As information constantly emerges regarding the potential adverse reactions associated with conventional medications, more and more pet owners find themselves desperately seeking all natural alternatives. It’s no surprise why. From kidney failure to blindness to death. Treating a simple illness can become fatal at the hands of prescriptive drugs. Luckily, holistic medicine is continuing to prove to be not only safe, but also incredibly effective at treating the ailments of our cats and dogs. Our favorite all natural alternative is none other than hemp-derived CBD oil for pets.
In this article, we will cover all there is to know about CBD for cats. Additionally, we hope to shed light on a few stereotypes that we are still trying to correct. (Spoiler alert- CBD will not get your cat high!) By knowing all there is to know about the powerful herb, pet parents can feel confident in the health decisions that they make for their four-legged friends. Let’s begin!
What is CBD Oil
CBD oil is a liquid substance derived from the cannabis plant. The remarkable herb has been making substantial headway for its use in humans. However, pet owners may not realize that experts have also been studying its effects on animals for the last three decades. CBD oil is non-toxic and all natural and is known to effectively treat a slew of ailments from crippling anxiety to chronic pain and just about everything in between. How is this possible? Let us explain.
How Does CBD Oil Work
Before we get into all of the ways how CBD oil may help your feline, we want to give a brief overview of how exactly the herb works. Dogs and cats have endocannabinoid systems (ECS) just like humans do. The endocannabinoid systems help regulate basic life necessities such as sleep, mood, pain, immunity, appetite, etc. In other words, we all need a fully functioning ECS.
The body also has naturally produced cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. Therefore, by consuming CBD (a cannabinoid), we are essentially supplementing the endocannabinoid system. Some experts use the comparison of vitamin C. When we consume vitamin C supplements, we are boosting our immune health. Consuming cannabinoids such as CBD is boosting overall wellness in a very similar way.
CBD & THC: Understanding the Differences
Unfortunately, there are still several misunderstandings and misconceptions when it comes to CBD. We hope that by informing our readers of the important differences, they will be able to help spread the information and inform other pet parents of all that CBD has to offer.
Both the hemp plant and the marijuana plant fall under the Cannabis Sativa L. “umbrella.” Cannabis Sativa L. embodies many different strains, all of which are used for a variety of reasons. Some of the strains produce marijuana, which we know to be still federally illegal in most states. Other strains produce hemp used for therapeutic and industrial purposes, which is legal in all 50 states.
While there are certainly similarities between the two plants, understanding the differences is key.
Will CBD Get My Cat High?
No! Hemp CBD oil will make your cat feel “high” or experience any state of euphoria.
The major difference that pet owners should understand is that hemp-derived CBD must contain less than 0.3% THC. THC is the property that gives people that euphoric feeling you see dramatized in movies. Because CBD derived from hemp has THC levels that are virtually non-existent, you don’t have to worry about your kitty staring on the next episode of That 70’s Show.
CBD VS THC: A Recap!
Cannabidiol oil = CBD. It will not get you or your cat “high.”
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive property that gives its users the high feeling that is stereotypically associated with marijuana. The marijuana plant is known for its psychoactive properties, however, this is not to say that it doesn’t also have medicinal purposes (it does!!). Even so, the marijuana plant is known somewhat notoriously for its recreational uses.
What is CBD Hemp Oil
CBD derived from the hemp plant is considered non-psychoactive and safe for our four-legged friends. CBD hemp oil typically comes in tincture form with an easy-to-use dropper which allows pet parents to have total control over how much of the product their cats and dogs receive. Pet owners can mix the CBD hemp oil into their pets’ food or place it on top of their favorite treat. Again, when it comes to CBD oil for pets, make sure to only buy hemp-derived products!
CBD Oil Effects: The Benefits of CBD Oil
Now, the part that you have all been patiently waiting for: the benefits of CBD oil for cats. Interestingly enough, the benefits of CBD oil for cats closely mimic the benefits found in humans. While you’re reading about all the ways how CBD may help your furry friend, you may want to also consider how it can also help you!
CBD Oil for Pain
One of the most highly studied uses of CBD is its ability to treat chronic and acute pain in people and our pets alike. In fact, CBD is so effective that experts are considering it to be a new drug class for the treatment of chronic pain.
