CBD is quickly becoming one of the most popular and widely used health supplements. People use it to control anxiety, combat depression, keep up their appetite, help them sleep, and so much more. If you are to believe the stories, CBD is the wonder drug we’ve all been waiting for.
Naturally, we want our pets to take advantage of this new found key to health as well. But can you give CBD to a cat? How does it affect them? And is CBD oil good for cats with kidney disease? This guide will answer all your questions.
Is CBD Oil Safe For Cats?
Not much research has been done into the medicinal properties of CBD. Cannabis is still illegal in most places, which makes it difficult for researchers to get the funding and materials they need.
Despite the lack of scientific proof, however, there is strong evidence that CBD can be beneficial in a whole host of cases, ranging from anxiety disorders to epilepsy. This is no surprise, seeing as CBD acts to calm the nerves, relieve pain and reduce inflammation. All three of those can help for a wide spectrum of diseases and illnesses.
This is all due to special neuroreceptors in our body that are capable of interacting with cannabinoids, the active components of the cannabis plant. And cats have those same neuroreceptors. We can therefore safely assume that cats have similar reactions to CBD oil as humans do.
In short, yes, CBD oil is safe for cats.
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A Word Of Warning
While CBD itself is safe and likely beneficial for cats and humans, not all CBD products are safe for consumption. Unfortunately, because of its legal status, the production of CBD oil and related products is not subject to any rules or regulations.
Depending on how it is made, CBD oil can contain chemicals, solvents, and even heavy metals that are all extremely bad for you. This means that it is up to you to do your own due diligence before buying CBD oil.
How To Recognize Good CBD Oil
The only way you can be guaranteed of giving your cat, or yourself, a CBD oil that is pure and safe, is to buy one that is tested by an independent, third party lab. Luckily, CBD oils that are third party tested will let you know about it. Read their website and packaging, and go check out that test report!
That last part is important. Because you won’t know that they actually tested it and passed until you read the report with your own eyes. When you do, take note of the purity and the potency.
The purity indicates whether the product contains any trace materials, like fertilizer, bacteria, fungi, chemicals and heavy metals. The potency tests whether the product has the amount of CBD it claims to have, which is vital information for determining dosage.
Can Too Much CBD Hurt My Cat?
You’ll be happy to know that it is next to impossible to overdose on CBD. The body simply processes it too quickly for you, or your cat, to build up a toxic level of CBD. It also doesn’t produce a high, like the psychoactive cannabinoid THC does, so you don’t need to worry about your cat tripping out either.
But just like humans, each cat reacts differently to CBD. Some take to it better than others. Keep a close eye on your cat in the hours following their first dose of CBD oil. If they get sick, irritable or withdrawn, you have either given them too much, or it just isn’t for them.
That said, like with any other medication or drug, prolonged and excessive use of CBD can damage the liver. If you give your cat CBD oil or capsules on a regular basis, you should take them to the vet’s office for a standard liver test once or twice a year. That way you can keep track of your cat’s health and make sure you are not doing them any unintended harm.
Does CBD Oil Work On Cats?
As we’ve established, cats have the same neuroreceptors needed to process cannabinoids as we do. So, assuming CBD works on humans, it also works on cats.
Of course, cats can’t directly communicate to us how they are feeling when they are under the influence of CBD. It is up to us to monitor their behavior and interpret any change we see. Luckily, we have a whole Internet full of cat people to compare notes with.
The Effects Of CBD On Cats
One thing that is certain is that CBD affects the gastrointestinal tract in cats. This works both ways: cats with digestive issues or constipation can start to feel better on CBD, while cats that don’t tolerate CBD will show signs of gastric upset, including vomiting and diarrhea.
Another effect that can both be positive or negative is the calming nature of CBD. Anxious cats and cats that have undergone any kind of trauma will likely benefit and appear more relaxed when taking CBD. Already relaxed and less active cats, on the other hand, can start to feel very drowsy and just sleep the day away. And they really don’t need any help with that.
On top of that, CBD causes a drop in blood pressure when given in large doses. This will make your cat lethargic and wobbly on their feet. They might even develop a headache. If you give your cat CBD oil, it is best to divide it into several micro dosages given throughout the day rather than giving it all at once.
Micro dosing will also help to relieve another side effect of CBD use: a dry mouth. If you notice your cat drinking significantly more after putting them on CBD, try lowering the dose or micro dosing.
It should be noted that CBD doesn’t necessarily have to be given every single day for it to have an effect. And you can stop giving it once you have achieved the desired result. A lot of CBD enthusiasts seem to forget about that last part. Either way, like with all treatments and medicine, CBD should only be used when it is needed for things that it actually works for.
The most positive effects of CBD oil for cats are its pain relieving and anti-inflammatory characteristics. This is especially evident in cats with arthritis and other mobility issues who experience pain with every step they take. Naturally, without treatment an arthritic cat will move as little as possible. Which is sad, because movement is the best way to improve their mobility.
CBD does wonders for these cats. Not only does it decrease their level of pain, it also reduces inflammation in the joints and, as such, effectively slows progression of the disease. Cats with arthritis who are put on CBD start to move around more and seem much more alive and happy.
Similarly, cats with cancer can rely on CBD oil to make radiation treatment or chemotherapy less gruesome by stimulating their appetite, decreasing pain and giving them a nice uninterrupted sleep. Some even claim that CBD has tumor-shrinking properties, but these claims are as of yet scientifically unverified.
Is CBD Oil Good For Cats With Kidney Disease?
Kidney disease causes cats to easily get dehydrated, which in turn leads to poor digestion, constipation, and sometimes even obstipation. CBD oil will help to keep the gut moving and reduce inflammation of the intestinal tract.
It is important to start slow when giving cats with kidney disease CBD oil. Although it stimulates the gut, it can also cause additional dehydration if you give too much. Keep an eye on your cat paying special attention to their water intake.
Another common comorbidity of feline kidney disease is high blood pressure, or hypertension. High blood pressure damages the kidneys, brain, heart and eyes. If your kidney disease cat suffers from chronic hypertension, it will cause their renal failure to progress more rapidly as well as cause damage to other vital organs.
This is where CBD oil can really make a difference for them. CBD is known to lower the blood pressure for some time after taking it. A blood pressure that is too low is also bad, so you need to find that sweet spot in the middle. Use micro doses of CBD all throughout the day to keep your cat’s blood pressure down and their organs healthy.
The Best CBD Oil For Cats With Kidney Disease
Check out this guide on the Best CBD Products For Cats to find out exactly what you need to look for when buying CBD for your cat, including our top CBD product recommendations.