Healthcare for animals in Canada is costly. This is why paying an average of $29 monthly for cat insurance and $48 per month for dog insurance makes sense.
It’s only natural to seek the greatest possible treatment for your pet if he or she is in pain. However, plying animals with pharmaceuticals does not always produce the intended response. As a result, an increasing number of people are turning to cannabidiol (CBD), a non-intoxicating component found in both marijuana and hemp.
This post explains the possible advantages of CBD for cats, potential drawbacks, and research into the substance’s effectiveness on pets.
Your Cat Has an Endocannabinoid System! (So Does Your Dog)
Did you know that all animals have an endocannabinoid system (ECS)? We didn’t even realize that humans had one until recently. The ECS, like ours, maintains the natural equilibrium in your pet’s body. To comprehend how cannabinoids affect the ECS, you must first understand neurotransmitters and receptors.
The neurotransmitters that cause a chemical reaction at the connection of two neurons are called transmitters. Its aim is to fire a signal in a connected neuron or travel to the circulation and spread throughout the body’s other cells.
The brain’s method of communicating and providing instructions to other cells is via neurotransmitters. Signaling molecules are one variety of this system. Dopamine, serotonin, oxycontin, melatonin, and histamine are just a few examples.
Cannabinoids include substances that act as signaling molecules, such as CBD and THC. Endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids are two types of signaling molecules. Humans, animals, and other species produce endocannabinoids naturally; plants like marijuana and hemp, on the other hand, create phytocannabinoids. CBD oil for cats includes phytocannabinoid analogues that mimic specific endocannabin receptors.
Cannabinoids and Receptors: How They Interact
Cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body, which are located on the surfaces of cells. They examine the outside environment and deliver information about it to the cell’s interior. This activates the proper cellular response as a consequence. Cats have several CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, although the primary ones are CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are found throughout the body but concentrate in the brain and spinal cord. The CB1 receptors are present in the hypothalamus (controls hunger) and amygdala (memory and emotions). Nerve endings have been shown to contain CB1 receptors that can minimize pain.
Cannabinoids bind to CB2 receptors, which are most abundant in the immune and neurological systems. Inflammation may be controlled by modulating CB2 receptor activity.
Despite the fact that we’ve discovered over 110 cannabinoids in marijuana, THC and CBD are still well-known and abundant. To make things easier to understand, we may say that THC causes an intoxicating “high,” whereas CBD does not. Supporters of both argue that they have therapeutic value.
The body makes its own endocannabinoids, which bind to CB receptors and activate them. When you or your pet eats CBD or THC, the chemical activates the CB receptors in the same way as endocannabinoids do. The result is possibly beneficial outcomes such as pain relief, muscular spasms alleviation, and anxiety reduction.
How Does CBD Oil for Cats Work?
The ECS is one of the major functions of inflammation management. This is the body’s normal response to tissue damage or infection. When it fails to manage the reaction properly, chronic inflammation results.
Over the years, inflammation has been linked to a variety of illnesses. If you stimulate the ECS with external cannabinoids, it can modulate the body’s immune response and reduce inflammation.
The ECS’s primary purpose, according to researchers, is to regulate homeostasis. This is the body’s process of keeping a balance. CBD oil significantly affects endocannabinoids by altering their function and stimulating activity in the CB1 and CB2 receptors. While cannabidiol does not appear to work directly on these receptors, it is a non-competitive CB1 and CB2 antagonist.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Cats
It’s easy to overlook the fact that your cat has a lot of mental and physical health problems. The majority of cat owners use CBD oil to relieve anxiety and improve mood. Cats, like people, experience stress, worry, and mood swings. There are a number of reasons behind their extreme shift in temperament. CBD oil may help keep them calm and reduce anxiety.With this technique, you can improve your health and minimize the risk of declining well-being, eating irregularities, and other stress-related issues.