Studies continue to prove CBD’s effectiveness at treating the following pain-related ailments:
CBD oil also treats:
- Neuropathy pain
- Nerve-related pain
- Intestinal inflammation
- Inflammation on oxidative stress
Reducing Inflammation with CBD
So how exactly is it possible for CBD to alleviate and prevent so many ailments that cause distress and pain? We’re glad you asked. CBD is an all natural anti-inflammatory. When we look at the source of the vast majority of diseases, they have one troubling thing in common: inflammation. Inflammation is to blame for nearly every ailment, from allergies to cancer. By implementing CBD oil into your cat’s life you can not only relieve present inflammation but also prevent it from developing. In turn, this will also help to manage and prevent associated pain and distress.
CBD Oil for Anxiety
Another way that CBD can help both you and your feline friend is in cases of anxiety. Only a few years ago, an anxious cat equated to a prescription for a conventional anti-anxiety medication (and it’s associated side effects). Now, pet parents can choose to manage and prevent their cat’s anxiety with a CBD oil supplement. CBD oil can also be used to treat a number of different phobias from separation anxiety to a fear of loud noises such as fireworks. Unlike conventional anti-anxiety meds, CBD oil for cats won’t change your feline’s personality. They will simply be able to live anxiety-free lives with the help of CBD.
Treating Seizures and Epilepsy in Cats
Remarkably, CBD oil is proving to be effective in people and animals who suffer from epilepsy. Studies show that CBD oil can effectively reduce the severity and frequency of seizures. The best part? CBD doesn’t come with the laundry list of potential adverse reactions associated with conventional anti-convulsant medications. Even more good news? CBD oil has proven to work in cases where the individual (and cat) were resistant to conventional anti-seizure drugs. You read that correctly! CBD works in cases were harsh medications failed. Pretty awesome, right?
Killing Cancer Cells with CBD
Many studies show that CBD is actually effective at killing cancer cells. This is due to its anti-tumor effect and anti-inflammatory properties. Of course, more research is being done on the topic and we are still far from completely negating the need for conventional cancer treatments. However, it is comforting to know that all natural alternatives are continuing to prove their effectiveness and worth.
Aiding in Conventional Cancer Treatment
In cases where cats must undergo cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation, CBD can be a great tool to help lessen the associated side effects of the treatment. Chemotherapy can cause a loss of appetite as well as bouts of diarrhea and vomiting in both cats and dogs. CBD oil can help boost the appetite back to normal and also provide gastrointestinal support.
Treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Cats
Inflammatory bowel disease in cats can present a slew of issues including side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil can not only help reverse the disease, but also alleviate the uncomfortable side effects of IBD.
CBD for Improved Skin & Alleviating Allergies with CBD
Again, due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD oil is incredibly effective when it comes to allergy relief. Our furry animals tend to show signs of allergies in different ways than they affect people. Primarily, skin irritations and poor coat quality are two telltale signs of allergies in our pets. CBD is a great way to help! Additionally, one of our favorite companies produces specially formulated CBD treats for alleviating environmental allergies in cats and dogs.
CBD Oil for Boosting Overall Wellness
Finally, as you may have gathered, CBD oil is an all-around great way to boost your cat’s health and wellness. Even if your kitty isn’t presently suffering from an ailment, considering implementing CBD oil as a preventative measure. The incredible herb can truly make a world of difference for your feline’s everyday life.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
When it comes to your feline friends, we likely don’t have to tell you that no two cats are exactly alike. This also is true of how cats react to newsupplements, including CBD oil. In the vast majority of cases, CBD oil has virtually zero side effects. In some cases, a mild sedation may occur. However, if this happens, simply lower the dosage of CBD oil that you administer to your kitty.
Again, CBD oil for cats is proven to be extremely safe when the oil that they are given is derived from the hemp plant. Under no occasion should pet parents give their cat marijuana-derived oils.
Additionally, never blow marijuana smoke into your cat’s face. We hope that this goes without being said, but in case you were wondering if it may have the same effects… it doesn’t! Marijuana oil and smoke can cause your cat to experience a slew of adverse reactions. Trust us, it will not make them calm down or help with any medical problems. Always avoid oils derived from the marijuana plant when it comes to your dogs and cats.
First and foremost, we always recommend starting off slowly when it comes to implementing a new supplement into your cat’s life. When it comes to CBD oil for cats, we like to think that less is more. Holistic experts suggest a starting dose of 1 mg – 5 mg per 10 lbs. of your cat’s body weight. Therefore, dosages typically start off with 1-5 mg, depending on how much your cat weighs.
