The quick answer is- yes! CBD is perfectly safe for cats to consume. Though we always urge you to speak with your veterinarian first, CBD has been found to be effective at treating the same ailments it treats in dogs. Holistic vets have recommended it to cat parents for:
- Nervousness, fearfulness and aggression
- Symptoms related to bowel or bladder inflammation
- Joint issues
- Lack of appetite
- Asthma symptoms
- Epilepsy (if prescription drugs prove ineffective or have harsh side effects)
While it’s absolutely crucial to figure out the root cause of these problems in your cat before treating them with cannabidiol, it can still be a great supplement to their main treatment or to simply keep them calm, happy, and playful. Cats have their own endocannabinoid system just like dogs and humans and have even been shown to absorb CBD very efficiently with little to no side effects– in the proper amount, of course.
Though cats have fewer endocannabinoid receptors than dogs, they are still smaller than most dogs and can be more sensitive to higher amounts of CBD. Side effects to watch out for include vomiting, dry mouth, diarrhea or drowsiness. Luckily, these are not serious and your cat will recover quickly if the dosage is reduced or removed from their diet completely. Excess CBD will just come out in your cat’s waste.
How Much to Give
Dosage is dependent on their weight; the recommended amount is 2-4 mg per 10 pounds of body weight daily. Ideally, you’ll want to start with as little as possible and pay close attention to how they behave. They should be able to get relief in 45-90 minutes (if placed in food rather than sublingually). It’s better if they ingest it along with food to further prevent any possible stomach upset.
For more long-term problems, it may take a few weeks before the full effect takes place. The key here is just to practice careful observation, follow instructions on the product’s label and get guidance from a holistic vet. If you haven’t yet found the right vet to consult, this search tool can direct you to one near you.
How to Find Cat-Safe CBD
Whether you decide on mixing CBD oil in your cat’s food or including CBD treats into their diet, it’s important to be able to distinguish legit and safe products from those that are not.
When shopping around, look for a brand that has third-party lab tested its products to receive an official Certificate of Analysis (CoA). Also, be sure that it has a Certified Seal of the U.S. Hemp Authority™ or the National Animal Supplements Council (NASC) Quality Seal- both of these indicate that the hemp used in the oil met industry standards. The oil should also be made using CO2 extraction, which is the cleanest, purest method of oil extraction.
Finally, always choose products that are specifically designed for cats. Pets aren’t as tolerant to THC as us humans, so pure hemp-derived products are the way to go. Both full spectrum CBD (with less than 0.2% THC) and broad spectrum CBD (with absolutely no THC) are suitable for cats. Sometimes full spectrum can be more beneficial due to the entourage effect which allows a wider variety of cannabinoid compounds to interact with each other and provide better treatment results. You might want to try out a couple of varieties of each to see what works best for your furry companion.
Some products we recommend: