As CBD oil has been proven to provide almost instant relief from pain and inflammation, many pet owners have jumped on the CBD bandwagon in a bid to improve their beloved furry friends’ quality of life even by just a tiny bit. But CBD oil is not just a powerful anti-inflammatory with almost zero side effects. It can also help with cat anxiety, chronic pain, and sleep and appetite issues. Its advocates have stopped short of calling it a cure all, but its health benefits for pets are indeed amazing.
What is Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil?
Cannabidiol, in short CBD, is an extract from cannabis, or marijuana, and its non-toxic relative, hemp, which has been making big waves in the pet health and wellness industries in recent years. Cannabidiol is one of the 130 plus cannabinoids, or active constituents, in the Cannabis Sativa plant, but it is one of the most useful one for human and pet health.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), another high-profile cannabinoid, CBD lacks any intoxicating content, which means that it won’t get people or animals high. What’s more, there are federal regulations to limit THC content in hemp derived dietary supplements to 0.3%, which renders cannabis products useless for users looking for a more euphoric experience.
CBD oil is CBD extract diluted in a carrier oil to enhance its effects. The ingredient is now used for dogs and cats’ wellbeing and health as a dietary supplement, topical ointment, anti-inflammatory, natural alternative to OTC painkillers, anti-depressant and anxiolytic, and mood booster. Its effects are especially visible in aging and arthritic cats, where pain signs and symptoms are more obvious than in younger felines.
Top Benefits of CBD Oil for Cats
CBD oil has been successfully used for providing pain relief in cats. Spotting a cat in pain can be tricky as cats are hardwired to hide their pain and distress as a survival technique. Out in the wild, cats are easy prey if they show their pain as they have very large and unforgiving predators to worry about. But if you suspect your cat may be in pain consult with your veterinarian. Do not self-medicate, as human-approved drugs can be toxic and even lethal to cats.
Also, CBD oil can be used both internally and topically to alleviate chronic pain especially in senior or arthritic cats. Unfortunately, arthritis in cats goes widely underdiagnosed as pet owners often confuse the telltale signs with something else or just ignore them. But an animal in pain is no different than a human in pain and pet owners should take full responsibility for managing their pets’ pain.
Fortunately, with the growing demand, CBD for cats is now available as tinctures, edibles, concentrates, and topical pain relief. So, using it as natural alternative to anti-inflammatories and pain killers, which can do more harm than good especially to older cats with kidney disease or other conditions, is a breeze.
Natural Remedy for Anxiety
Just like their humans, cats can be affected by anxiety too. An anxious cat may be more withdrawn and avoidant than other cats, may become less energetic, may over-groom some parts of their body to sooth itself, may become destructive or aggressive, and may experience appetite loss and change in their litterbox routine. Most of these symptoms can be found in cats who are in physical pain too. So, consulting with a veterinarian is a must in order to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
CBD oil has been proven an effective remedy for anxiety in both pets and people. For cats, the easiest way to administer CBD is as spray tincture onto their food and treats or directly into their mouth. The dose largely depends on the cat’s age, weight, and metabolism, so a trial-and-error approach is recommended when figuring out the right dosage for a particular cat. The good thing about CBD is that there’s no risk of overdose.
CBD’s Risks for Pets
Although a cat or a dog cannot overdose on CBD, do not give your kitty CBD-infused products that have been formulated for human use. Taking too much of the good thing may come with some mild side effects like drowsiness, dry mouth, increased thirst, and sudden drop in blood pressure. Also, ensure that the products do not contain any toxic fillers or chemicals that may harm your pet. Plus, if the CBD oil has changed colors, it means that it is spoiled, so discard it as it may be poisonous to small pets.