From whiskers to wellness- Exploring CBD oil for cats

The owners are always on the lookout for ways to keep their feline friends happy and healthy. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is called cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. Unlike the more well-known cannabinoid THC, famous for causing marijuana’s high, CBD is non-intoxicating. It’s also now legal on the federal level, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp cultivation and products. Most CBD oils for pets are derived from hemp and contain little to no THC.

All mammals, including cats and humans, have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that helps regulate various bodily functions like mood, appetite, pain sensation, and more. The ECS contains endocannabinoid receptors that bind to cannabinoids like CBD and THC. While more research is still needed, CBD appears to influence the ECS indirectly. When consumed, CBD seems to reduce endocannabinoid breakdown and increase the production of the body’s endocannabinoids. The results are wide-ranging, from decreasing inflammation to dulling pain signals.

  • Relieving pain and inflammation  

Like their human owners, cats suffer from painful conditions like osteoarthritis. CBD appears to dull pain receptors while also reducing inflammation. This one-two punch makes it effective at improving mobility and alleviating aches.

  • Easing anxiety  

Loud noises, changes in the environment, trips to the vet – cats are prone to stress and anxiety triggers. By interacting with serotonin receptors involved in mood regulation, CBD may help calm kitties and promote relaxation.  

  • Controlling seizures  

cbd for cats suffering uncontrolled focal seizures, CBD shows promise as an add-on treatment option. Small studies reveal high CBD doses may reduce seizure frequency by up to 33% in epileptic pets.

  • Stimulating appetite   

Whether from medication side effects or illness, cats often struggle with lack of appetite. Anecdotal evidence suggests moderate doses of CBD may spark hunger by interacting with feline appetite control pathways.

  • Supporting immune health  

Some emerging cell studies report CBD has antioxidant properties that may safeguard the immune system against damage from free radicals and toxins. More research is needed to confirm immune-boosting effects.   

Is CBD oil safe for cats?

While deemed generally safe by most veterinarians, CBD does carry some potential side effects for cats. 

  1. Dry mouth – Diminished saliva production may lead to thirst or drooling. Provide plenty of fresh water.  
  2. Lowered blood pressure – High doses can briefly lower blood pressure. Use caution when combining with blood pressure medications.  
  3. Drowsiness – Especially at higher doses, CBD may cause drowsiness. Adjust dosage if lethargy develops.  
  4. Upset stomach – Digestive upset is possible but typically mild. Give CBD oil with food or lower the dose if vomiting or diarrhea occurs.   
  5. Changes in liver enzymes – Elevations in liver enzymes are possible. Have your vet run bloodwork if using CBD long-term.  

Interactions with Other Drugs CBD may impact how cats metabolize some medications like blood thinners and seizure drugs. Consult your vet first about potential interactions. As with any supplement, proper dosing is also key for safety. Always follow package instructions and talk to your vet, starting with low doses first and monitoring for side effects. While overdoses are rare, avoid letting your cat accidentally ingest high-strength CBD products like tinctures.