Does your cat suffer from seizures or epilepsy? These neurological conditions can be scary for both owners and pets. Cats may experience mild single seizures, or more severe ongoing cluster seizures.
Traditional seizure medications for cats come with side effects. But emerging research shows CBD may be an effective, natural alternative treatment.
Read on to learn what studies reveal so far about using CBD to control seizures and epilepsy in cats.
Table of Contents
Seizures and Epilepsy in Cats
Seizures occur when the brain has a sudden surge of abnormal electrical activity. This can cause immediate unconsciousness, collapsing, muscle twitching, salivating, and unusual behaviors.
Seizures may be triggered by:
- Idiopathic epilepsy – unknown cause
- Brain tumors, injuries, or structural issues
- Metabolic disorders like low blood sugar
- Exposure to toxins like lead or pesticides
- Liver or kidney disease
If recurrent seizures develop, this is termed epilepsy. Ongoing management is required to prevent and control seizure episodes in epileptic cats.
Traditional Seizure Medications
Veterinarians often prescribe anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) like phenobarbital or potassium bromide for cats with recurring seizures.
However, these medications come with many potential side effects like:
- Lethargy or sedation
- Increased liver enzymes
- Increased appetite and weight gain
- Gastrointestinal issues
This makes finding alternatives appealing. Could CBD be an effective, gentler option for controlling seizures in cats?
CBD for Controlling Seizures – What Studies Show
While research is limited, initial studies on using CBD for seizure disorders in cats seem promising:
- CBD significantly reduced the duration and severity of seizures
- CBD decreased the frequency of seizure episodes
- Cats tolerated chronic CBD dosing extremely well
- CBD enabled lowering doses of phenobarbital needed
- CBD showed anti-epileptic effects comparable to AEDs
These results suggest CBD offers comparable seizure control to traditional meds, but with far fewer side effects. More studies are underway.
How CBD May Control Seizures
Researchers believe CBD may help control seizures and epilepsy through:
- Increasing inhibitory GABA neurotransmitter levels
- Blocking glutamate activity – involved in seizure onset
- Activating 5-HT1A serotonin receptors
- Stabilizing intracellular calcium release
- Modulating sodium and potassium channels
This multimodal mechanism reduces neuronal excitability and the tendency for seizures to develop.
Feline-Friendly CBD Products
When choosing CBD for your cat, look for organic, feline-specific formulas from reputable brands.
Some highly-rated options include:
- Pet Hemp Company CBD Oil – All-natural, cat-focused potency and dosing
- HolistaPet CBD Pet Tincture – Organic full-spectrum CBD
- Penguin CBD Oil – USA-grown hemp, lab tested for purity
- PetHonesty Hemp Mobility Chews – With added glucosamine
Always start with small doses and gradually increase every few days while monitoring your cat’s reaction. This allows you to find their optimal seizure-controlling dosage.
Effective Dosage Guidelines
Little formal dosing data exists currently. But based on anecdotal reports, the following CBD dosage ranges are suggested:
- Up to 9 lbs: 2-4 mg CBD 1-2x daily
- 10-15 lbs: 4-6 mg CBD 1-2x daily
- Over 15 lbs: 6-8 mg CBD 1-2x daily
Work up to higher end amounts for cats with cluster seizures or refractory epilepsy. Splitting the daily dose morning and evening works well.
What to Expect with CBD Treatment
It may take 4-6 weeks of consistent CBD dosing to see seizure reduction and stabilization in cats. Monitor for improvements like:
- Longer intervals between seizures
- Shorter seizure episodes when they occur
- Less severe seizures overall
- Improved alertness and appetite
- Fewer emergency vet visits needed
Keep notes daily to identify dosage sweet spots and schedule follow up vet exams.
Is CBD Right for Your Cat’s Seizures?
Always consult your veterinarian before starting CBD. But current research suggests CBD could be an effective add-on or even alternative to AEDs for controlling seizures in cats.
CBD offers similar efficacy, but with far fewer side effects and toxicity risks. Used properly under medical guidance, CBD provides a promising option for safe, natural seizure management in cats.
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