CBD for Anxious Cats: Will CBD Oil Help?
Using CBD for anxious cats becomes more popular among pet owners these days.
It’s no wonder that people are looking for a natural alternative to ease their cats’ anxiety and fears. Anxiety in cats remains one of the top concerns among many pet owners.
For some cats, even the smallest changes in life, such as bathing or a visit to a vet, can upset their world and indeed their behavior.
On the other hand, some cats seem ambivalent and can tolerate long separation from their owners and long-lasting flights without any problems.
CBD for Anxious Cats
When it comes to anxiety and cats, people usually approach their vets for medication, whereas others try to help their pet in a less invasive way, such as consultations with a behaviorist or natural supplements.
With the growing popularity and safety of CBD, some cat owners have decided to give their friends CBD oil.
And there’s a good reason why they do it. Similar to humans, cats also have endocannabinoid systems (ECS). In the same way, CBD can help struggling pets battle anxiety and stress just as it helps humans.
The WHO (World Health Organization) confirms that CBD is well tolerated in both humans and animals
In this article, we explain how CBD works for anxiety in cats, when and how you should use it, and why it’s important to adjust the dosage to your cat’s weight.
What is CBD? Is CBD Safe for Cats?
CBD is an acronym for Cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid mostly prevalent in hemp plants.
People often confuse CBD with another well-known cannabinoid called THC. THC is the psychoactive compound found in marijuana plants. While CBD eases stress and promotes relaxation, THC induces euphoria and can slightly alter the way we perceive our surroundings depending on the amount of THC ingested.
Despite coming from the same plant family, only marijuana contains high levels of THC.
Unlike marijuana, cannabis with trace levels of THC at 0.3% or less is classified as hemp. The 2017 World Health Organization report confirmed that humans and animals tolerate CBD from hemp very well. Even in doses as high as 1500mg daily is without cause for concern according to The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
Scientists have already demonstrated many amazing health benefits CBD can offer for humans. Products like CBD oil are well known for their ability to improve general wellness, enhance sleep, help us with anxiety and stress, and promotes relaxation.
Understandably, the above findings have resulted in the increase of a multi-billion dollar industry that has flourished globally.
CBD products for pets are another trending topic in the industry. Many CBD brands have launched pet product lines. So far, pet CBD oil and CBD treats are the most popular formats of consumption for cats.
You can easily incorporate them into your cat’s diet, either directly to their mouth, or by mixing it into their regular food. Pet CBD oil can also be dispensed onto their normal kitty treats.
CBD for Anxious Cats: is CBD Oil Good for Pets with Anxiety?
Despite the impressive number of clinical trials and studies proving the benefits of CBD, not much research has been conducted on its efficacy for pets. However as time goes on, more is being done in researching the science to confirm the anecdotal evidence put forward by cat owners.
Some research is surfacing slowly. For example, in a 2006 study, 229 out of 292 cats with osteoarthritis had no radiographic evidence of the disease, while evidence was present in the other 63 cats. In another study, 10 of 100 cats with osteoarthritis had no radiographic changes.
So what does this mean? Pain in animals can cause visible symptoms such as depression, anxiety, reduced mobility, less grooming and more. Fortunately desired CBD effects, whether for pain mitigation or soothing the nervous system, should be visible within a day or two, unlike many therapeutic regimens which take weeks to load.
So far, the only evidence about the effects of CBD on pets comes from anecdotal reports. Therefore, many vets still advise pet owners to take caution when giving CBD to their cats. However, for clinicians who have incorporated CBD into their treatment plans, it is proving to be a useful adjunct in managing many common pet ailments, especially in geriatric pets.
Importantly, when you want to incorporate CBD into your cat’s daily life, you must follow some dosage guidelines based on its weight.
But isn’t this something you do when you try to figure out an effective dose for yourself?
Each organism is unique, and reactions to CBD are quite possible. If you don’t want your cat to experience motor problems or sedation, you need to take necessary safety measures.
Dr Gary Richter, the medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital and Holistic Veterinary Care in Oakland, California, says CBD is generally safe for cats.
