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Pet Health: Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cats

Cat Sitting On A Chair, Credit: Stock Photography


In the United States, there are 86 million owned cats, and most people consider their pets to be a furry extension of their family. When the unexpected occurs they are willing to do whatever they can, and in some cases, this includes considering an alternative, all-natural treatment like CBD.

In this article, we discuss what CBD is, CBD and your cat, the anecdotal support for CBD use for your feline, and a clinical opinion on CBD for cats.

Pet Health: Cannabidiol (CBD) and Cats

Veterinarian With Cat, Credit: Stock Photography
Veterinarian with Cat

In the United States, there are 86 million owned cats, and on average, cat owners spend $160 per year in recurring medical costs, according to the ASPCA. However, these costs can skyrocket rapidly when the unexpected happens.

“Diagnostic procedures alone can cost between $1,000 and $2,000,” says Baton Rouge, La., veterinarian Carrie Schultz, whose business, Housepet Housevet, specializes in house calls. Schultz knows how jarring veterinary expenses can be — her own cat recently racked up $2,000 in bills after it spent a weekend in intensive care at a small-animal hospital.

How Much Should You Pay to Save a Pet?

Most people consider their pets to be a furry extension of their family. When the unanticipated occurs they are willing to do whatever they can, and in some cases, this includes considering an alternative, all-natural treatment like CBD.

CBD Oil, Credit: Stock Photography

What is CBD?

CBD or cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in the cannabis sativa plant. CBD is just one of more than 400 compounds found in the plant and is a cannabinoid in high concentrations.

Cannabinoids actively bind to special receptors on your cells and are part of what is known as your endocannabinoid system. This is a huge network of cell receptor proteins that have a vast array of functions. Some receptors are found within your central nervous system, whereas others are found in other places, such as your reproductive organs, skin and digestive tract.

This system is responsible for controlling your mood, appetite, sleep, immune response, movement, sperm development, ovulation and cognition.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Owner And Cat, Credit: Stock Photography
Owner And Cat

CBD And Your Cat

According to one study, “a staggering 93 percent of pet owners felt that their animals performed equally well or better on CBD compared to standard veterinary medication and treatment”.

Consider the following first-person experience:

Blogger Kiki gave a true, heart-rending account of her short journey with her sick cat, Zaphod, and CBD oil for cats.

Despite taking good care of Zaphod, Kiki found herself having to stuff her feline friend with pharmaceuticals to manage inflammation, organ functioning, and more. However, after a while, this was not enough, and she decided to give CBD oil a try.

Kiki said: “Having talked to other pet owners about this, it seems as if many of us are just looking for another tool to ease pain and suffering in our elderly or terminally ill companions. I know that was the case for me.”

Kiki added Zaphod’s CBD oil to his wet food according to the package recommendations. However, this proved a bit excessive for the fella. The CBD oil relaxed him too much, causing him to be wobbly on his feet, so Kiki divided the dose over two meals. This hit Zaphod’s sweet spot. The CBD oil relaxed his facial expression and allowed his owners to pet and pick him up.

CBD for Cats—Dosage & Potential Benefits

The Clinical Value Of CBD For Cats

However, while CBD has many therapeutic uses for humans, there is currently no clinical evidence to support its use for felines. 

Male Doctor, Credit: Stock Photography
Male Doctor

According to Dr. Gary Richter, while CBD isn’t toxic to your cat, it is hard to justify clinically.

Although there have been no scientific studies that specifically investigate the impact of cannabis on pets, Dr. Gary Richter, a holistic veterinarian and owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital and Holistic Veterinary Care in Oakland, California, says that CBD oil is generally safe for cats. However, there can be some adverse effects to giving your cat CBD oil, including gastrointestinal upset and some sedation, both of which can be relieved by discontinuing the use of the oil.

“I think the bigger issue, from a medical perspective, is making sure that animals are dosed appropriately. This means that the CBD oil is having the affect you want it to have, and that you’re not accidentally overdosing,” he says.

Dr. Liza Guess, a clinical assistant professor at the Ohio State University Department of Veterinary Medicine in Columbus, Ohio, says that the lack of official, documented research into the affects of cannabis products for cats would make her hesitant to recommend them.

“I have heard that, in humans, marijuana products can be used for neuropathic pain, intractable seizures, anxiety, and appetite stimulation. I have plenty of medications in each of those categories [that are not cannabis] that have been safely used in cats for years that I am very comfortable using and understand well,” she says. “These medications have gone through rigorous studies and are approved by the FDA. Why would I want to use a poorly understood treatment that I can’t guarantee is safe or even effective?”

She adds that the FDA does not regulate the CBD products that are available on the market, so consumers can’t be sure that they’re giving their pets the dosage that they think they are.

“Pet owners looking to give their animals CBD oil should do their due diligence before purchasing anything online,” Richter says. “The marketplace is very much a ‘buyer beware’ environment, and people should be sure that the product they’re buying has been laboratory tested for both content, as well as contaminants like bacteria, fungus, and heavy metals.”

Also, it’s worth nothing that while CBD oil is typically quite safe for cats and dogs, cannabis plants are not. “There is plenty of documentation of marijuana toxicity in cats, for those that nibble on the plants,” Guess says.

CBD Oil for Cats: What You Need to Know

At TheraJoy, we have been making CBD topical products in the US for the past three years, and are proudly a market leader. TheraJoy is always made with 99% pure CBD derived from medical grade, non-GMO hemp, sourced directly from Switzerland. We offer purity you can trust, guaranteed. Our products are always all-natural, organic, vegan, gluten-free and kosher.

Remember, always consult your doctor before you begin taking a supplement or make any changes to your existing medication and supplement routine. This blog post is not intended to be medical advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your doctor at your next appointment.