely heard of the benefits of CBD and the incredible ways that it is helping humans cope with a wide range of ailments every single day. From promoting relaxation to boosting general wellness, CBD is continuing to make headway in the world of holistic health, and it’s no surprise why. It was only a matter of time before experts in the field begin considering whether or not CBD could potentially have benefits for our four-legged companions. If you haven’t already heard, we are happy to be the ones to tell you that CBD for cats and dogs is well on its way to gaining the attention and acknowledgment that it deserves and we can't wait to explain how it's all possible.
What is CBD Oil for Cats
CBD oil for cats is a liquid substance that is derived from the cannabis plant. CBD is short for the word cannabidiol. It is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Although there are a plethora of cannabinoids, CBD and THC are the most known. CBD oil is non-toxic and all natural, and while it is undoubtedly on the rise and becoming a part of conversations about natural ways to heal our pet's illnesses, pain, anxiety, and a slew of other things, there are still a few misconceptions that we hope to shed light on in terms of CBD oil for cats.
Understanding CBD - How Does it Work?
Just like humans, dogs and cats have endocannabinoid systems (ECS). The endocannabinoid systems work to regulate certain function such as pain, mood, sleep, appetite, and immunity.
Our bodies, as well as our pets' bodies, have naturally produced cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. Therefore, when you or your furry companion consumes a cannabis product such as CBD oil, you are supplementing your endocannabinoid system. A good comparison is considering how vitamin C supplements the body's immune system. You are more or less helping the body's natural functions.
The Cannabis Plant --> CBD & THC
Like we previously mentioned, there are still quite a few misconceptions surrounding the cannabis plant. We know that you want to dive into all of the benefits that CBD has to offer for your cat, but we feel that this is important to understand. Cannabis Sativa L is a general name for the plant that embodies many different strains. Some of the strains make marijuana, which is federal federally illegal in many states. Other strains make hemp for therapeutic and industrial purposes. We want our readers to understand that the cannabis plant itself is more of an umbrella term in which both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant fall under.
While there are certainly similarities between the hemp plant and the marijuana plant, there are also differences that are extremely important to recognize.
In general, the cannabis plant contains both CBD and THC. However, cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC are known as hemp plants. Products made from hemp plant are legal in all 50 states.
The marijuana plant is most commonly recognized for its psychoactive properties. This is not to say that the marijuana plant does not have any medicinal qualities. It absolutely does. The marijuana plant helps individuals with a wide array of health conditions every single day. However, the stigma regarding the marijuana plant still widely exists. The marijuana plant is commonly used recreationally. In other words, people use the marijuana plant to get "high."
On the other hand, products derived from the hemp plant are considered non-psychoactive, meaning they will not produce a "buzz" or "high". When we talk about CBD for cats and dogs, we are referring to products derived from the hemp plant. Therefore, CBD will not get your pet high. Furthermore, we want to stress that while CBD derived from the marijuana plant might be legal in your state, it is very dangerous for your cats and dogs and can make them incredibly sick. Pet owners should only administer CBD derived from the hemp plant for their furry friends.
Fighting the Stereotype
Due to the fact that the term marijuana is incredibly stigmatized, people often refer to marijuana as cannabis. However, when people equate marijuana and cannabis they associate cannabis with all of those negative opinions. Therefore, CBD also inadvertently receives the associated negative opinions.
In efforts to reform the negativity, we think it’s important to educate our readers so that they, in turn, can teach others. At the end of the day, we want as many people as possible to benefit from all that CBD has to offer. This will only be possible if we reverse opinions and make sure that people know all there is to know about this incredible herb.
Just to reiterate, cannabidiol oil = CBD. CBD will not get you or your cat "high."
Tetrahydrocannabinol = THC. THC is the psychoactive variety that you think of when people are using the herb recreationally.