Many people give their cats CBD for pain relief, since it has been shown to help with joint discomfort and arthritis. A failure to manage such problems might result in decreased mobility and low spirits. Other possible advantages of CBD oil for cats include:
- Better sleep
- Improved joint mobility
- Increased appetite
- Reduced seizures
- Immune system support
- Improved coat texture
Is There Any Research Surrounding CBD for Cats?
To date, most of the research on CBD for dogs has focused on the chemical’s effect. nStephanie McGrath is one of the country’s foremost authorities on cannabidiol and canines. In one such experiment, researchers looked at how three distinct delivery methods – cream, oil, and a capsule – affected how CBD circulated throughout healthy dog bodies.
The study published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal of Research in July 2018 found that CBD oil had the #1 pharmacokinetic profile. CBD oil produced the highest concentration in the blood and retained it for the longest time. It also delivered the most dependable performance.
The most efficient way to administer CBD in dogs is through CBD oil. There are, however, no studies on the use of CBD in cats.
In July 2018, a study by Gamble et al. in Frontiers in Veterinary Science looked at the impact of CBD on canine osteoarthritis. The conclusion was that giving dogs 2mg of CBD per kilogram twice a day improved their comfort and activity with the disease.
In June 2019, McGrath unveiled a research on how CBD relieves epileptic dogs’ seizures. The researchers discovered that the dogs had a significant drop in the number of attacks. These were high-quality, peer-reviewed studies, but they are preliminary since they included only a few test subjects.
CBD oil for cats has recently been studied. It was published in the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery in 2021, in fact. In this placebo-controlled experiment, 20 healthy adult cats were divided into five groups. CBD, THC, and a mix of CBD and THC were given to each group at up to 11 increasing dosages.
According to the researchers, cats tolerated both cannabinoids well with only minor negative effects. However, there was a minimum of three days between consecutive dosages. As a result, we still don’t know how cats respond to constant CBD usage.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?
Yes, according to a research from 2017 done by the World Health Organization, the answer is yes. One cause could be an increase in alkaline phosphatase (ALP). It’s an enzyme produced in the liver that has been linked to an increased risk of CBD-induced ALP increases in dogs in at least two of the studies above. In order to detect indicators of liver failure in McGrath’s dogs, she conducted tests. Fortunately, her checks revealed nothing dangerous.
It is still advisable, however, not to administer CBD oil to cats or dogs with established liver issues. It’s also worth noting that cannabidiol is metabolized by the liver. As a result, it’s not a good idea to give your pet CBD if he or she is already on medication processed by the liver.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil for Cats?
CBD oil, on the other hand, appears to have a good safety profile. It is foolhardy to assume CBD is entirely safe. Your cat may experience unpleasant side effects such as vomiting and drowsiness in rare cases. If this occurs to your pet, immediately cease taking CBD.
In 2019, an animal study published in Animals tested the effects of oral CBD on eight cats and eight dogs. For 12 weeks, the researchers gave the cats and canines 2mg/kg twice a day in pill form. The dogs received chew toys while the cats took CBD via fish oil capsules.
Finally, in contrast to the high degree of adverse effects recorded in cats, researchers discovered just a handful in dogs (53 vs. 1,100). The most prevalent side effects observed in cats were licking, head shaking, and pacing. One of the eight cats had an elevated serum alanine aminotransferase level that persisted (ALT).
While CBD was considered to be generally safe in dogs, cats experienced negative effects such as rapid elimination and slower absorption. The researchers suggested further study into CBD oil for cats to understand more because it was an uncontrolled research.
Other potential side effects from consuming too much CBD include:
- Upset stomach
The MCT oil in the product might be causing problems with the gastrointestinal system. Consider CBD combined with a different ‘carrier’ if this happens to your cat. In high dosages, it can act as a laxative.
Lack of Regulation & Legality
Although its CBD oil is not FDA approved, Epidiolex was given its seal of approval. There’s no telling what you’ll get in an unregulated market. We recommend visiting our review page to learn more about the most reputable CBD brands on the market.
