A wide variety of natural remedies have been used throughout centuries to ease pain and discomfort, boost the immune system, and treat the symptoms of an array of physical and mental health problems. And some natural remedies have proven to be just as useful to our pets as to us.
CBD oil for cats is a prime example. This potent compound derived from hemp shows great promise in veterinary medicine, but many cat owners stay reserved when it comes to giving their pets CBD. Concerns about the side-effects, excessive sleepiness, and overall safety of CBD for cats are the main reasons why some cat owners avoid this hemp-derived product. But are these concerns justified? Let’s take a look.
A Closer Look at CBD
CBD is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. It’s the most abundant cannabis compound, yet it’s its cousin THC that most people are usually more familiar with. While both THC and CBD belong to the category of cannabinoids, it’s essential to understand that they’re quite different.
THC has psychoactive properties, making you (and your cat!) feel high after using it. THC consumption can be highly dangerous to cats, leading to marijuana intoxication and producing adverse side effects.
CBD, on the other hand, is generally considered harmless for cats in small doses. It’s not intoxicating and has no psychoactive properties, keeping the mind clear during consumption and producing virtually no side effects.
Since different cannabis compounds can have varying effects on the user, feline or otherwise, it’s essential to ensure that you’re getting the right product for your needs. Never administer high THC or hemp oil to your cat! Make sure you’re using pure CBD oil with no more than 0.3% THC content.
The Benefits of CBD Oil for Cats
CBD impacts the endocannabinoid system (ECS) naturally present in all mammals, including humans, cats, and dogs. The ECS is responsible for controlling and moderating several bodily functions and processes, including pain sensation, appetite, immune responses, and mood, among others. By impacting the ECS, CBD effectively moderates these functions and processes as well.
These capabilities make CBD such an effective treatment for a variety of different health conditions in humans and felines.
Most commonly, cat owners administer CBD to their pets for:
- Eating disorders
- Kidney disease
- Chronic pain
More research is needed to provide conclusive evidence of just how CBD impacts cats. Still, seeing how beneficial it is to humans and other animals, its effects on cats seem promising. Still, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian before administering CBD to your cat, especially if your cat is already taking other medication. Your vet will help you determine whether CBD is the right choice for your pet.
CBD Use and Sleepiness in Cats
As a general rule of thumb, CBD will have no severe side effects, whether humans or their feline companions use it. It’s considered safe for consumption and can prove to be quite beneficial for your cat, helping to ease their pain, alleviate their anxiety, and more.
Still, some side-effects might spring up. After taking CBD oil, your cat might show signs of:
- Increased appetite
- Excessive sleepiness
The first two occur pretty infrequently, but excessive sleepiness is a bit more common, especially if you administer a higher CBD dose.
One of the most common uses of CBD is for fighting insomnia and other sleep disorders in humans. In higher doses, CBD can act almost like a sedative, calming you down and making you feel drowsy. The same effect is evident in cats as well.
Administering CBD to your cat might make your companion feel tired and sleepy. That’s why it’s a good idea to give CBD to your cat if they’re showing signs of separation anxiety or fear when you’re out of the house.
Importance of Determining the Right CBD Dosage for Cats
While CBD is generally considered safe for feline consumption, it’s still essential not to go overboard with the dosing. The higher the dose, the more likely it is that negative side effects will arise.
CBD affects each person and cat differently, so determining the right dosage can take a bit of trial and error. It’s best to start with a light dose of about 1mg and see how your cat reacts. Keep a close eye on your companion for a few hours after administration to ensure they’re showing no signs of nausea or changes in appetite. If this is too light a dose, slowly increase it over time until you find the one that works best for your cat.
Consult your veterinarian about the most appropriate CBD dose for cats if you’re unsure and don’t want to make a mistake.
CBD can be highly beneficial for cats, but some side effects such as excessive sleepiness can be quite common after use. Talk with your vet, and don’t give CBD to healthy cats that might not need it.