Is it beneficial to give CBD treats to cats, and if so, how?
- CBD cat treats may be beneficial for cats. A study has shown that CBD can alleviate inflammation through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system(1).
- A 2019 study reported that cannabinoids could be antipruritic (anti-itch) agents, which can substitute for traditional dermatological therapies and medication(2).
- The results of a 2012 study conducted on rats displayed the science behind CBD products’ anti-nausea or antiemetic effects(3).
- However, a 12-week study in 2019 that examined the effects of CBD on the serum chemistry or complete blood counts (CBC) of dogs and cats concluded that cats have much lower oral absorption kinetics (rapid elimination) than dogs(4).
- The factors that have led to the results of the 12-week study were not precisely determined, warranting further studies on CBD’s effects on cats. It is still recommended to consult a veterinarian experienced with the use of CBD pet products on animals, like cats.
Best CBD Cat Treats
Combining the natural properties of CBD with the feline-friendly taste of catnip
Overall Clinical Score99%
cbdMD discovered a formula that helps your cat experience a new outlook on wellness support.
-  Same CBD Oil benefits as for humans
-  No THC Animal-specific products (dogs, cats, horses)
-  Made from premium CBD from non-GMO USA hemp
-  Low terpene and cannabinoid profile
Discount pricing available? 15% Off Coupon Code: cbdMD15 Source Kentucky, USA Form Cheweables Ingredients Cannabidiol (CBD), Chicken, Pea Flour, Garbanzo Flour, MCT Oil, Natural Chicken Flavor, Palm Fruit Oil, Catnip, Sunflower Lecithin, Coconut Glycerin, Sorbic Acid, Rosemary Extract, and Mixed Tocopherols Type Broad Spectrum Extraction CO2 extraction method How to take it Our cat’s age, size, breed, and unique physiology all factor into how it responds to CBD. So if you’re just starting out, give them one or two chews a day and watch their reaction. If you don’t see the results you want, gradually add more Potency 150 mg - 300 mg Carrier Oil Not applicable Concentration 150 mg - 1 mg per chew, 300 mg - 2 mg per chew Drug Test Not applicable Flavours Chicken and Catnip Price Range $24.99 for 150 mg, $34.99 for 300 mg $/mg CBD $0.12 - $0.17 Shipping 2-5 Business days (via Fedex) Lab Tests Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website Contaminants 100% organic, non-GMO, and vegan-certified Allergens Vegan, Gluten free Refund policy Within 30 days Recommended for All cat breeds and sizes Countries served USA only (all 50 states)
The grain-free and gluten-free delicious salmon flavor makes these crunchy little treats irresistible.
Overall Clinical Score99%
These treats are made from the finest natural ingredients and never contain any animal by-products meals, grains, artificial preservatives, artificial colors and flavors. HolistaPet CBD Cat Treats are the perfect treat to reward your little feline friend after a long hard day.
-  100% natural
-  Great flavor
-  A little bit pricey compared to other brands
Source USA (State not specified on website) Form Treats Ingredients Cannabidiol (CBD) – 2mg per treat – 75 treats – 150mg total, Salmon, Chicken, Potato Starch, Peas, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid, Potassium Chloride, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Oil of Rosemary Type Full spectrum Extraction CO2 Extraction How to take it 1 treat (approx. 2mg of CBD) twice a day or 1 every 8-12 hours Potency 150mg per pack Carrier Oil Not specified on website Concentration 2mg per treat Drug Test Not applicable Flavours Salmon Price Range $24.95 $/mg CBD $0.16 Shipping Free Economy Shipping - 1 to 5 days, Priority Mail Shipping - 2 to 3 days Lab Tests Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website Contaminants Pesticide-free Allergens Non-dairy and gluten-free Refund policy Within 30 days Recommended for All cat sizes and breeds Countries served USA only (all 50 states)
All of cats' favorite flavors come in just one bottle of delicious and savory treats!
Overall Clinical Score99%
These CBD treats offer plenty of benefits for your little feline favorite. The tricky thing is how to get your cat to take CBD, with these irresistible treats this makes administering CBD oil for your cat easy to do.
-  Various flavors in one bottle
-  More affordable compred to other brands
-  Limited product information
Source USA (State not specified) Form Treats Ingredients Pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol (CBD), brown rice flour, chicken by-product meal, chicken, natural flavors, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D supplement, vitamin K supplement, thiamine, riboflavin supplement, pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), potassium chloride Type Not specified on website Extraction CO2 extraction How to take it 1 to 2 treats a day Potency 100mg Carrier Oil Not specified on website Concentration 0.3mg per treat Drug Test Not applicable Flavours Chicken, Liver, Turkey and Fish Mix Price Range $19.99 $/mg CBD $0.19 Shipping Standard USPS, Fedex 2 buisness day Lab Tests Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website Contaminants Zero pesticides Allergens Not specified on website Refund policy Within 15 days Recommended for All cat sizes and breeds Countries served USA only (all 50 states)
Why are cat owners giving CBD cat treats to their pets?
More cat owners are now either looking into giving or are already giving CBD cat treats infused with CBD oil to their pets.
This is primarily due to numerous studies gathered about CBD’s health benefits on the cats’ wellbeing.
Animal studies have shown that CBD can alleviate inflammation through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system(5).
The anti-inflammatory characteristics of CBD products have further been demonstrated in a 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation(6).
Cannabinoids have been touted as novel anti-inflammatory drugs in a 2009 research that suggests the use of cannabinoids in suppressing inflammation and preventing tumor growth in certain types of cancers(7).
Besides its anti-inflammatory properties, a 2019 study reported that cannabinoids could be antipruritic (anti-itch) agents, which can substitute for traditional dermatological therapies and medication(8).
This explains why CBD in cat treats can help relieve various skin conditions in cats, including itchiness from allergies or eczema.
The results of a 2012 study conducted on rats expounded on the science behind CBD products’ anti-nausea or antiemetic effects(9).
This information was applied in administering CBD to invertebrates that all produce endocannabinoids, including cats, that experience nausea due to cancer and other illnesses.
CBD products for cats can help relieve symptoms of cats’ other usual health problems, such as chronic pain, vomiting, lack of appetite, obesity, and diabetes.
Giving CBD pet products is an effortless way to meet a cat’s daily nutritional needs.
However, there are few companies currently making CBD treats for cats compared to CBD treats for dogs.
With very few brands in the market, it is helpful to read the labels well to choose the brand suited for the particular needs of different cats:
Intrinsic Hemp CBD Cat Treats are made especially for cats with sensitive stomachs. The treats are particularly helpful for cats who struggle to hold down prescription medication.
MediPets CBD Cat Treats is designed for a cat’s optimal dental health. Its formula contains tartar fighting ingredients.
Soft Chews for Cats by Treatables is recommended for senior cats because the treats have a softer consistency. Each piece has 1.5 mg of CBD, which is helpful for uplifting cats’ moods that dampen with separation anxiety, stress, and aging.
Smaller cats such as year-old cats can benefit from Wildlife CBD Crunchy Cat Bites because the treats come in tiny, easier-to-chew star-shaped treats.
How CBD in Cat Treats Work for Cats
The endocannabinoid system is present in all vertebrates, including mammals, reptiles, fish, and birds.
There are two main receptors for the endocannabinoid system: CB1 and CB2.
These receptors interact with cannabinoids to produce positive effects in the cellular and organ systems(10).
CB1 receptors play an impact in processing memory and stimulating appetite and mood. CB1 receptors also regulate motor functions and sensation of pain(11).
CB2 receptors trigger antiinflammatory responses to soothe pain and damage in tissues.
Cannabinoids can enhance these CB2 receptors to relieve inflammation.
In cats, conditions related to inflammation include inflammatory arthritis(12) and bowel disease(13).
The Pros and Cons of CBD Cat Treats
- CBD is non-psychotropic(15), meaning it does not alter mood, behavior, feelings, thoughts, and awareness.
- The Critical Review Report by the World Health Organization had declared that CBD is well tolerated in the body with a good safety profile(16).
High tolerability in humans and animals is one of the major benefits of CBD.
- There is no known clinical toxicity recorded with the use of CBD treats.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recorded any reports linked to adverse effects on animals that were given Cannabis products. However, the FDA does not guarantee if using cannabis on animals is safe or effective(17).
- CBD treats are more straightforward to dispense than CBD oils that require handling droppers.
With manufacturers recommending a dosage of two treats per day on average, there is little danger of accidental overdosing. Treats are also spill-free and leak-proof.
- Considerable research is needed to provide more accurate information on CBD’s effects on cats.
- Under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, interstate commerce of any animal food containing THC or CBD is prohibited(18).
This impedes the trade of CBD across different territories.
- In a study conducted on giving CBD oil to pets, one of eight cats was seen to have a persistent rise in the serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) enzyme outside of the reference range(19).
Aside from the above serum chemistry and CBC findings in the cats, the animals prevalently displayed the negative effects of excessive licking and head shaking upon the administration of CBD oil in the study(20).