What is CBD Hemp Oil
The CBD products that are safe for your cats and dogs are CBD hemp products. Perhaps the most popular product on the market is CBD hemp oil. This liquid substance will more often than not come in a tincture form that includes a dropper. The dropper allows pet parents to know exactly how much CBD their cats and dogs are getting. You can literally control every single drop. We’ll get into specific dosages later, but CBD hemp oil is a great way to start introducing CBD into your cat's life because it makes it easy to start off slowly. We always recommend introducing a new product gradually. There’s no reason to rush the process. CBD oils can be given orally, mixed in with your cat’s food, or placed on their favorite treat. More about that in a minute!
CBD Oil Effects & Benefits
Remarkably, the health benefits of CBD for cats are much like the benefits for humans. CBD for cats can be used to support a current condition as well as boosting overall wellness in otherwise healthy cats. We’re excited to share with you all the ways this amazing herb might be able to help your four-legged friend.
CBD Oil for Pain & Inflammation
CBD oil may play a role in easing inflammation in humans, cats, and dogs alike. CBD may also contribute to supporting:
- Neuropathy pain
- Nerve-related pain
- Intestinal inflammation
- Inflammation on oxidative stress
In fact, many cat owners report that their kitties return to their playful selves after introducing CBD into their lives.
Epilepsy And Seizures in Cats
It’s no secret that anti-seizure medications for both humans and our animals present a slew of horrifying adverse reactions. From kidney failure to heart issues to death, it’s troubling to think that an anti-seizure medication is the only option we have. Thanks to CBD, we now have a holistic option.
Furthermore, a scary reality that many pet parents may not realize is that even if you are administering the anti-seizure medication correctly, it may not work for your specific cat. That’s right. Even if you’re doing everything right, some anti-seizure medications just don’t work for your cat's individual needs.
Studies suggest that CBD oil may play a role in supporting those with epilepsy and seizures, even when conventional medications can't. Let that sink in. An all natural non-toxic supplement is able to treat a condition that harsh drugs weren’t able to. While more studies must be done to confirm, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD is a viable option.
CBD Oil for Anxiety
Perhaps one of the most studied ways that CBD can positively affect humans and our pets alike is its ability to promote relaxation. Gone are the days where anti-anxiety medications were our only option.
Cats that were once fearful of traveling in a car or plane may now be able to accompany their owners with ease, free of stress. Additionally, CBD oil also supports different types of anxieties and phobias, including separation anxiety and fear of loud noises, such as fireworks. Again, because of the fact that it is all natural and non-toxic, pet parents don’t need to worry about the adverse reactions that accompany the vast majority of mood-altering drugs.
Reducing Nausea and Boosting the Appetite
It is the sad truth that some cats will have to undergo conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. These harsh treatments can cause many adverse reactions in your cat, including a loss of appetite and horrific nausea. If your car has to undergo conventional treatment for cancer, CBD may play a role in easing the associated symptoms.
Improving Coat & Skin Conditions
CBD oil may also contribute to a healthy and shiny coat. While most of the time CBD oil will be administered orally, cat owners can also apply CBD oil on their cats' skin. This has the potential to ease irritation because cats have cannabis receptors on the surface of their skin.
CBD for Overall Wellness
As we previously mentioned, CBD for cats promotes overall wellness. Adding a CBD supplement into your cat's diet can significantly improve their day-to-day life.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
We don’t have to tell you that no two cats are exactly alike. Therefore, all cats have the potential to react differently to a cannabis supplement. The main side effect of CBD is that it can make your cat a bit sedated. If your cat seems lazier or more lethargic than usual, simply lower your cat’s dosage. Typically, side effects are nonexistent, and when they do occur are extremely mild.
Additionally, we want to reiterate that cat owners should only give their cats CBD derived from the hemp plant. Products that are high in THC such as recreational or medicinal marijuana, can make cats extremely uncomfortable. Therefore, do not blow marijuana products into your cats face thinking that it will help them. It will only make them feel worse. With that being said, studies suggest that CBD derived from hemp plants are virtually harmless for cats.
We like to encourage our readers to think less is more when considering an appropriate dose for their cats. Typically, the suggested starting dose is 1 mg – 5 mg per 10 lbs. of body weight. For cats, it is recommended to start with 1-5 mg.
