For pet owners looking to keep their kitties healthy and happy, CBD may serve as a non-toxic, natural treatment option.
This article details the ins and outs of the latest research on CBD for cats, recommended dosages, and the benefits and side effects of treatment, for those looking to try CBD for their feline pets, or to prescribe CBD for cats as a vet.
Can CBD oil be used in cats?
According to the peer-reviewed journal, Research in Veterinary Science, ‘there is a significant gap in the literature on the therapeutic use of CBD in cats,’ with no feline-specific data on anxiety, pain, and inflammation management.
That being said, we know that cats have similar endocannabinoid systems to humans and dogs. This has allowed the veterinary community to view the evidence-based on CBD use in humans and dogs as comparable for cats.
Nevertheless, it is important to follow your vet’s advice as ‘there are inter- and intra-species differences in pharmacokinetics, tolerance, dosage, and safety of CBD.’
CBD oil for cats – is it effective?
CBD has a wide range of benefits across various mammal species. These benefits include, but are not limited to: reduced stress, pain relief, prevention of epileptic seizures, sleep assistance and appetite stimulation.
CBD for cats who are stressed
Studies have shown that CBD may reduce feelings of anxiety and symptoms of PTSD. This is due to its interactions with receptors in the brain and central nervous system that modulate hormones and signals related to anxiety and fear responses.
How can CBD oil relieve pain in cats?
There is evidence to suggest that CBD oil can be used to alleviate general aches and pains. Unlike some traditional pain medicine for cats, CBD has no life-threatening side effects.
CBD oil for seizures and epilepsy in cats
Epilepsy is the most well-known condition where CBD may provide relief. In humans with treatment-resistant epilepsy, CBD oil has shown significant reductions in seizure frequency. The same goes for our canine friends, where CBD treatment has been shown to reduce seizure frequency by 33% in epileptic dogs. These findings, as mentioned previously, can be applied to cats given the similarities in the feline cannabinoid system.
Will CBD oil help my cat sleep?
Whether their restlessness is due to illness, pain, or anxiety, CBD oil may help improve sleep. That’s because it regulates serotonin, relaxes the body, and encourages overall immune health, which is sure to help your kitty sleep through the night.
CBD oil for nausea & appetite stimulation
CBD oil has been known to benefit dogs suffering from nausea. Many chronic health conditions, made worse with heavy-duty medications, come with nausea as a side effect.
In addition to this, nausea has been known to snowball into even more detrimental health problems such as malnutrition.
Thankfully, CBD can be used as a remedy for this ailment as well. CBD can stimulate the appetite by increasing sensitivity to the smell and taste of food in cats, making eating a more rewarding experience for your kitty.
Is CBD oil for cats safe?
Veterinarians recommend “starting low and going slow” when prescribing CBD for cats. This is due to CBD’s biphasic dosing curve, a phenomenon whereby CBD becomes less potent once a certain dosing threshold has been reached.
Cat owners worried about a risk of overdose needn’t be concerned: a 2021 study analysing the safety of escalating cannabinoid doses in healthy cats found that the maximum dose ‘was safely achieved in all subjects.’ (The maximum dose in this study was 30.5 mg/kg CBD (CBD oil), 41.5 mg/kg THC (THC oil) or 13.0:8.4 mg/kg CBD:THC (CBD/THC oil))
Careful monitoring is required in all cases and, for more sensitive or fragile patients, it is generally advised that the dose only be raised in small increments. The only circumstances in which the dose may be accelerated are in cases where patients are experiencing a lot of pain or are facing euthanasia.
For veterinarians, we recommend checking in weekly to see how the patient is progressing as it can take up to two weeks for CB receptors to up-regulate.