How Can CBD Be Beneficial for Cats?

  • The endocannabinoid system (ECS), which maintains balance by regulating bodily functions, is present in all vertebrates and mammals(1).
  • CBD’s potential benefits in cats may be attributed to how the ECS functions similarly in the bodies of mammals, like humans and cats.
  • Human and animal studies have demonstrated that CBD has characteristics that may help with certain illnesses or their symptoms commonly diagnosed in cats. These conditions include osteoarthritis, inflammation, chronic pain, seizures and epilepsy, anxiety, depression, and skin and coat problems(2).
  • In October 2019, results of a study on how specific doses of CBD concentration in CBD-rich hemp in pets’ diets affect their blood chemistry was published in the journal Animals(3). The cats showed lower serum concentrations in their system and some behavioral changes, including excessive head-shaking and licking.
  • Unfortunately, when it comes to cats and cannabinoid-based medicine, scientific evidence proving the benefits of cannabis in cats is still lacking.
Best Organic Full Spectrum Hemp Oil for Cats

Honest Paws Wellness Oil for Cats

All organic full-spectrum hemp oils are free of GMOs, soy, corn and other contaminants.
  • Overall Clinical Score
    99%
    Best Organic Full Spectrum Hemp Oil for Cats
  • Score breakdown
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  • Summary

    Product is organic full-spectrum hemp oils are free of GMOs, soy, corn and other contaminants. It is third-party tested for purity and potency. designed to relieve joint pains and stiffness associated with strenuous activities, natural aging, or conditions such as arthritis.

    Pros
    Cons
    •  Made from 100% organic, non-GMO, and locally grown hemp
    •  30-day money-back guarantee
    •  Free shipping for orders over $49.95
    •  Expedited delivery option is available
    •  Available in the US only
    •  Limited information on the company
  • Features
    Discount pricing available? 15% off subscription discount
    Source
    Source of Hemp
    Colorado
    Form Oil
    Ingredients Organic Full-Spectrum Hemp Oil, MCT Oil
    Type
    Type of CBD
    Full-spectrum
    Extraction
    Extraction Method
    CO2 extraction process
    How to take it Administer orally 1 full dropper a day - OR as recommended by a veterinarian.
    Potency
    Potency - CBD Per Bottle
    125 mg
    Carrier Oil MCT oil
    Concentration
    CBD Concentration Per Serving
    4.16 mg per dropper full (1 ml)
    Drug Test Not applicable
    Flavours Not applicable
    Price Range $39.95
    $/mg CBD
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    Refund policy 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
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    Countries served USA
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Best Organic

NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Pet Oil

Perfectly formulated CBD for Dogs, Cats, and other four-legged animals
NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum Hemp CBD Pet Oil
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  • Summary

    CBD for dogs, cats and other four-legged friends! Our product is concentrated to approximately 60mg cannabinoids per milliliter of oil. While this product is designed for pets, it’s great for humans, too.

    Pros
    Cons
    •  Pure CBD hemp
    •  All natural
    •  No other flavors
  • Features
    Discount pricing available? CBDCLINICALS20
    Source
    Source of Hemp
    Colorado, USA
    Form Oil Tincture
    Ingredients USDA Certified Organic Hemp Oil, Full Spectrum Hemp Extract
    Type
    Type of CBD
    Full Spectrum CBD
    Extraction
    Extraction Method
    CO2 Method
    How to take it 2-3 drops per 20lbs
    Potency
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    300mg - 900mg
    Carrier Oil Organic Hemp Oil
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    60ml per dropper full (1ml)
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    $/mg CBD
    Price ($/mg)
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    2-3 Days via USPS
    Lab Tests
    Lab Testing Transparency
    Third Party Lab Tested post formulation for safety and potency, available on website
    Contaminants No additives or preservatives, Non-GMO, NO herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers
    Allergens Not specified
    Refund policy Within 30 days
    Recommended for All four-legged animals of any size and breed
    Countries served USA (all 50 states) and over 40 countries including Australia, Azerbaijan, Beliza, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macao, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and many more.
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Fur Favorite

cbdMD Pet CBD Oil Tincture for Cats

Natural relief for cats
cbdMD Pet CBD Oil Tincture for Cats
  • Overall Clinical Score
    99%
    Fur Favorite
  • Score breakdown
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  • Summary

    CBD Oil Tinctures for Cats is 100% organic, non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free. It comes in natural and catnip flavor.