Additionally, Dr. Angie Krause, a holistic veterinarian, has some helpful guidelines. Check out more from Dr. Krause here. If you want to see if CBD will work for your kitty, here are some doses to get you started:
Arthritis: 0.5 milligrams (mg) of CBD per kilogram of your pet’s weight (0.5 mg/kg) twice a day
Inflammatory Bowel Disease: 0.2mg/kg twice daily
Pancreatitis: 0.1mg/kg twice daily and gradually increase to 0.5mg/kg twice daily
Asthma: 0.5mg/kg twice daily
Chronic Upper Respiratory Infections:5mg/kg twice daily
Seizures: 0.5mg/kg twice daily and gradually increase. **Dr. Krause notes it takes up to 3mg/kg for CBD to treat cats with seizures**
CBD Oil for Sale: A Warning
With the rising popularity of CBD products, we want to warn cat owners that not all CBD is created equally. CBD is not highly regulated. Therefore, it is entirely possible that the CBD products you’re buying online aren’t exactly what you’re hoping for.
For this reason, you’ll want to make sure of a few things. Make sure that you’re buying from a reputable source. It doesn’t take long for the Internet to begin a conversation about which brands are great and which are... well... not so great. We encourage parents to do their homework.
The last thing that you want is to decide to treat your pet in a natural way and then not purchase a natural product. With CBD oil, you truly get what you pay for. Please don't purchase the cheapest product in order to save a few dollars without fully researching what exactly you are buying.
Pure CBD Oil: What To Look For
Cat owners should ensure that the CBD product that they purchase is 100% natural, lab tested, soy free, and non-GMO.
Additionally, we encourage our readers to make sure the CBD products that they purchase come with a certificate of analysis. Any reputable company should easily be able to provide it. The certificate of analysis will tell you exactly how much THC and CBD is in their product. The analysis is crucial in knowing exactly what you are purchasing.
As we previously mentioned, due to the fact that CBD is not regulated in specific ways, a producer can label an oil as a CBD oil, despite its low CBD content. If a pet owner doesn’t fully research the amount of CBD, they may likely be throwing their money away on a product that won’t do much good for their cat.
If a product that you find online has virtually no CBD (but still advertised as a CBD product) then what exactly are you giving your cat?
Another thing to consider is if the product is not 100% natural and non-GMO, then it is likely treated with herbicides and pesticides. Pet owners know that herbicides and pesticides can cause a wider range of ailments in their furry companions. Therefore, instead of benefiting your cat with CBD, you can actually be causing more harm if you purchase a product that is not up to the necessary standards.
CBD Oil for Dogs
For pet parents who have cats and dogs, you’re in luck. CBD oil has also proven to be incredibly effective for our canine friends as well. However, we do want to stress that the dosages of the CBD oil can be quite different. Furthermore, CBD for overall wellness and CBD for specific ailments will also have different recommended dosages. We always recommend consulting with a holistic veterinarian in regards to the appropriate dose of CBD for your individual pet's needs.
Again, we always advise our readers to start off slowly when introducing a new product into their pets life. Trust us, before you know it your cats and dogs will be reaping all the benefits of CBD has to offer. There’s no need to rush the process. Make sure that your cat and dog feel comfortable with the new addition to their life and gradually increase the dose until you reach the recommended dose.
CBD For Cats: The Bottom Line
When you adopted your precious kitten, you may not have been warned about all of the problems that would arise through your furry friend's life. As a cat owner, you make sure to stay up on the latest health trends, make sure that your cat is mentally and physically stimulated, and provide a species appropriate, health-conscious diet.
That’s why when problems do arise it can be incredibly frustrating. You’re doing all that you can, what can you do now? We're sure you know that a simple trip to your veterinarian will likely result in leaving with prescription medication. A simple Google search of said medication will probably leave you with quite a bit of anxiety. The adverse effects of nearly every conventional drug on the market can be terrifying for a pet owner. From liver failure to blindness to death, it’s troubling to think that this may be your only option. Luckily, it’s not.
We hope that you consider allowing your cat to reap all of the benefits that CBD has to offer. We hope your four-legged friend feels better soon!