Everything You Need to Know About CBD Oil for Cats
As people discover CBD and enjoy its array of wellness benefits for themselves, many are also curious to know if CBD can help their pets. And while CBD has become overwhelmingly popular for dogs, you might not know that CBD is for cats, too.
If you share your life with a kitty companion, you might be asking, “What is CBD for cats?” Good question! Here’s everything you need to know about CBD and CBD for cats.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a natural compound found in Cannabis sativa. Recently, CBD has gained popularity as an additive to many products, such as CBD oil. It’s a non-intoxicating substance with a wide range of beneficial properties to promote overall wellness.
CBD works together with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) for there to be any form of effects. The ECS is an essential neural network inside of all mammals, including cats. This physiological system comprises two different receptors:
- CANNABINOID RECEPTOR 1 (CB1) referred to as CB1, these receptors connect to the central nervous system, which stretches mostly throughout the brain, controlling memory, speech, movement, awareness, and other cognitive functions.
- CANNABINOID RECEPTOR 2 (CB2) also known as CB2, these receptors attach to the peripheral nervous system that reaches out to skin cells, limbs, various organs, and the immune system.
The ECS becomes active to sustain homeostasis, which is a state of balance or stability of physical and cognitive abilities when responding to irregular bodily changes, either internal or external, that prevent optimum performance.
The CBD contained in both hemp-based products and CBD oil is extracted from particular strains of Cannabis sativa. With the approval of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill, the U.S. federal government reclassified marijuana – removing hemp and CBD from its list of Schedule I controlled substances.
Because of the U.S. federal decision, any part of Cannabis sativa with less than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive component in cannabis that causes “high” and euphoric effects – is now classified as industrial hemp. And consumer CBD typically uses hemp strains for extraction.
After the extraction process, the CBD combines with a carrier oil for better consumption by people and cats. CBD oils are available in three distinct types based on other compounds included in the extraction:
- CBD ISOLATE The purest form of CBD available; it contains only CBD as any other cannabinoids and terpenes are further separated after the initial extraction.
- FULL-SPECTRUM CBD Includes a full range of cannabinoids and terpenes along with the CBD, including trace amounts of THC; though the THC isn’t enough to cause any psychoactive effects, prolonged use of full-spectrum CBD could trigger a positive drug test.
- BROAD-SPECTRUM CBD The perfect hybrid between the range of isolates and full-spectrum; broad-spectrum also contains an array of cannabinoids and terpenes, but it excludes any detectable THC molecules from its mixture.
What Are the Benefits of CBD for Cats?
People find CBD useful for many different reasons, such as recovery from strenuous exercise, use in relaxation routines, or general support for overall wellness. And many pet owners give their cats CBD for similar reasons, like perceived stress, maintaining mobility, and general wellness support for the entire body.
While there hasn’t been much research with conclusive findings of the benefits of CBD for cats, there are countless testimonials and positive responses from excited cat owners indicating that the benefits of CBD oil for cats are useful in maintaining optimal health.
What Are Signs of Joint Discomfort in Cats?
Recent studies show that cats experience discomfort in their muscles and joints as often as dogs do, with older cats being at a much higher risk. Even more so, 61 percent of cats six years and older feel discomfort with at least one joint, while 82 percent of cats 14 years and higher currently live with some form of joint discomfort.
- Lack of energy
- Decreased mobility
- Consistent general pain
- Stiff, sore, or swollen joints
- Changes in behavior or personality
People often utilize CBD as a post-workout option to help soothe temporary discomfort in muscles and joints. And because CBD and the endocannabinoid system work similarly together in humans and cats, there is a scientific reason to suggest that CBD products for pets might be useful for maintaining optimal mobility in cats.
How Does Stress Affect Cats?
Like humans, cats can also experience various stress levels and react similarly. Cats are very much creatures of habit and can become easily distressed by everyday triggers:
- Poor human-cat relationships
- Conflicts with other cats or animals
- Sudden changes to the environment
- Undiagnosed health issues
Is CBD Safe for Cats?
Although there isn’t much scientific evidence investigating the impact of CBD or cannabis on cats specifically, many anecdotal reports from cat owners and veterinarians suggest CBD does not commonly cause adverse reactions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also published a report in 2017 implying that CBD is typically safe and tolerated well by animals, including cats. This conclusion is, of course, based on CBD that was properly sourced, produced, and effectively tested by third-party laboratories.
Are There Any Side Effects from CBD for Cats?
CBD oil for cats does not commonly cause adverse reactions and there isn’t much research available about any negative effects. Every cat is different, based on size, age, and overall health, so it is important to tailor a unique CBD routine for each cat.
Another concern about the use of CBD for cats is the regulatory oversight in such an infant industry that has led to the wide availability of low-grade CBD products for pets. Several studies have tested and found products containing less CBD than reported on the label – some had way more CBD than advertised.
Others even had potentially harmful contaminants, which is especially concerning for cats with their heightened sensitivity to toxins. Pet owners need to understand what to look for when searching for the best CBD for cats.
How Does CBD Affect Cats?
Humans, cats, and all other mammals have an endocannabinoid system, allowing CBD to work in many of those different body systems in identical ways to provide wellness support. It can offer several benefits for pets, including relaxation, supporting mobility, and a boost in general wellness.
Because each cat is different, the results of using CBD for cats may vary, so it’s better to begin a CBD regime for cats by following the suggested servings and adjusting when needed. CBD is still a new entity within the pet market, and there’s little to no research about CBD affecting cats.
But many pet owners have used CBD with their cats, and they have often commented on the beneficial results they’ve seen in their feline companions, including managing signs of everyday stress and supporting overall wellness.
How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Cat?
Pet owners should follow the suggested daily amounts on the label of CBD products for cats. Some of the best CBD for cats will offer various strengths depending on your cat’s weight. Stick with a steady CBD application for 30 straight days before adjusting the amount your cat is consuming.
But most importantly, pet owners should speak with their veterinarian before using CBD with their pets daily.
What Should I know When Buying CBD to My Cat?
Many online sites, retail shops, and pet stores already carry an impressive range of CBD oil for cats. But there are several product details pet owners should look for before starting a daily CBD routine for pets. When purchasing CBD products for cats, make sure:
- It is THC-free* and third-party tested
- It contains premium, hemp-based CBD
- It is veterinarian-formulated for pet safety
- It has information on how and where the hemp was cultivated
- It has serving directions and suggestions printed clearly on the label
- It offers different strengths or concentrations based on your pet’s weight
- It lists all the ingredients clearly and doesn’t contain any fillers or artificial elements
You can easily find these answers by visiting the CBD manufacturer’s website, as trustworthy CBD companies offer public views of their certificates of analysis (COA), which certifies all the products’ ingredients and how much there is of each.
Pet owners need to become educated about the many CBD products for pets, because some hemp-based products are not created under the same standards. By doing the proper research, you can choose the best CBD products for your cat’s needs.