The CBD pet market has been growing at a rapid rate over the last few years. It was worth $19.5 billion in 2018, and it’s expected to reach a valuation of $22.39 billion by the year 2023. Many people are aware of the benefits of CBD for humans. There’s still quite a bit of confusion about whether or not it’s a safe and effective option for pets, though. If you’ve been wondering, “Is CBD safe for cats?” keep reading. Everything you need to know about giving your furry feline CBD oil is explained down below.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid that is naturally present in the cannabis plants. CBD is not psychoactive, unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, which is another well-known cannabinoid) — this means it will not get you high when you consume it. CBD has a different effect than THC, in part, because it does not bind to the CB1 cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are found mainly in the brain and spinal cord. Instead of binding to these receptors, CBD works by increasing the availability of the body’s own natural cannabinoids (known as endocannabinoids). It also binds to other receptors, such as the serotonin receptors, to help balance mood and promote other health benefits.
Is CBD Safe for Cats?
Now that you have a bit of a better understanding of how CBD works in the body, you’re probably wondering whether or not it’s safe for pets like cats to consume. The short answer appears to be that yes, it is. Cats, like dogs and humans, have an endocannabinoid system. It’s important to note, though, that their endocannabinoid systems, as well as their digestive systems, are much more sensitive than those of dogs or humans. Because of this, it’s important for them to consume CBD oil (and other CBD products) designed specifically with cats in mind.
Benefits of CBD for Cats
When cats are given cat-specific CBD, they can experience a variety of benefits. The following are some of the most well-known benefits:
IBD, short for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, is a type of chronic illness. It causes inflammation within the digestive tract. As with humans who suffer from this condition, cats with IBD are prone to digestive issues like diarrhea, stomach pain, and vomiting. They may have a hard time putting on weight as well. If your cat suffers from IBD, CBD may be beneficial when it comes to relieving inflammation and pain associated with the condition. It might make it easier for your cat to eat at regular intervals, too.
If your cat has IBD, they also have or be at risk of developing pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). CBD can help to treat this condition as well by minimizing pain and inflammation and promoting better digestion.
Thanks, again, to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may be a useful tool for those who have cats (or other pets) struggling with arthritis and joint pain. If your cat is old or overweight and has a hard time walking or getting up or down from pieces of furniture because of their joint pain, CBD can help to relieve their symptoms so they can move in a pain-free way.
Improve Respiratory Conditions
Many cat-owners also find that giving their cats CBD can help to reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with respiratory conditions. This includes respiratory tract infections and asthma. The benefit of using CBD for these conditions is twofold. First, CBD helps to get rid of the inflammation that can cause or make them worse. It also has some antibacterial properties to help fight off infections.
Reduce Seizure Frequency and Severity
Cats who suffer from epilepsy or seizure disorders can find relief when given CBD as well. One of CBD’s original uses was to treat seizure disorders in humans. It’s useful for cats as well and can be given alongside other seizure medications.
Even if your cat does not have IBD, they may have other health issues that cause a reduction in their appetite. If your cat isn’t eating as much as they need, CBD may help to stimulate their appetite so they can eat on a regular basis and start putting on weight.
Many people don’t think of cats as struggling with separation anxiety because they don’t bark as dogs do. They may show other signs of anxiety, though. Some cats meow incessantly or act out in other ways when they’re left alone. If this is the case for your cat, giving them CBD can help to calm them down.
Improve Sleep Quality
In addition to reducing anxiety, CBD can also improve your cat’s ability to fall and stay asleep. If you have concerns about them not sleeping enough, try giving them some CBD to promote feelings of calmness and settle them down before they’re supposed to go to bed.
CBD Risks for Cats
The biggest risks of giving cats CBD oil or other CBD products comes not from the CBD itself, but from the dosing process, as well as from the formulation of the product. If your cat gets a larger dose than they need, they may be more prone to fatigue or digestive issues. If they’re given a subpar product, such as one made with synthetic CBD, an unhealthy carrier oil, or artificial flavors or colors, they may also be more prone to digestive problems and other negative health effects. As long as you administer high-quality CBD products and give them in the appropriate dose, the risks associated with CBD are slim.
How to Give Your Cat CBD
If you’re interested in using CBD for your cat, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Remembering these guidelines will help you ensure you’re giving them a high-quality oil and help you get the dosage just right:
Ask About Sourcing
One of the first questions you should ask when considering a particular CBD product is about where the plants from which the CBD was extracted were sourced. Were they grown in the U.S.? Were they grown using organic growing techniques? How healthy is the soil in which they were grown? The answers to all of these questions may have an impact on the healthiness of the CBD oil or products you’re about to give your cat.
It’s important that the plants from which the CBD was extracted are organic. It’s also important that the other ingredients in the CBD product be organic as well. If the CBD is organic but the carrier oil is non-organic and full of pesticides, for example, you could end up negating the benefits of the CBD or even causing more harm to your cat. Look at the ingredients label and ask questions if you have concerns about the origins of any of the ingredients.
Seek Out Lab Tests
There’s very little regulation in the CBD industry at the moment (especially the CBD pet industry). To combat this, CBD experts like those at Innovet recommend only buying CBD products from companies that pay to have their products tested in third-party laboratories. If a company will pay extra money to ensure they’re putting out a quality product, that’s a good sign that theirs is a safe option for your cat to consume.
Talk to Your Vet
It’s always a good idea to talk to your vet before you start giving your cat any kind of supplement. If you’ve already purchased a CBD product, take it to your vet’s office and ask them to take a look at it. You can also ask your vet if they know of any other brands that they recommend or have experience using.
When giving CBD to your cat, always start with the smallest dose possible. A few drops or a tiny portion of a treat can go a long way, especially if you’re using a product that contains a higher concentration of CBD (check the label before you administer it). It’s always better to err on the side of giving your cat too little rather than too much. The side effects of excessive CBD for cats may not be terribly severe, but it’s still best to avoid them if possible.
Once you’ve given your cat CBD, pay close attention to see how it affects them. Administer the CBD at the same time each day for a week or so and take note of how their symptoms improve or get worse. If you don’t notice any changes, try increasing their dosage by a small amount and continue to monitor them.
Try CBD Today
As you can see, there are lots of benefits that come with using CBD for your cat’s overall health and wellness. Now that you have an answer to the question “Is CBD safe for cats?”, what do you think? Does it seem like a good option for your feline? If you have more questions about CBD for pets or for humans, don’t forget to check out the other articles on our site today. The Health section is full of useful information.
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