An awesome holistic veterinarian named Dr. Angie Krause recommends the following CBD dosages for varying ailments.
- 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**
For more information on Dr. Angie Kraus, check out her site here.
Where to Buy CBD Oil: Look for the Best CBD Oil!
Now, you’re likely convinced that CBD oil can significantly help your feline. However, before you buy the first option that you find online, there are a few very important things that you should be aware of.
A Cautionary Tale!
With the rise of information regarding the benefits of hemp-derived CBD comes a rise in the number of companies who are selling CBD products. There are pros and cons associated with this fact.
Pros: CBD oil for pets and people is available! Only a handful of years ago, pet owners knew little about the incredible benefits of CBD and certainly didn’t have countless ways to purchase it. Now, cat owners can buy CBD with a click of a button.
Cons: Due to its rise in popularity, many companies are selling what they claim to be a CBD product, yet, it only contains very small traces of CBD. This is undoubtedly concerning for a number of reasons. For starters, purchasing CBD that isn’t up to the necessary standards is a total waste of money. However, perhaps more concerning is the fact that when the CBD product doesn’t work (and it often won’t if you buy from an untrustworthy source), many pet owners find themselves resulting back to the conventional medication that they were trying to avoid.
Thankfully, there are several important ways for cat owners to ensure that they are purchasing the best CBD oil available.
All Natural, Pure CBD Oil
First, when purchasing the best CBD, it is imperative that the CBD oil is all natural. If the product is not all natural, it is possible that is was treated with chemicals like herbicides and pesticides. These chemicals completely negate the point of choosing an all natural alternative.
Next, make sure that the CBD that you purchase has been lab tested. Any reputable company will be able to provide you with a Certificate of Analysis. The COA will show pet owners exactly how much CBD the product contains. This is extremely important in making sure you are buying the best CBD product available.
Just to reiterate, it is imperative that you make sure the CBD that you purchase for your feline is derived from the hemp plant. Marijuana-derived CBD is available for purchase in states that have legalized recreational and medical marijuana use. However, this is not the form of CBD that is safe for your cat. Always purchase CBD derived from the hemp plant for your four-legged friends.
When it comes to CBD oil, a good rule of thumb to follow is that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Many companies may be selling their CBD products at a significantly lower price point. However, ask yourself how this is possible. It is maybe because their product doesn’t contain the necessary amounts of CBD? Or perhaps quality isn’t up to the standards that you should expect. In the vast majority of cases, with CBD, you get what you pay for. Make sure you are buying the very best CBD oil for your feline. You won’t regret it! Even when buying from top of the line companies, you can implement CBD oil into your cat’s diet for less than $2 a day.
CBD Oil for Dogs
Many pet owners who have both cats and dogs often wonder if certain medications and/or nutritional supplements can be used for Fido as well as their feline. Unfortunately, in the vast majority of cases, this answer greatly varies. We likely don’t have to tell you that dogs and cats are very different creatures in countless ways. When it comes to many medications deemed safe for dogs, your cat may experience severe adverse reactions. The same is true for some medication that is deemed safe for your feline.
Luckily for pet owners living in a multi-pet household, CBD oil for dogs is equally as safe as CBD oil for cats. With that being said, the appropriate dosage can vary significantly from one species to the other. As always, we recommend consulting with your holistic veterinarian regarding the appropriate dose for your fur babies’ individual needs.
Additionally, we also recommend starting off slowly. There’s no sense in rushing the process. Before you know it, your dogs and cats will be reaping all of the benefits that CBD has to offer.
CBD Oil for Cats: A Final Thought
At the end of the day, we know that you want the very best for your furry feline. Unfortunately, not everything in your cat’s life will always be rainbows and butterflies. That’s why it’s imperative for pet owners to know what to do when problems arise (and trust us… they will unavoidably come up from time to time).
One of the most important things that cat owners can do is to make sure you are aware of your cat’s normal day to day behaviors. Understanding your cat’s “normal” allows pet owners to recognize when something is off before clinical signs of distress develop.
Additionally, by implementing CBD oil into your cat’s life, pet owners can take their feline’s health and wellbeing one step further. Also, by being implicitly aware of the associated side effects of conventional medication, pet owners can ensure that they are making educated decisions on their cat’s behalf. Knowledge is power. Be sure to do your research before agreeing to a medication which likely has a slew of potential adverse reactions. Whenever possible, choose all natural, holistic options for your four-legged companion. Trust us, they will thank you for it.