    Pros
    Cons
    •  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
  • Features
    Discount pricing available? 15% Off Coupon Code: cbdMD15
    Source
    Source of Hemp
    Kentucky, USA
    Form Oil Tincture
    Ingredients Cannabidiol (CBD) and MCT Oil (from palm kernel oil)
    Type
    Type of CBD
    Broad Spectrum
    Extraction
    Extraction Method
    CO2 extraction method
    How to take it Every cat is a little bit different, so measurements will depend on weight, age, and a variety of other factors. A good way to start is to give your cat the lowest measurement indicated on the bottle every day, and see what happens. If your cat doesn’t show as much improvement as you’d like, gradually increase the amount.
    Potency
    Potency - CBD Per Bottle
    150 mg - 300 mg / 30 ml bottle
    Carrier Oil MCT Oil (from palm kernel oil)
    Concentration
    CBD Concentration Per Serving
    150 mg - 5 mg per dropper (1ml), 300 mg - 10 mg per dropper (1ml)
    Drug Test Not applicable
    Flavours Natural and Catnip
    Price Range $19.99 for 150 mg, $29.99 for 300 mg
    $/mg CBD
    Price ($/mg)
    $0.10 - $0.13
    Shipping
    Shipping/Time to delivery
    2-5 Business days (via Fedex)
    Lab Tests
    Lab Testing Transparency
    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)
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4 Corners Cannabis Pet Tincture

4 Corners Cannabis Pet Tincture Bottles

The pet tincture, called Pedigree, was formulated specifically for pets. They are incredibly similar to the blue label oral tincture but do not include limonene. It is safe for cattle, horses, dogs, and cats. People can add it to pet food or directly into their pet’s mouth.

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Read our review

Why Cat Owners Are Turning to CBD Oil for Cats

As research showed CBD’s positive effects on specific ailments, veterinarians and pet owners have also become interested to see if CBD can help with pets. 

Some doctors, like Dr. Gary Richter, MS, DVM, certified veterinary acupuncturist and veterinary chiropractic, are advocates for the safe and effective use of medical cannabis in cats and dogs.

Dr. Richter integrates medical cannabis with other conventional and alternative therapies. His book, The Ultimate Pet Health Guide–Breakthrough Nutrition and Integrative Care for Dogs and Cats, published in 2017, includes a discussion on the use of cannabis for pets.

Unfortunately, when it comes to cats and cannabinoid-based medicine, scientific evidence proving the benefits of cannabis in cats is still lacking.

Moreover, the few studies conducted on CBD use in cats have not been very promising for cat owners.

In October 2019, results of a study on how CBD-rich hemp nutraceuticals in pets’ diets affect their blood chemistry was published in the journal Animals(4). 

Nutraceuticals is an umbrella term used to describe products derived from food sources but with added health benefits to their primary nutritional value.

In the study, the researchers administered 2 mg/kg total CBD concentration orally two times per day to eight dogs and eight cats. 

Results noted that cats absorb or eliminate CBD differently than dogs. The cats showed lower serum concentrations in their system and some behavioral changes, including excessive head-shaking and licking. 

Other adverse events noted were pacing, salivating or foaming, chewing,  vomiting, gagging, jumping, and grimacing. 

The researchers did not observe any loose stool in any of the cats during the study. The mean average weight change for the cats during the 12 weeks of the study was +0.06 kg or +1.04%.

The authors believe that the use of CBD-rich hemp products requires monitoring of liver enzyme values. Continued clinical follow up is also essential in cats that are undergoing long-term use.

The authors added that studies should also examine drug interactions in cats on multiple medications, especially in medicines that are highly metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system, which is primarily responsible for the breakdown of drugs in the body.

However, this is only one study on CBD use involving a small sample of cats, and the results are not conclusive. Still, there are cat owners who believe that their feline friends may benefit from CBD’s therapeutic benefits, based on how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) works.

The ECS, which maintains balance by regulating bodily functions, is present in all vertebrates and mammals, including humans and cats(5). 

Through the ECS, cannabinoids induce their cellular and organ system effects by interacting with cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2(6).

Given that the ECS in mammals works in similar ways, the benefits that humans experience from CBD oil may be comparable to the benefits that cats may get when administered with CBD. 

Below is a list of common feline diseases where CBD’s purported benefits may be able to help, as suggested by studies conducted on humans and other animals.

Osteoarthritis in Cats

Arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis (OA) or degenerative joint disease, causes pain and inflammation in a cat’s joints, in which the cartilage cushion in the joint breaks down. 

