Have you heard about giving CBD to cats and thought “is this just meow-juana?” You wouldn’t be the first with this question!
Let’s separate fact from fiction about using CBD for our feline friends. Read on to learn the real truth about this trending cat supplement.
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CBD vs. Marijuana – What’s the Difference?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis plants. But CBD should not be confused with marijuana. Here are the key differences:
- CBD is non-psychoactive – It does NOT contain significant THC, the compound that causes a marijuana “high.”
- CBD is legal – It’s derived from legal hemp plants with less than 0.3% THC.
- CBD has potential benefits – Research indicates CBD may help with pain, anxiety, seizures, and more.
So while CBD and marijuana both come from cannabis, CBD will NOT get your cat “stoned.” Products made for cats should always contain little to no THC.
Is CBD Safe for Cats? What Does the Research Say?
While CBD is very popular for humans, research specifically on CBD for cats is still emerging. Most evidence so far is anecdotal from pet owners, but studies are ramping up.
Early research indicates CBD appears quite safe for cats. Potential side effects seem rare and mild.
However, studies are still limited. As with any supplement, discuss using CBD with your vet first. But evidence so far suggests CBD is well-tolerated when used properly.
How Can CBD Potentially Help Cats?
CBD is not a cure-all. But current research and pet owner reports suggest it may provide the following benefits:
- Reduced anxiety – Soothes anxious behaviors like aggression, hiding, restlessness
- Pain relief – Eases discomfort from arthritis, injuries, surgery, etc.
- Anti-seizure – May reduce frequency and severity of seizures
- Anti-inflammatory – Helps with inflammatory conditions
- Anti-nausea – May reduce vomiting and improve appetite
- Anti-cancer – Early research shows anti-tumor potential
Clearly more studies are needed. But the possibilities are promising for this natural supplement!
What Symptoms Could Improved with CBD?
While CBD should not replace veterinary advice, it may help manage certain ongoing symptoms like:
- Anxiety when home alone, travel, fireworks, etc.
- Joint pain and mobility issues from arthritis
- Limping, trouble jumping, and playing
- Loss of appetite and digestive issues
- Seizures or epilepsy episodes
- Skin irritation and excessive licking
- Cancer-related pain, nausea, or loss of appetite
Track any symptoms CBD seems to help improve. This can help determine the best dosage over time.
How Do You Give CBD to a Cat?
The most common CBD options for cats include:
- Drop directly into mouth or food
- Available in cat-specific potencies
- Easy to adjust dosage as needed
CBD Treats or Chews
- Soft treats infused with CBD
- Appeals to picky cats
- Pre-measured doses
- Creams, balms, or salves
- Apply to sore joints or problem areas
- Absorbs through skin for localized benefits
Always begin with the lowest dose and monitor your cat’s reaction. Increase gradually only as needed.
What is the Right CBD Dosage for Cats?
Since cats are small animals, proper dosing is key. Never give your cat CBD products designed for humans or dogs – the concentration will be too high.
Here are general dosing guidelines based on weight:
- 1-5 lbs: 1-3 mg CBD per dose
- 5-10 lbs: 3-6 mg CBD per dose
- 10-15 lbs: 5-10 mg CBD per dose
Start at the lower end of the range. Give CBD 1-2 times daily. After a week with no side effects, slowly increase the dose every few days until you reach the higher target.
Watch for potential drowsiness when first starting. Seek vet advice if lethargy persists beyond a few days.
How Long Does It Take for CBD to Work in Cats?
Patience is vital when using CBD for cats. Unlike medications, CBD can take significant time to build up and take effect.
It often takes 4-6 weeks of consistent dosing to see noticeable improvements. Effects are gradual and subtle, but should compound over several weeks of daily use.
Don’t expect immediate results. Monitor your cat’s symptoms and adjust the dose after a month if needed. In time, they are likely to experience benefits.
Is CBD for Cats Legal?
As long as the CBD is derived from hemp containing less than 0.3% THC, it is federally legal under the 2018 Farm Bill. However, some state laws may vary.
Check your own state laws to ensure CBD possession is legal where you live. Only purchase CBD from companies that lab test their products to validate THC levels.
Veterinarians are also still limited in discussing CBD due to state veterinary board restrictions. But the legal landscape is evolving quickly.
The Bottom Line – Should You Try CBD for Your Cat?
While more studies are still needed, current evidence and pet owner anecdotes suggest CBD may be beneficial for cats. If your cat struggles with symptoms CBD may help manage, discuss it with your vet or try high-quality CBD designed specifically for pets.
Choose organic, natural products from reputable brands. Always start with low doses and monitor your cat. With patience and proper administration, your feline friend may discover some purring relief with CBD!
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