If you want to stay on the legal side of things, stick to hemp-derived CBD products. According to federal legislation, such items must have a maximum THC concentration of 0.3 percent. CBD laws, on the other hand, differ from state to state. In Kansas, for example, CBD goods should not contain any THC at all.
You should keep your cat away from THC at all costs if you want to preserve its health. While CBD has little to no negative side effects in cats, THC does. Your pets are less safe than humans when it comes to intoxicating chemicals like THC. Although it is theoretically improbable for a person to overdose on THC, your pet is far more vulnerable.
How to Use CBD Oil for Cats?
Before you try CBD oil to cure your cat’s illness, it’s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian. This is especially true if your cat is presently taking medicine, as CBD interacts with a variety of prescription drugs. There are a variety of cat-friendly products on the market. CBD oil is still very popular. The best-rated brands tend to offer their oils in delicious flavors like salmon and bacon. As a result, you can add some oil to your cat’s dish and combine it with food. It’s much simpler than trying to administer it sublingually.
If your cat isn’t a fan of CBD oil, you can give them crunchy or soft chews instead. Once again, there are numerous options. How much to give your cat is largely a matter of its size.
CBD Oil Dosage for Cats
When it comes to CBD for cats, the “low and slow” motto deserves repeating. Because dogs are significantly smaller and lighter than humans, they require far less cannabidiol. Weighing your cat is the first step since their size influences the appropriate dose. To begin with, shoot for 0.1 – 0.5 mg of CBD per kg of body weight.
Here’s a short chart that shows how much to give your cat, depending on the problem.
Medical Condition Dosage – Mg of CBD per Kilogram (Twice a Day)
- Anxiety 0.5mg
- Seizures 0.5 – 3.0mg
- Pancreatitis 0.1 – 0.5mg
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease 0.2mg
- Asthma 0.5mg
- Upper Respiratory Tract Infections 5mg
When considering using CBD oil, keep in mind that it takes approximately 45 minutes to work and can provide benefits for up to six hours. It’s generally a good idea to take the initiative if your cat is anxious during a storm or other circumstance. If your cat is nervous before a storm, give him CBD when you know it will start.
A dropper that is included with reputable CBD oil companies for cats will be convenient. They also have flavors that appeal to dogs, including chicken, beef, and salmon. To administer the CBD oil, add it to your cat’s meal and ensure they finish everything. If your cat seems to like the CBD oil, you may attempt to insert it directly into their mouths.
Quick & Easy Ways to Alleviate Anxiety in Cats
The most popular reason to use CBD oil for cats is to alleviate anxiety and nervousness. Although cannabidiol has the ability to help, there are other ways to relax your cat. If you run out of CBD oil and are waiting for the next shipment, try one of these simple methods:
- Cats enjoy seeking refuge and utilize it to deal with stress. Provide your pet with a variety of alternatives so they can get their favorite feeling of invisibility when frightened.
- Make certain your cat has the opportunity to withdraw or fight if he feels endangered. It doesn’t help matters if you hug or pet cats against their wishes!
- Spend time with your buddy and participate in the things they like. Some cats become anxious merely because they are alone.
- Let as much natural light as possible into your houses. A lot of cats like to keep an eye on what is going on outside from the safety of inside.
- It’s a fact: Soft or classical music might soothe a nervous cat.
Final Thoughts on CBD Oil for Cats
To date, most of the study on CBD oil for pets has been conducted on dogs. As a result, we don’t yet know how it benefits cats. Cats, like humans, have an ECS, so the chemical should work in a similar way. All CBD products are not created equal; therefore, be cautious when buying from a reputable CBD company.
Ideally, the company produces cannabidiol from organically grown hemp. It should also have a Certificate of Analysis and third-party lab testing to verify that the oil is genuine. Finally, before giving CBD oil to your cat, consult with a veterinarian. Rather than following the advice of a dispensary, it’s preferable to contact an animal expert!