Our feline companions are pretty self-sufficient. In fact, sometimes our cats may even come across as moody, aloof, or skittish. It’s easy to stereotype cats into a group that has one particular type of personality.
A particular orange-furred, cartoon cat that exhibits constant dominance over his owner and terrorizes his yellow dog “brother” comes to mind. However, cat personalities vary greatly. In fact, a study from 2017 assessed the personalities of over 2,000 cats and developed a categorical system for feline personalities now dubbed “the feline five.”
Feline personality types can sometimes make it difficult for their human owners to understand when they aren’t feeling well. Cats that are sick or experiencing discomfort may not appear to act much different than they normally do, depending on their personality.
For instance, it isn’t uncommon for cats who aren’t very social to hide or seek out a spot under a bed to sleep, this can be their normal behavior. However, it can also be a sign they are not feeling well or have been injured. If your cat normally sleeps under a bed or hides the majority of the day, you will have to look for other indications your cat is ill to determine if there is something wrong.
If your cat is not feeling well, has been injured, or is otherwise not herself, you can look for signs.
Here are some of the most common behaviors of cats who aren’t feeling well.
- Hiding. Again, this can be hard to spot if your cat typically hides the better part of the day. Look for cues that the hiding is lasting longer than normal. For instance, a cat that doesn’t remove herself from hiding when she hears food being poured into her dish may be in discomfort or not feeling well.
- Sitting very still and hunching. If your cat is consistently in a “crouched” or hunched position, with her legs tucked neatly under her body, it could be a symptom she is experiencing some type of discomfort.
- Grooming issues. Cats who are normally meticulous groomers may stop grooming if they are ill, or over-groom to the point of self-harm like gnawing off fur or creating open sores on their skin.
- Unusual or excessive meowing. Is your normally quiet kitty suddenly meowing non-stop? This could be an indication she is in discomfort.
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea. A tell-tale sign of gastric discomfort is vomiting and diarrhea. In either case, this requires an immediate visit to her veterinarian, as she can become dehydrated very quickly.
- Restlessness. When your cat can no longer catch a cat-nap, she may be experiencing environmental stress. Environmental stress can come from many factors, and it’s important to see her veterinarian to determine the root of the behavior.
- Refusal to use her litter box. It’s understandable this will make a cat owner upset, but it is not an indication that your cat is “naughty,” it’s likely an indication she isn’t well.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, you should make an appointment to see her veterinarian right away. Her vet can help determine what’s wrong and develop a treatment plan for her.
In addition to seeing her vet, you can also look for ways to help promote your cat’s overall health and wellness, and care for her body through the use of all-natural, plant-based supplements. One supplement that carries a vast array of benefits for felines is cannabidiol, or “CBD” oil.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is one of over one hundred chemical compounds found in the leaves, flowers, and stems of the cannabis-sativa plant. The cannabis-sativa plant has many varieties and cannabinoid profiles with varying degrees levels of each compound, however, the variety used predominantly for CBD-focused products is an industrial hemp plant containing mostly CBD and other cannabinoids and less than 0.03% of tetrahydrocannabinol, or “THC,” which is the compound associated with producing intoxicating effects.
CBD oil can be extracted from the hemp plant in three different ways that are available for pets.
- Isolate. CBD isolate is CBD oil that contains only cannabidiol, or CBD. No other plant parts, i.e. phytonutrients, are included in this formula. CBD isolate is inexpensive to manufacture and mass-produce, though the quality of the CBD is very low and doesn’t offer as many health benefits.
- Full-spectrum. Full-spectrum refers to the cannabinoid extract from the hemp plant containing CBD along with all other usable phytonutrients, as well as a trace amount of THC (don’t worry, it’s always less than 0.03% and does not intoxicate your animal!). This blend includes flavonoids, terpenes, other cannabinoids, vitamins, minerals, and proteins, which are vital in allowing CBD to deliver maximum benefits to your cat when administered. This benefit is often referred to as the “entourage effect,” and it refers to all portions of the hemp plant working together synergistically to provide the highest benefit level available to your animal.
- Broad-spectrum. This refers to CBD oil that has been extracted with most phytonutrients, but not THC, which makes its ability to produce the entourage effect less impactful.
When looking for a CBD oil for your cat, always seek out a full-spectrum product, like our CBD oil tincture here at VETCBD. It’s also a great idea to find a CBD oil tincture that uses a healthy fat as the carrier oil, (the oil which CBD is dissolved into to create the tincture) like organic extra virgin olive oil. Research shows that the bioavailability of CBD is higher when taken along with a healthy fat, as it helps the CBD avoid first pass metabolization in the liver.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?
Because CBD oil is relatively new for approved use even in humans, studies of its effects on cats are rapidly developing. CBD oil is generally well tolerated by cats, with very few incidents of negative side effects reported. Side effects of cats who have been improperly dosed (i.e. given too much CBD oil) may have side effects like gastrointestinal upset or tiredness.
Additionally, as we mentioned earlier, full-spectrum CBD oil contains less than .03% THC so there are no possible intoxicating effects to your cat.
It is essential, however, that your CBD oil contain this trace amount of THC, so that the oil can properly deliver the entourage effect in terms of CBD benefit. Remember, that without all the necessary parts of the plant, your CBD oil is not as effective.
What Can CBD Oil Help With?CBD oil is full of healthy compounds that can be beneficial to your cat. CBD oil can:
- Support healthy bone and cartilage function. As our cats age, they experience a decline in cartilage between their joints just like humans do. This can create discomfort that can limit your cat’s mobility. CBD oil is packed with cannabinoids that work to lubricate and support your cat’s joints and cartilage, bringing her comfort and helping her maintain her mobility.
- Provide temporary soothing for occasional gastric distress. Cats who experience digestive issues can get temporary soothing from occasional gastric distress with CBD oil. CBD oil soothes your cat’s tummy and helps her feel better, faster.
- Support normal brain function. We all want our cats to live the longest, healthiest lives possible, and part of giving them the best care we can is helping ensure their brain function is supported in the best manner possible. Research shows that CBD helps support healthy brain function in all mammals, which means your cat can benefit from supplementation, too!
- Calms and relaxes. All pets deserve to relax every now and again, and CBD oil can promote relaxation and overall emotional balance in your furry companion.
CBD oil is a great supplement for cats, and can best be administered in the form of a CBD oil tincture. Many cats will take this administration of CBD oil directly from the tincture’s syringe.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
The commercial growth, manufacture, and distribution of CBD was federally legalized with the passing of The Farm Bill of 2018. It should be noted that commercially grown hemp plants and the resulting CBD oil products must contain less than .03% THC to be considered legal.
Additionally, each state has differing laws regarding the legality of CBD oil growth and distribution, so it is important to check your state’s laws to ensure you can legally use CBD oil as a supplement for your cat.
CBD oil has a collection of helpful benefits for your cat, and it can be safely administered to her through the use of a high-quality, full-spectrum CBD oil.
CBD oil can support joint mobility, support gastrointestinal health, promote emotional balance, and even aid healthy brain function.
CBD is a great choice to add to your cat’s current health and wellness stack, but if you ever have any questions about adding anything to your pet’s regular regimen, don’t be shy to reach out to your veterinarian!