- The content of CBD in cat treats could be reduced during the high-temperature cooking process.
How Do CBD Cat Treats Compare to CBD Oil for Cats?
Major Advantage of CBD Oil for Cats
Since pain inhibits mobility in cats, prompt pain relief is necessary.
CBD oils have a particular advantage over CBD treats because oils can be administered accurately using a dropper for easy dosing.
CBD oil in tincture form can also be added to the cat’s favorite food and drink, allowing for variety and preference.
Disadvantages of CBD Oil for Cats
- Cat owners struggle to hold their cats’ mouths open while administering CBD oil drops.
- Cats also tend to have gastrointestinal problems when administered with CBD tinctures during the initial period.
Conveniences of CBD Cat Treats That Pet Owners Prefer
- Many cat owners prefer CBD cat treats over CBD oils for a cleaner and easier administration because CBD oils can leak during storage or feeding.
- Dosage is fixed per cat treat, so it is easier to distribute.
- Cats prefer solid tasty treats over liquid drops.
- Cats are partial to flavored CBD dog treats, with taste preferences ranging from natural flavor to the most famous salmon flavor.
How to Choose the Right CBD Cat Treats
In choosing CBD pet treats, choose products that contain purely or mostly natural ingredients. Steer clear of CBD cat treats that contain preservatives and artificial colors.
Many brands of CBD cat treats are customized to suit particular needs.
For cat owners who focus on feeding their pets with natural ingredients, Holistapet CBD cat treats are ideal because they contain non-GMO ingredients.
These full-spectrum cat CBD treats come in salmon flavor. The Holistapet brand is also the most reviewed and widely favored among pet-centered CBD products.
NaturVet Hemp Hairball Aid for Cats assists in the passage of hairballs in the alimentary canal, thus preventing buildup.
To avoid giving cats the sensation of being “high,” choose CBD cat treats made with organic hemp oil over those with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is toxic.
Avoid giving cats CBD products intended for humans. CBD products for humans may contain solvents necessary for extraction, and these solvents may harm cats.
Before buying CBD cat treats for your feline friends, keep the following in mind:
- Verify if the possession, use, and sale of CBD products are legal where you intend to purchase.
- Find out which brands are most widely accepted as reliable and authorized to sell. Research the background of the company if they practice sustainable and ethical hemp plant farming methods.
- Read product reviews before buying on websites, clinics, and physical stores. Buy only from legitimate brands.
- Distinguish between beneficial and high-risk ingredients in the label. CBD products with MCT and melatonin are safe, but propylene and vegetable glycerine may be dangerous to your cats.
- Look for the certification codes in the product’s packaging. This stamp of approval from certification authorities was given only when the products have been tested and have passed screening standards.
- Read consumer reviews to gauge the level of customer satisfaction regarding the brand’s policies on refunds, shipping, and other guarantees.
- Consult with a trusted veterinarian experienced in CBD use for cats before using CBD to treat a cat’s medical condition or its symptoms.
The Appropriate CBD Dosage for Cats
There is currently no general regulation regarding the right dosage of CBD products for cats, leading to inconsistent dosing recommendations from various merchants of Cannabis plant products.
A 2019 study reported by Kelly A. Deabold, et al. examined the pharmacokinetics (pharmacology concerned with the movement of drugs in the body) of single- and long-term CBD dosing for cats(21).
The study examined the effects on serum chemistry or complete blood counts (CBC).
The 12-week serum chemistry and complete blood counts testing showed that cats have much lower oral absorption kinetics (rapid elimination) than dogs.
Results of the investigation suggest that CBD dosage levels may differ between these two species.
Even with no universal regulation on CBD dosing, some CBD manufacturers give helpful dosage recommendations.
For example, first-time users appreciate the convenient dosing of Holistapet CBD Cat Treats.
With each treat containing 2 mg, the brand recommends pet owners to give their cats two treats (one in the morning and one at night) equivalent to 4 mg of cannabinoid daily for every eight to ten pounds of body weight.
Aside from the ease of dosing that customers prefer, Holistapet buyers claim that the CBD cat treats help calm anxiety and stomach problems in cats.
Cats Showed More Negative Reaction to the Same Amount of CBD Than Dogs
Even with the copious amount of documentation among advocates of CBD use for pets, there are also negative factors that must be noted.
In a study by Kelly A. Deabold, et al., which involved oral administration of CBD oil infused in a soft chew treat to cats and dogs, cats showed negative reactions such as excessive licking and head shaking(22).
