Your cat means the world to you, and we understand. 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 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 much headway in the world of holistic health, and this comes as no surprise.
It was only a matter of time before experts in the field began to consider 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 derived from the cannabis plant. CBD is the abbreviation 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 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most well-known. Pure CBD oil is non-toxic and all-natural, and while its popularity is undoubtedly increasing and it's becoming part of the conversations about natural ways to heal our pets’ illnesses, pain, anxiety, and many other issues, there are still a few misconceptions about CBD oil for cats that we hope to shed light on.
Understanding CBD - How Does it Work?
Just like humans, dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system works to regulate certain bodily functions such as pain, mood, sleep, appetite, and immunity.
Your body, as well as your pets' bodies, naturally produce cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. Therefore, when you or your furry companion consume a cannabis product, such as CBD oil, you are supplementing your endocannabinoid system. A good comparison is to consider how vitamin C helps to support the body's immune system. You are more or less helping the body's natural functions.
The Cannabis Plant ➜ CBD & THC
As we previously mentioned, there are still quite a few misconceptions surrounding the cannabis plant. We know that you want to dive into all the benefits that CBD has to offer for your cat, but we feel that it is important to have a clear understanding of the various definitions of the plant. Cannabis sativa L is the general name for the plant that includes many different strains. Some of these strains include the marijuana plant, which is federally illegal in many states. Other strains include hemp plants, which are used for therapeutic and industrial purposes. We want you to understand that the cannabis plant itself is more of an umbrella term for both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant.
While there are certain 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 (the psychoactive component). However, cannabis plants that contain less than 0.3% THC are known as hemp plants. Products made from hemp plants 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 also have medicinal qualities. It absolutely does. The marijuana plant can help individuals with various health conditions. 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 the marijuana plant might be legal in your state, it is very dangerous for your cats and dogs and can make them severely sick. Pet owners beware….you should only administer CBD derived from the hemp plant to your furry friends. Also, you would want to ask the merchant you’re purchasing from whether they 3rd-party test their products for impurities and heavy metals and contaminants like mold. If they won’t show you the results of those tests then find another merchant who will.
Fighting the Stereotype
Because the term “marijuana” is incredibly stigmatized, people often refer to marijuana as “cannabis.” However, when people equate marijuana and cannabis, they correlate cannabis with all of the negative opinions associated with marijuana. Therefore, CBD also inadvertently receives negative attention.
In efforts to correct that negativity, we think it’s important to educate you, so that you, in turn, can teach others. We want as many furry pets as possible to benefit from all that CBD has to offer. This can only be possible if we reverse the negative opinions and ensure that people know the facts 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 compound, and the main reason people use the herb recreationally.
What is CBD Hemp Oil
The CBD products that are generally safe for your cats and dogs are CBD hemp products. Perhaps the most popular product on the market is CBD hemp oil. This liquid will more often than not come in the form of a tincture with a dropper. The dropper allows pet parents to know exactly how much CBD their cats and dogs are receiving.
You can literally control every single drop. We’ll get into specific dosages later, but CBD hemp oil is a great way to introduce CBD into your cat's regular routine because it’s 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 boost 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:
- Nerve-related pain
- Intestinal inflammation
- Other types of Inflammation and oxidative stress
In fact, after administering CBD, many cat owners report that their kitties return to their playful selves.
Epilepsy And Seizures in Cats
It’s no secret that anti-seizure medications for both humans and animals could present many adverse reactions. From kidney failure to heart issues, and even death; it’s troubling to think that an anti-seizure medication could be the only available option. However, CBD now presents a holistic option.
Furthermore, a scary reality that many pet parents may not realize is that even if you administer the anti-seizure medication correctly, it may not work for your 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, safe supplement is able to treat a condition that harsher drugs might not be able to. While more studies must be done to confirm those findings, anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD is a viable option.
CBD Oil for Anxiety
Perhaps one of the most studied effects of CBD is its ability to promote relaxation in humans and pets alike. Gone are the days when 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, and virtually stress-free. Additionally, CBD oil supports different types of anxiety and phobias, including separation anxiety and the fear of loud noises, such as fireworks. Again, because it is all-natural and safe, 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
The sad truth is - some cats will have to undergo conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. These harsh treatments can cause many adverse reactions, including a loss of appetite and nausea. If your cat has to undergo conventional treatment for cancer, CBD can help to ease the associated side-effects.
