There is a great deal of talk these days about CBD oil. A few months ago, I started using it on my cat. I decided it would be good to tell you of the experience that the cat had. In the process of telling the story, I will attempt to answer the question, what are the benefits of CBD oil for cats?
In mid-April, 2019, I brought home a 14-year-old cat from the animal shelter. He was in pretty bad shape when I got him settled in. He is a timid cat, and the dogs in the shelter never shut up, making his anxiety mountainous. He spent most of his time in his bed, because that was the one place where he felt safe.
As a reaction to stress, he had pulled all the fur off his belly and in strips down his back legs. All the fur on his ears was gone. He walked slowly, with a limp. He was overweight. He didn’t run and his meow was a squeak. He snored when he went to sleep. At least his purr was loud and strong.
They discovered in the shelter that his teeth were in bad shape, and they pulled two of them. I think his mouth must have been sore. He wouldn’t eat dry food — it must have hurt to chew it. He drank lots of water, and they said his kidneys were starting to shut down. He also had to be treated a couple of times in the shelter for a UTI.
His Transition To A New Home
His new vet put him on special food and prescribed Renacare gel to be mixed with his meals. When I got him home, he expressed his happiness at being out of that place by following me around all day and purring non-stop.
On his improved diet, he did well. However, he still had so many physical problems. I had been taking CBD oil for years and benefited greatly. I’d heard of it being used for animals, so I thought I’d try him on it.
I started with a couple drops a day. I had “Temptations” kitty treats, which he loved, but was not supposed to eat. I’d drill a little hole in one with a pointed tool and put in a couple of drops of oil, and he’d gobble them up.
I didn’t want to keep giving him the treats, though, so began mixing the oil in the “gravy” of his meal. No problem — he still gobbled up the food.
His dose was gradually increased, and now he’s on an amount that seems to work well. He gets a “strong” dose of 10 drops, once with his morning meal and again at night. The results have been astonishing.
Some changes have to be chalked up to time, a lot of love, and a good diet. Some changes definitely came from the oil. Let’s see — to enumerate — the fur has all grown back on his tummy, legs, and ears. He walks fast or runs — his arthritic pain seems to be gone. He is no longer limping.
He eats well, so I am thinking his mouth must not hurt him. He no longer snores at night. His meow is back. He seems bright and alert.
I let him out in my fenced front yard, where he hunts voles and basks in the sun. He is still timid and afraid of strangers, but at least he’s not spending his days under the bed. It took me two weeks to convince him he could sleep on my bed during the day.
His timidity is a basic personality trait, I think. His stress, though, has diminished a great deal. He no longer pulls out his fur. He seems much calmer. His reaction to the oil has been so positive that I wanted to let other folks know about it.
What Is CBD Oil?
Though the plant, cannabis Sativa, contains more than 100 compounds, the most important one of these medically is CBD. The initials stand for cannabidiol. The compound in cannabis that causes a “high” is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol.)
The CBD can be helpful in healing your pet when given in the proper dosage, but the THC is not good for kitty. It can damage his nervous system.
Therefore, the best CBD for pets is made from hemp, a cannabis plant containing less than 3% THC. This product is legal in all 50 states.
CBD has been shown to help a number of conditions. For one thing, it has anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to relieve anxiety, improve general well-being, reduce pain, and to lessen or eliminate seizures.
CBD May Be Helpful For These Conditions
If your cat has any of these conditions, CBD could be very helpful for him.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Because CBD can reduce inflammation, it could be helpful to use for this condition.
Again, because it helps reduce inflammation it could be helpful. I read just recently that new research shows that cannabis may be helpful when used against pancreatic cancer in humans, so it is not surprising that it might help your cat.
There are not a lot of options in the pharmaceutical medicine bag to help arthritic cats, and here is where CBD can shine. My cat showed definite signs of arthritis when I brought him home, but he seems greatly improved.
We need studies here. However, people have made many reports of longer survival time and a better quality of life. It is my hope that studies will be done soon.
