The hype surrounding CBD hasn’t escaped the attention of pet owners. More and more of them are turning to CBD oils and chews to help their ailing furballs. And with good reason!
Even though science is lagging behind, mostly due to legal reasons, there are enough signs that CBD is highly beneficial as a supplement to both us and our pets. Chronic pain, inflammation and mood disorders all seem to decrease with a little CBD.
No wonder you are considering: is CBD oil good for cats with arthritis?
Cats with arthritis suffer from painful inflammations in their joints that leave them with an impaired mobility. And a cat that can’t jump is only half a cat. Read on to find out exactly how your arthritic cat can benefit from CBD oil for cats and how to find the best CBD product for your pet.
CBD Oil For Cats
The market for CBD oil for cats, and for pets in general, is a fast growing one. Unfortunately, it is also largely unregulated, or self-regulated at best. This means that you can’t blindly trust just any product that’s out there. You have to do your due diligence to find a product that is safe for your cat and might actually have a chance of working.
Does CBD Work On Cats?
CBD, or cannabidiol, works by interacting with a network of neuroreceptors in our bodies that collectively form what is known as the endocannabinoid system. A lot of mammals besides humans have an endocannabinoid system and can therefore benefit from the same properties of CBD that help us. Cats are among these mammals, so, yes, CBD does work on cats.
It must be noted, though, that little to no research has been done on CBD in relation to animals and most of it is focused on mice or dogs. As of now the only evidence we have for the actual effects of CBD on cats and its efficacy to treat certain feline ailments is anecdotal evidence from cat owners who have given it a try.
That said, many of them are reporting positive results that sometimes go beyond the initial expectation of what CBD can do for cats. It lightens symptoms of chronic and congenital illnesses, slows the progression of fatal diseases and generally improves a cat’s quality of life. As a result, more and more veterinarians are coming around to see the added value CBD can bring to their treatment of domestic animals.
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The Benefits Of CBD Oil For Cats
The actual benefits of CBD oil for cats all stem from its ability to lift moods, numb pain and reduce, or even prevent, inflammation. Inflammation, in all its forms, is what lies at the base of most illnesses, and most illnesses cause a lot of pain. Any supplement or drug that helps reduce inflammation and pain can be beneficial to cats suffering from all sorts of conditions, ranging from anxiety and a reduced appetite, all the way to kidney disease, FIV and even cancer.
Add to that the fact that cats are highly emotional creatures that can quite literally decide to give up on life, and you’ll start to see why so many cat parents are turning to CBD oil to help their beloved cat face another day.
Can You Give Normal CBD Oil To A Cat?
In most cases, it is NOT guaranteed safe to give CBD oil that is meant for humans to a cat. That is because of the potential presence of that other popular cannabinoid, THC.
Unlike CBD, THC has a psychoactive effect, meaning it gets you high. Humans tend to experience this high as pleasurable. For cats the story is quite different.
THC is actually toxic to cats. Depending on the amount they ingest, marijuana intoxication will cause cats to become very agitated with an increased heart rate and unpredictable, aggressive behavior, including tremors and drooling, or even give them seizures or land them in a coma.
Therefore it is best to stick to CBD oils that are specifically made for cats. Most, if not all, of the THC will be filtered out and the dosage will be appropriate for your cat.
And make sure that it is third party tested and that it passed those tests. Don’t just take the manufacturer’s word for it, check the test results for yourself. If you are dealing with a trustworthy company, they will have these listed along with the product description on their website.
But, as we know from our own experience, old age comes with a price. Elderly cats tend to develop diseases directly related to the wear and tear on their aging bodies. Arthritis is one of them, and a relatively common one too.
Arthritis denotes a disorder of the joints. Cats specifically suffer from osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, which is arthritis caused by inflammation and physical deterioration of one or more joints. A cat’s hips, legs and spine are most likely to be affected by arthritis.
Symptoms Of Arthritis In Cats
The first sign that an older cat is developing arthritis is a reluctance to jump on and off of higher surfaces. You might also notice your cat just sitting weirdly, with its back legs sticking out to the side.
If your cat’s joints are inflamed, they will feel warmer to the touch than the rest of their body. Needless to say, inflamed joints can be really painful, so your cat might not even let you touch them. Over time, chronic inflammation can damage the bone and cartilage of the joint, further impairing your cat.
Cats with arthritis are often in a lot of pain, not just from inflammation. They can’t freely move their bodies like they used to and that causes them to be lethargic and to start wasting away. Muscle waste puts a lot of strain on the kidneys, which is why cats with arthritis often develop kidney disease as a concurrent ailment.
Is CBD Oil Good For Cats With Arthritis?
CBD oil is not only good for cats with arthritis, it seems like it was made for them. The key property of CBD for cats with arthritis is its ability to reduce inflammation. If you can decrease the inflammation in your cat’s joints, you can effectively stall the progression of their arthritis.
On top of that, CBD is an effective painkiller and mood stabilizer. Your cat will be less impaired by pain and more motivated to keep moving. And, ultimately, movement is the best medicine for a cat with arthritis.
Something worth considering, specifically for cats with arthritis, is using a topical CBD ointment instead of a CBD oil meant for oral consumption. Cannabis does have a rather pungent taste and smell and most cats won’t eagerly ingest it. A topical solution also allows you to apply it only when and where it is needed, giving you more control over your cat’s treatment.
If you are planning on getting CBD oil for your cat, check out our guide to the Best CBD Products For Cats to find out which one we recommend. Also be sure to discuss your plans with your veterinarian and give them a chance to weigh in. The final decision lies with you, of course, but your vet may have some insights regarding your cat’s specific situation that are worth considering.