The study cannot determine whether the negative reaction was due to the added fish oil or the hemp-volatile molecules in the soft chew treats.
Certain oral medications can be very bitter for cats, and they sometimes are not motivated by the same flavors that dogs find appealing.
The researchers have stated that there should be more investigation on CBD’s effects on cats through other methods.
There is an increasing number of cat owners that are now drawn to purchasing CBD cat treats for their pets.
This is due to the reported benefits of CBD products in humans and animals backed by solid scientific research.
CBD cat treats help provide relief for many disorders such as cancer, diabetes, and mood problems in connection with stress, aging, and separation anxiety.
CBD can also address other conditions such as pain, itching, nausea, and lack of appetite.
However, with significant research finding on CBD’s adverse effect on the blood chemistry of cats, and physical manifestations of a negative reaction, it is advised to administer a much lower CBD dosage in cats than the usual dosage given to dogs and humans.
There is a need for more investigation to further explore CBD’s effect on cats.
Due to limited data available at present, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian with experience in using CBD products on felines before proceeding with giving CBD treats to pet cats.
- Iffland, K. and Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), pp.139-154; Reggio, P. (2010). Endocannabinoid Binding to the Cannabinoid Receptors: What Is Known and What Remains Unknown. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 17(14), pp.1468-1486.
- Sheriff T, Lin MJ, Dubin D, Khorasani H. The potential role of cannabinoids in dermatology. J Dermatolog Treat, 2019 Oct 10:1-7. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2019.1675854.
- Rock, E.M, et al. (2012 April). Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic component of cannabis, attenuates vomiting and nausea-like behaviour via indirect agonism of 5-HT1A somatodendritic autoreceptors in the dorsal raphe nucleus. British Journal of Pharmacology, 165(8), 2620-2634. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01621.x. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3423241/
- Deabold, Kelly A., et al. (2019 October). Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats. Animals (Basel), 9(10): 832. doi: 10.3390/ani9100832. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826847/
- Iffland, K. and Grotenhermen, F. (2017). op. cit.
- Ribeiro, A., et al. (2012 March). Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic plant-derived cannabinoid, decreases inflammation in a murine model of acute lung injury: role for the adenosine A(2A) receptor. Eur J Pharmacol, 5;678(1-3):78-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2011.12.043. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22265864
- Nagarkatti, P, Pandey, R, Rieder, SA, Hegde, VL, Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Med Chem, 1(7):1333–1349. doi:10.4155/fmc.09.93.
- Sheriff T, Lin, MJ, Dubin, D, Khorasani, H. (2019 October). The potential role of cannabinoids in dermatology. J Dermatolog Treat, 1-7. doi: 10.1080/09546634.2019.1675854.
- Rock, EM. (2012). op. cit.
- Soderstrom K, Soliman E, Van Dross R. (2017). Cannabinoids Modulate Neuronal Activity and Cancer by CB1 and CB2 Receptor-Independent Mechanisms. Front Pharmacol, 8:720. Published 2017 Oct 10. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00720.
- ECHO. (2017, April 18). Retrieved from https://echoconnection.org/look-endocannabinoid-systems-cb1-cb2-receptors/.
- Johnson, K. Immune Mediated Polyarthritis and Neutrophilic Inflammatory Joint Disease in our Feline Patients. Retrieved from https://www.mspca.org/angell_services/inflammatory-joint-disease/
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. (2018, April). Inflammatory Bowel Disease. and Retrieved from https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/inflammatory-bowel-disease.
- Deabold, Kelly A., et al. (2019). op. Cit.
- Rock, E. M., Bolognini, D., Limebeer, C. L., Cascio, M. G., Anavi-Goffer, S., Fletcher, P. J., Mechoulam, R., Pertwee, R. G., & Parker, L. A. (2012). Cannabidiol, a non-psychotropic component of cannabis, attenuates vomiting and nausea-like behaviour via indirect agonism of 5-HT(1A) somatodendritic autoreceptors in the dorsal raphe nucleus. British journal of pharmacology, 165(8), 2620–2634. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01621.x
- Cannabidiol (CBD Critical Review Report). (2018 June 4-7).World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/medicines/access/controlled-substances/WHOCBDReportMay2018-2.pdf?ua=1
- FDA. (2020, March 11). FDA Regulation of Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products, Including Cannabidiol (CBD). Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/news-events/public-health-focus/fda-regulation-cannabis-and-cannabis-derived-products-including-cannabidiol-cbd.
- FDA. op. cit.
- Deabold, Kelly A., et al. (2019). op. Cit.