Our feline friends may seem cool, calm, and collected most of the time, but cats experience stress from a variety of factors. As a pet owner, our jobs are to recognize when our pets are experiencing stress and anxiety so that we can do our best to remedy the situation and help them feel comfortable again.
When cats experience stress, they may become fearful and anxious. If left untreated, feline stress can lead to some serious health concerns, not to mention the fact that it can cause your pet to be extremely unhappy and unsettled.
The use of cannabidiol, or “CBD” to help calm your cat is a great way to help with your pet’s symptoms in an all-natural and holistic manner. CBD is a plant-derived compound called a cannabinoid, and it interacts with your cat’s own endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulation of things like mood, sleep, appetite, pain, and stress. CBD may interacts with your cat’s endocannabinoid system, allowing them to experience less stress.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?
If you are new to CBD oil and CBD in general, here’s a little background information.
CBD is one of over one hundred cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant. This plant has two main varieties, one that produces a large amount of CBD, and one that produces a large amount of THC. Commercially derived CBD oil is taken from the first species of the plant, which we will refer to as the hemp plant.
Hemp-derived CBD oil is available in several forms including isolate oil and full spectrum oil. Full spectrum oil contains CBD plus a full range of other cannabinoids and phytonutrients that allow full spectrum oil to produce the entourage effect. The entourage effect refers to all parts of the hemp plant working together synergistically to produce maximum benefits for your pet. As such, it’s important you always look for a high-quality, full spectrum oil when considering CBD products for your pet.
CBD is non-intoxicating, which means it doesn’t get your cat “high” or make them feel euphoric. The cannabinoid responsible for the “high” a marijuana user experiences is tetrahydrocannabinol, or “THC.” Although full spectrum CBD oil does contain a trace amount of THC, it is less than 0.3%, which is not enough to make your pet experience any kind of intoxicating response.
While CBD oil is considered a safe remedy for your cat, you will always want to speak to your veterinarian to ensure your cat is a good candidate for CBD oil, and to discuss any other medications your cat may be taking that may be affected by CBD.
CBD is generally very well tolerated by felines, however some medications may need adjusting when given with CBD.
Signs My Cat Has Anxiety
Even the most loving kitties have a habit of laying low, especially when they aren’t feeling well. If you suspect your cat might be suffering from stress or anxiety, you can look for warning signs. Keep in mind that your cat may not exhibit every sign, or may only exhibit one behavior, and can still be feeling the effects of a stress response. Signs your cat may be stressed are:
- GI issues. If your cat is vomiting or experiencing diarrhea and your vet has been able to rule out a food issue or other illness, she could be suffering from anxiety.
- Over-grooming. Whether it is an incessant need to lick their paws, or discovery of bald patches on their coat from excessive grooming, a cat who is over-grooming may be doing so as a response to anxiety.
- Appetite issues. Is your feline friend refusing her food? Is she eating more than normal? Any changes in a cat’s diet are cause for alarm, but if your vet ruled out a GI problem or any other causes, stress could be to blame.
- Behavioral changes. You know your cat better than anyone, so you can tell if she’s acting out of the norm. Excessive meowing, aggressive behavior toward family members and/or other animals, destruction of furniture or toys, and refusing to use the litter box may all be signs your cat is in distress.
How to Choose the Best CBD for My Cat?
If you think you’re dealing with a stressed out cat, CBD oil can be a wonderful solution to help alleviate some of those feelings of stress. It’s important that you choose the appropriate CBD oil for your cat, so here are some things to consider when choosing a CBD oil:
- Consider the source. VETCBD uses only American grown, hemp-derived CBD. We’re committed to ensuring the hemp used to extract our CBD oil is grown without the use of unsafe chemicals and pesticides.
- Quality of oil. A full spectrum oil is the best option for CBD treatment. Only a full spectrum oil can offer the maximum benefit from CBD. CBD isolate oil contains only CBD and cannot produce the entourage effect.
- Third party lab tested. It’s crucial to ensure your pet’s CBD oil has been third party lab tested to ensure quality, quantity, and purity. VETCBD always tests our CBD oils not only for quality and quantity, but also for safety, which is an added layer of precaution we take to ensure the wellbeing of your pet. Our independent lab tests our products to ensure there are no pesticides, chemicals, or ingredients that could be harmful to your animal.
How to Give My Cat CBD?
When it comes to administering CBD to your cat, you have some options. Traditionally, CBD has been available as special edible treats, or as a liquid that can be added to food or administered orally.
If you are concerned for your pet’s diet and don’t wish to add any additional treats, then using a high quality CBD oil tincture (CBD oil that has been dissolved into another carrier solvent or oil) would be a great way to introduce CBD oil to your cat. Using a CBD tincture gives you options for how to give your cat CBD. Here are some great methods you can try.
- Direct administration. Simply hold a dropper containing CBD tincture to your cat’s mouth; let her smell and lick it so she will likely allow you to slowly distribute the CBD to her tongue.
- Adding to food or treats. You can add a dose of CBD to your cat’s regular food or to a treat by dropping the desired amount onto her food.
How Much CBD Should I Give My Cat?
There are currently no standard dosing guidelines for administering CBD to your cat. However, based on several factors, you can make an educated decision as to how much CBD oil to start with, and how to proceed.
If your cat is stressed only on occasion, it will only be necessary to give her a dose of CBD when she experiences symptoms. A great dosing formula to start with is 0.2mg of CBD oil per pound of body weight. Thus, if your cat weighs ten pounds, she would receive 2mg of CBD oil. If your cat responds well to this dosage, you may not need to give her any more. If her symptoms have not lessened, she may need a higher dose. It’s important to always start slowly and build a tolerable dosage using small, incremental increases so that you only administer as much as is needed.
On the other hand, if you find yourself with a cat who is constantly restless, a continuous and regular dose of CBD oil may be the solution. Beginning with the dosing guidelines above, administer CBD oil to your cat on a daily basis. If it is well tolerated, you can increase the dose amount, or add another daily dose (perhaps once in the morning and once in the evening) until you are satisfied that your pet is feeling relief.
What Can I Expect After Giving My Cat CBD?
Some cats will respond very quickly to CBD oil, while others may not show signs of relief until the right amount is found. The important thing is to be consistent in when and how you administer CBD to your cat. Ideally, you will begin to notice that they are increasingly calm and that their stress appears alleviated. This may start slowly, with only one or two behavior changes, but be attentive to your cat and you may notice a pattern of increased positive behavior after several weeks of using CBD oil.
CBD oil is an effective all-natural solution for cats who suffer from occasional or situational stress. It is generally well tolerated by felines and can be administered safely at home by simply giving it directly to your cat or adding it to her food or food dish. It’s important to always purchase your pet’s CBD oil from a reputable company that produces high quality, third-party tested CBD oil, which is exactly what VETCBD Hemp does. We test every batch for quality and safety, so you can rest assured that your pet is getting the best all-natural solution they deserve.