Improving Coat & Skin Conditions
CBD oil may also contribute to a healthy and shiny coat. Although CBD oil is mostly administered orally, you can also apply CBD oil to your cat’s skin. This can potentially ease irritation because cats have cannabinoid 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 to your cat's diet can significantly improve their day-to-day life and well being.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
We don’t have to tell you that no two cats are exactly alike. Therefore, all cats can have the potential to react differently to a cannabis supplement. The main side effect is that CBD 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 either nonexistent or very mild. For example, if the CBD is made into a treat, your pet may get an upset stomach, or experience other gastrointestinal issues, depending on the other contents of the treat. That's why you want to find all-natural CBD treats with clean, simple ingredients.
Additionally, we want to reiterate that you should only give your cats CBD derived from the hemp plant. Products that are high in THC, such as recreational or medicinal marijuana, can make cats extremely uncomfortable or sick. 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 said, studies suggest that CBD derived from hemp plants are virtually harmless for cats.
We like to encourage you to think ‘less is more’ when considering an appropriate dose for your cat. 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: 0.2 mg/kg twice daily
Pancreatitis: 0.1 mg/kg twice daily and gradually increase to 0.5 mg/kg twice daily
Asthma: 0.5 mg/kg twice daily
Chronic Upper Respiratory Infections: 0.5 mg/kg twice daily
Seizures: 0.5 mg/kg twice daily and gradually increase. **Dr. Krause notes it can take up to 3 mg/kg for CBD to effectively treat cats with seizures**
CBD Oil for Sale: A Warning
With the rising popularity of CBD products, we want to warn you, as a cat owner, that not all CBD products are 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. And since the product will be mailed to you, you have to realize that oils can spoil when they are exposed to heat.
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 you, the pet parent, to do your homework. Make sure that the company is willing to reveal their third-party testing results!
The last thing you would 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 to save a few dollars, without fully researching exactly what you are buying.
Pure CBD Oil: What To Look For
You should ensure that the CBD product you purchase for your cat is 100% natural, lab-tested, soy-free, and non-GMO, like Honest Paws CBD oil for cats.
Additionally, we encourage you to make sure the CBD products you purchase come with a certificate of analysis. Any reputable company should be easily able to provide one. The certificate of analysis will tell you exactly how much THC and CBD is in the product. The analysis is crucial so you know exactly what you are purchasing.
As CBD is not specifically regulated, a producer can label an oil as a CBD oil, despite a low CBD content. If you don’t fully research the amount of CBD contained in the product you intend to purchase, you could be throwing money away on a product that won’t do much good for your cat.
If a product that you find online has virtually no CBD (but is still advertised as a CBD product) then what exactly are you giving to your cat?
Another thing to consider is whether the product is 100% natural and non-GMO; if not, then it is likely treated with herbicides and pesticides. As a pet owner, you should know that herbicides and pesticides can cause a wide range of ailments in your furry companions. Therefore, some CBD products can actually cause more harm than good, if you purchase a product that is not up to the necessary standards.
CBD Oil for Dogs
If you own both cats and dogs, you’re in luck. CBD oil has been proven to be incredibly effective for your canine friends as well. However, we do want to stress that the recommended dosages of CBD oil can be quite different for dogs.
Furthermore, CBD administered as a supplement for overall wellness, and CBD administered to provide relief for specific ailments will also have different recommended dosages. We always recommend consulting with a holistic veterinarian regarding the appropriate dose of CBD for your individual pet's needs.
Again, we always advise you to start off slowly when introducing your pet to a new product. Trust us, before you know it, your cats and dogs will be reaping all the benefits that CBD has to offer.
There’s no need to rush the process. Make sure that your cat or dog feels comfortable with the new addition to their routine and gradually increase the dose until you reach the recommended dose or the desired effect.
CBD For Cats: The Bottom Line
When you adopted your precious kitten, you may not have been warned about all of the problems that could arise throughout the lifetime of your furry friend. As a cat owner, you should ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest health trends, ensure your cat is mentally and physically stimulated, and provide a species-appropriate, health-conscious diet.
When problems do arise, it can be incredibly frustrating. If you’re doing all that you can, what more should you do? A trip to your veterinarian may mean that you’d be administering prescription medication to your pet.
However, a simple Google search of the possible side effects of said medication could leave you with quite a bit of anxiety. The potential adverse effects of nearly every conventional drug on the market can be terrifying to a pet owner. From liver failure and blindness to even death - it’s troubling to think that this may be your only option. Luckily, it’s not!
We invite you to consider all the benefits that CBD has to offer your cat, and trust that your four-legged friend would be better soon!