Nevertheless, he advises cat owners to dose CBD carefully to avoid potential side effects, such as upset stomach or sedation. If you give your cat too much CBD, your buddy may become more passive and lazier than usual. In rare cases, felines can also experience diarrhea.
As soon as you notice any of the above reactions, lower the dose of CBD.
But above all, make sure that the company you’ve purchased your CBD oil from tests its products in third-party laboratories for potency and purity. All products for pets should be laboratory tested for THC, bacteria, heavy metals, and mycotoxins. Check for organically grown hemp products too.
How does CBD Work for Cats with Anxiety?
CBD can help with anxiety in cats on many levels. For example, CBD is a 5-HT1A agonist. 5-HT1A is a serotonin receptor and regulates the way your body absorbs serotonin.
It’s also the target of commonly prescribed anxiolytic medications known as SSRIs.
CBD and Serotonin
Scientists speculate that CBD can increase the brain’s ability to transfer more signals, improve mood, and reduce anxiety by blocking the reuptake of serotonin, hence the reduction in anxiety levels.
CBD and Hippocampus
Another benefit of CBD for anxious cats is that it stimulates the hippocampal neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s region responsible for regenerating neurons. By stimulating neurogenesis, CBD can help reduce fearful behavior in cats.
CBD and GABA
CBD is also a modulator of the GABA-A receptor in the brain. GABA is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. It’s like a handbrake for our brain to slow the nervous system down when it gets too aroused. By modulating this receptor, CBD can enhance the natural calming effect of GABA and curb anxiety in your cat.
CBD and Anandamide
Last but not least, CBD helps keep the levels of anandamide at the right level. Anandamide is one of the endocannabinoids produced by the Endocannabinoid System; it’s known as ‘the bliss molecule’ because it controls feelings of happiness, euphoria, and helps maintain emotional stability.
Best CBD Dosage: How Much CBD Oil Should You Give Your Cat for Anxiety?
There are no official dosage guidelines when it comes to CBD oil and cats. That’s because CBD oil is a health supplement and the FDA refuses to draft out their dosage recommendations for hemp-derived products.
Moreover, every cat will react differently to CBD oil. Some cats are bigger, whereas others are small and may need much less CBD to experience the same effects. Cats also differ with the way that they suffer from anxiety in terms of stimuli, and how much anxiety that they endure.
Experts recommend starting with 0.2-0.5mg CBD per pound. You can monitor your cat’s behavior over a week and adjust the dosage if necessary. The best CBD dosage for your cat is the one that helps reduce their anxiety without any side effects.
Where to Buy CBD Oil for Cats
CBD products for cats aren’t as popular as CBD for humans, but it’s only a matter of time until they become the go-to food supplement for pet owners.
If you can’t find CBD pet oil or CBD pet treats anywhere near you, consider buying them online. Here at CBD Sky, we offer two types of pet products: traditional oil drops and cheesy-flavored soft Pet Chew treats.
Each product features organic broad-spectrum CBD combined with other natural ingredients to give your cat the best of both worlds — anxiety reduction and the joy of munching on delicious a delicious treat!
What About CBD and Drug Interactions?
CBD and drug interactions are a real thing. CBD can either increase or decrease the levels of many prescription drugs in the bloodstream depending on the type of interaction.
Therefore, if your pet is currently taking medications it’s important that you consult with a vet before giving CBD oil to your cat.
Final Notes on CBD and Anxious Cats
CBD can help with anxiety in cats similarly to how it helps reduce stress and anxiety in humans. CBD oil is generally considered safe for animals; it’s not addictive and can’t cause a fatal overdose. The worst reaction that may occur is sedation and diarrhea — although the latter is very rare.
Dosing CBD oil to anxious cats requires care and precision because our four-legged friends are smaller than us, and can be quite resistant. Be gentle, and try to make the experience something that your cat looks forward to. It’s best to start at the lowest dose possible and gradually work your way up to your cat’s therapeutic dose whereby your cat feels relieved from stress but without a negative impact on its awareness or stomach.
Do you give CBD oil to your anxious cats? How do they respond to CBD? Share your stories in the comments!