Arthritis can develop due to injury, dislocation, or infection in the joint. Although this condition is recognized as a disease of older cats(7), extra weight can also put added strain on a cat’s joints. 

OA can be actively managed so that the course of the disease is slowed and the remaining joint function is preserved. However, the physical assessment of osteoarthritis in cats is challenging even for experienced veterinarians. 

Generally, cats dislike being physically handled during their visit to the clinic. Also, cats, unlike most dogs, can tolerate severe bone and muscle diseases because of their natural agility and small size. 

The examining veterinarian may find it challenging to determine whether a cat is pulling its body away because of pain or simply because it resents being touched(8).

The first scientific study conducted on CBD oil use for OA in pets was the 2017 Cornell University study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, where dogs with OA received each of two treatments: CBD oil (2 mg/kg) and placebo oil every 12 hours(9).

Results showed a significant decrease in pain and an increase in activity with CBD oil. The clinical study suggested that 2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with OA. Additionally, the veterinary assessments of pain were also favorable.

Perhaps CBD’s ability to help with arthritis may also be attributed to its efficacy in dealing with inflammation and chronic pain, as shown in a 2014 study conducted on human subjects. The results were published in Current Rheumatology Reports(10). 

An earlier study in The Journal of Experimental Medicine demonstrated, using rats, the mechanism by which CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, alleviating inflammatory and neuropathic pain, which are challenging types of chronic pain to treat(11).

Given that all mammals, including humans, dogs, rats, and cats, share the same ECS, the effects of CBD when used in cats with OA may be similar.

Feline Anxiety and Depression 

In a study published in PLoS ONE, researchers sought to gain a better understanding of the prevalence of separation-related problems in pet cats(12).

Among their sampled cats, 13% met at least one of the behavioral criteria for separation-related problems. The criteria included destructive behavior, depression or apathy, agitation or anxiety, and aggressiveness.

CBD’s potential for anxiety relief is also linked to its ability to help with sleep problems, reduce stress, and manage depression. 

Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another active compound of the cannabis plant, CBD (cannabidiol), is non-addictive and does not induce a euphoric high, making it an appealing, safe option for anxiety and stress in cats.

A 2018 study published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology demonstrated CBD as a potential remedy to depression(13). 

In a study published in The Permanente Journal 2019, sleep and anxiety scores were measured in human subjects, and the findings showed that CBD could hold benefits for anxiety-related disorders(14).

CBD’s anti-anxiety characteristics, as shown in these studies conducted on rats and mice, may also translate to similar benefits for cats.

If a cat is on other medications to help with its anxiety, depression, or mood, CBD alternatives may be a safe and non-toxic alternative.

Feline Seizures and Epilepsy 

Seizures affect cats of all ages, but cats with idiopathic or spontaneous epilepsy (IE) tend to be younger than cats with secondary seizure disorders(15).

Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are often prescribed for feline epilepsy, but not all cats respond well to these drugs. Also, AEDs take a severe toll on the cat’s body, and the cost can be prohibitive for many cat owners.

CBD oils, meanwhile, have been shown to have a positive impact on human volunteers suffering from seizures.

Studies on CBD in individuals with Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome contributed to the US Food and Drug Administration’s decision to approve Epidiolex (pharmaceutical-grade pure CBD) as an evidence-based treatment for treatment-resistant epilepsy due to the syndromes(16). 

Given that the ECS in humans works in the same way as that of felines, these anti-epileptic properties of CBD may help with reducing seizures in cats.

If a cat suffers from seizures or epilepsy, owners should talk to their veterinarian about how CBD could be used to help their furry friend.

Cat Skin and Coat Conditions 

The general condition of a cat’s skin and coat are good indicators of feline health. To keep the skin and hair healthy, a cat needs a well-balanced diet that contains high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and vitamins.

Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all phytonutrients from hemp, including trace amounts of THC, terpenes, flavonoids, and essential oils. It also contains essential vitamins A, D, and E, essential fatty acids, and amino acids that can help protect, repair, and nourish the skin on the scalp.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America concluded that CBD, as an antioxidant, was 30%- 50% more potent than both Vitamins C and E(17).

CBD oil also contains antioxidants, including vitamin E, vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium. Studies have shown that antioxidants keep free radicals in check to help keep hair vibrant and shiny(18).

Although the studies above were not done on cats, CBD’s benefits for the hair may also yield the same positive results when used in cats for healthy skin and coat.

