CBD Oil for Cats: How to Use It for Your Cat’s Health and Well-Being
by Taylor Hogan
As cats get older, they're more likely to experience mobility issues, appetite changes, separation anxiety, and weaker immune systems. As a cat owner, you might be wondering if CBD can help with these issues and benefit your cat’s health — especially if you’ve had a positive experience with CBD yourself.
Using CBD oil for cats depends on a variety of factors, including your pet's weight, the concentration of CBD, and any health issues your feline friend might have. Before jumping into using CBD oil for your cat, you’ll need to consider potential side effects, how best to administer CBD oil, and appropriate dosage. While your cat may benefit from CBD, it's always best to start with a lower dosage and consult a professional.
Whether you’re new to CBD oil for cats or have some experience and would like to learn more, this guide will help you better understand how, when, and why to use CBD for your cat.
Why Use CBD Oil for Cats?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound in hemp plants. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from hemp plants, including the flowers and leaves. Cannabinoids also occur naturally in the human body — as well as those of cats, dogs, and all mammals — because we all have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ECS involves three components: endocannabinoids, receptors, and enzymes.
Even though the ECS is a relatively new discovery, scientists know it influences several functions. Your ECS plays a part in managing stress, sleep, inflammation, motor control, skin function, mood, and appetite.
Unlike CBD oil, hemp seed oil (often called “hemp oil”) is extracted only from hemp seeds and doesn't contain any cannabinoids. (Read our guide on hemp seed oil vs. CBD oil to learn more.) There are several ways to enjoy CBD oil, such as tinctures, oil blends, edibles, capsules, and creams, all with different formulations, and profiles for each.
It's essential to note that CBD and marijuana are not the same thing. Marijuana plants contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is the psychoactive molecule that produces the sensation of being high. CBD is non-psychoactive and doesn't give the same effect.
When looking for CBD oil for cats, make sure the product is clearly labeled with the list of ingredients so you know what you're getting. It’s also worth noting that hemp seed oil has fewer restrictions than CBD oil. As such, you’ll see hemp seed oil readily available at your local grocery store or online retailers like Amazon.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Cats
Now that you’ve learned more about CBD oil, you might be asking yourself the question, “Will CBD help my cat?”
Whether your pet is dealing with chronic health issues or you simply want to implement a consistent wellness plan for your cat, CBD oil can help. Early research has shown CBD oils to have several potential benefits, from boosting the immune system to having anti-inflammatory properties.
Anecdotally, many people have found that CBD oil helps their cats manage stressful situations. For example, it can mitigate separation anxiety from schedule changes and new environments. CBD oil may also reduce stress from loud noises such as fireworks and thunderstorms. Take a glance at our article on CBD oil for dogs for more tips, including dosage guidelines.
Further research is needed before we can confirm the benefits of CBD oil for cats. Still, studies have shown promising results in animals treated with CBD oil to improve their quality of life, including better joint mobility and stress relief.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?
Remember, your feline friend has an endocannabinoid system just like you do, so they can also benefit from the effects of CBD oil. Research is ongoing, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting hemp CBD as safe to use for your cat.
Just like humans react differently to supplements, your cat may experience potential side effects, but it's rare. If you notice your pet acting lethargic or sleeping a little more than usual, your best bet is to adjust their dosage and see if that makes a difference.
It's wise to choose a product made specifically for your cat. That way, you'll know you're giving your pet something tailor-made for them. While it might be tempting to share your own CBD hemp oil with your kitty, ingredients beneficial for humans may not always be beneficial for pets.
As always, ask your veterinarian if you have any concerns about introducing CBD oils to your cat.
Picking Out the Best CBD Oil for Your Cat
When it's time to pick out CBD products for your cat, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind as you shop. Cat owners should look for companies that pride themselves on transparency and openly share lab results from third-party testing. That way, you'll have a clear and thorough understanding of the CBD oil's quality and purity.
Lab reports can give you helpful information on the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of your blend, including the THC present. (Per the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp products must contain less than 0.3% THC). A breakdown of residual solvents and mycotoxins should also be available in the report. Pay attention to where the hemp plants are grown and processed.
You have a few options when it comes to CBD oil pet products. CBD treats are a great way to get started. Look for a brand made with non-GMO hemp oil that clearly states how many milligrams of CBD are in each treat.
Populum's Zen Pets Hemp CBD Chews are a favorite among cats and dogs alike for good reason. High-quality ingredients such as wild-caught Alaskan salmon and antioxidant-rich apples combine with hemp extracts grown in Colorado into one delicious treat. You can also take a peek at the third-party lab results, assuring you're getting the perfect product for your furry friend.
Another possibility is pet CBD tinctures. A full spectrum hemp oil blend uses all parts of the plant and will contain both cannabinoids and terpenes, and tend to be more effective than CBD isolates.
Full spectrum oils usually contain a pet-safe oil blend, like coconut oil. They're a breeze to mix into your cat's food or apply to their tongue with a dropper if they're willing. You can also gently rub the CBD oil into the tips of your cat's ears.
If you aren't sure which option is best, try both. Populum's Pet Lovers CBD Gift Set includes CBD treats and a full spectrum CBD oil, making it even easier to give your pet relief from mobility issues or stressful situations. Regardless of the method you choose, incorporating CBD oil into your cat's well-balanced diet doesn’t have to be complicated.
How to Find the Right Dosage of CBD Oil
Getting started with the appropriate CBD dosage for your cat may require some adjustments here and there to find their ideal dose.
Deciding on the right dosage of CBD oil for your cat depends on a few factors. Your cat’s body weight and age affect how much CBD they should have. Start low and slow as you can always build up to a more potent dose over time.
Choosing a CBD oil or cat treats with the concentration clearly labeled can give you an idea of a starting point. Pay attention to how many milligrams of CBD is in each treat or dropper of CBD oil. Depending on how much your cat weighs, half or a quarter of a dropper might be the proper dose.
Keep in mind your cat could build up a tolerance over time, which means you might need to adjust their dosage in the future. It could be helpful writing down how much CBD oil you're giving your cat in each dose. You'll be able to track changes over time and remember what worked best for your pet.
How often you give CBD oil to your cat depends on the reason you're using it in the first place. For instance, maybe you want to administer hemp CBD to your cat occasionally as a way to manage anxiety in new environments. In that case, it's good to give your pet a dose ahead of time so it can take effect.
Alternatively, if you're managing a health condition for your cat, make a schedule and stick to regular intervals to keep your pet as comfortable as possible. Think morning and evenings with their breakfast or dinner. (Using a CBD subscription service is an excellent way to maintain a consistent wellness routine.)
Use CBD Oil as Part of Your Cat’s Diet
While it might feel overwhelming when exploring pet CBD options, it's worth taking the time to learn if they have a place in your cat's wellness plan.
Always keep your eyes open for a quality CBD product with transparent, third-party lab reports. And give some consideration as to how you'd like to administer CBD oil to your cat. Treats may be better in some situations and a full spectrum oil in others.
If your four-legged friend needs support managing anxiety, mobility issues, or other inflammatory and chronic conditions, or you'd simply like to improve their overall well-being, give hemp CBD treats or oils a try.