Again, CBD can help as an anti-inflammatory with an asthmatic cat. Because it can reduce the inflammation, your kitty may not have so many attacks.
Chronic Upper Respiratory Infections
Even life-long symptoms of chronic viral infection can be resolved.
CBD can produce amazing responses in cats. However, if your cat is already on medication, consult your vet.
What Products Should I Choose?
There are criteria you should look for when selecting products for your cat. Don’t just go to Amazon and buy any old CBD oil. Know what you are getting.
Here are some criteria to consider when buying your oil:
- How has it been grown? Is it free of pesticides?
- How is the oil extracted? If extraction methods use chemicals in the process, the residue of these substances will be found in the final product.
- Concentration? Does the product contain enough CBD to be effective?
- Guaranteed analysis? Does the company test for a full range of constituents? Does it gather data on the terpenes and flavonoids?
- What other ingredients are present? It is important to know that the product you select contains only the cannabis compound, and no added ingredients which could be potentially harmful to a kitty.
Because the FDA does not regulate the CBD products that are available, you do not know if it has been tested for both content and contaminants, such as bacteria, fungus, and heavy metals.
Therefore, when you choose a product, make sure to get all the information available on how it has been processed and tested. Meanwhile, I am researching some available products and hope to have one to offer you soon.
What About Side Effects?
One vet reports that the only side effects he has seen have been an increase in appetite and a decrease in anxiety. CBD promotes relaxation. If your cat seems to become sedated, stop giving the oil and consult your vet. Kitty could also have an allergic reaction, though that is rare.
How Do You Determine How Much To Give?
Every cat is different. Here are some general guidelines on how much to give:
- Start with one drop of CBD one time a day, and continue with one drop for the first week.
- If you can’t see any effect or if the cat has shown no reactions, increase the dosage to one drop twice a day. Continue this dosage for a week.
- Continue adding slowly to the dosage until you see some benefits. You can increase the number of drops as well, following the pattern above.
The key is the cat’s reaction. Find the dosage you are looking for that provides the benefits you want.
Correct Dosage Size
Here are general guidelines on determining the dosage size for your cat. As no standardized dosages have been set, it is important that you start doses small and increase gradually until you reach the amount that seems to give the most benefits.
A cat is a small animal, so choose the strength of 150 mg. When determining the dosage, it is important to remember that one drop of oil is equal to 0.5mg of CBD.
Depending on the severity of the cat’s problems, you can give a regular dose or a strong dose. A regular dose is appropriate for daily health and wellness. It will boost immune function and ease the aches and pains of old age.
It will deal with allergies, minor skin conditions, act to stimulate appetite, ease minor stress and anxiety, and deal with digestive issues and nausea. It moderates arthritic and joint inflammation and eases minor aches and pains.
A strong dose can be used for more extreme conditions, such as chronic pain, severe arthritis, and joint inflammation, or problems with mobility. It can be useful to counteract epileptic seizures, cancer-related symptoms or tumors. It is also useful for severe anxiety, extreme nausea, and vomiting.
You can give a dose every eight hours or as needed. If you wish to control anxiety about an upcoming event, give a dose 30 minutes before it occurs. If you are going on a trip and have to leave the cat, give him a dose. Give up to twice a day for all other uses.
Your pet’s CBD dosage should be based on body weight. It is wise to start with a single drop a week usually, but the general rule for maximum dosage is 0.25 mg X 1 pound body weight.
Therefore, if your cat weighs 10 pounds, a full regular dose would be 2.5 mg of CBD or 5 drops. (Remember: One drop is equal to 0.5 mg of CBD.) For a strong dose, use 5.0 mg of CBD for a 10-pound cat, or 10 drops.
The latter is the dosage I am giving my cat. The cat weighs 12 or 13 pounds, but it seems that the 10 drops in his food morning and night work well. He certainly is in far better shape than when I brought him home.
For this post, I used four references. They are as follows:
Please leave comments and questions at the end of this post. If you have given CBD to your cat, please give us information on your results. We are in new territory, and all the information we can get will be helpful.