How CBD Works to Help Cats

The therapeutic effects of cannabinoids, like CBD, are realized by their interaction with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) and its cannabinoid receptors, like the CB1 and CB2 receptors. 

While the CB1 receptors are primarily involved in the activities of the brain and central nervous system (CNS), the CB2 receptors are situated on cells in the immune system and its associated structures.

CB1 receptors influence motor regulation, memory processing, appetite, pain sensation, mood, and sleep(19). Various studies of these receptors have shown that endocannabinoids attenuate and suppress the perception of pain(20).

Meanwhile, CB2 receptors trigger a response that combats inflammation, reducing pain and damage to tissues. Anti-inflammatory responses have been found useful in treating inflammation-related conditions(21). 

In cats, these inflammation-related conditions may include feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)(22), immune-mediated polyarthritis, and neutrophilic inflammatory joint disease(23).

Also, CBD interacts with the other receptors in the body, such as the 5-HT1A receptor, which is linked to serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found to be a contributor to feelings of well-being. It is through this interaction that these cannabinoids promote healing and balance(24). 

The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Cats

Pros

  • CBD’s potential benefits in cats may be attributed to how the endocannabinoid system (ECS) functions similarly in the bodies of mammals, like humans and cats.
  • Human and animal studies have shown that CBD possesses characteristics that may be beneficial to cats in treating certain illnesses or their symptoms, including osteoarthritis, inflammation, chronic pain, seizures and epilepsy, anxiety, depression, and sleep problems. 
  • Epidiolex, a drug derived from cannabis, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in individuals for seizures.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Epidiolex can also be used in an extra-label manner by veterinarians in accord with the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act (AMDUCA)(25). 

  • CBD is non-addictive, says Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)(26), which generally makes CBD oil safe for daily use when administered correctly in veterinarian-approved doses.
  • There are many manufacturers from where one can get CBD oil for cats. Industrial hemp-derived CBD oil is legal in many countries.
  • The FDA, as of March 2020, has not received reports of adverse events associated with animals given cannabis products(27). However, there have been reports of adverse events from the accidental ingestion of cannabis by pets.

Cons

  • There have been no extensive studies on CBD for specific use in cats and no longitudinal studies on its effects.
  • The FDA has not approved the use of cannabis in animals. The agency cautions pet owners against the use of CBD products and strongly suggests a consultation with a veterinarian about appropriate treatment options for pets(28).
  • CBD is still categorized as a Schedule 1 controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)(29).

The AVMA stated that “under current federal and state law, veterinarians may not administer, dispense, prescribe or recommend cannabis or its products for animals.”(30)

  • Except for California, state legislation does not authorize veterinarians to discuss cannabis with their clients. As a result, vets lag in working with cannabis and researching its use in pets(31).
  • CBD may cause drug interactions with other medications that are currently taken by the cat, including those prescribed by veterinarians. 
  • There is less testing of products marketed for pets. There have been reports of animals adversely affected by contaminated or spoiled CBD products(32).

How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Cats

Two of the most common alternative treatments for cat diseases or its symptoms are massage therapy and nutraceutical therapy, which includes supplements, vitamins, and trace minerals. 

Nutraceutics, a term derived from “nutrition” and “pharmaceutics,” is applied to products that are isolated from herbal products, dietary supplements, specific diets, and processed foods used as medicine(33).

Pharmaceuticals are mostly considered as medications that are used mainly to treat diseases. On the other hand, nutraceuticals are substances that are mostly used to prevent diseases(34). 

A wide variety of nutraceuticals have been shown to impose crucial roles in immune status and susceptibility to some diseases conditions(35). 

CBD enthusiasts would be happy to know that many nutraceuticals include CBD as one of the ingredients in their products. Full-spectrum CBD oil contains all the cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, essential oils, vitamins, fatty acids, and amino acids.

Terpenes are the compounds in cannabis that give it distinctive aromas and flavors. At the same time, flavonoids are responsible for the vivid colors in most plants.

The combination of all these components creates a synergy known as “entourage effect,” where all of the constituents working together are more efficacious than their isolated components(36).

Thus, it seems logical and practical for CBD manufacturers to include CBD in their products for pets, like cats.

One company that believes in the advantage of the entourage effect is HolistaPet. Holistapet CBD Oil for Dogs and Cats is formulated with full-spectrum CBD oil, hemp seed oil, and other organic vegan ingredients. The CBD oil is readily absorbed into the pet’s body to help provide immediate results.

The company uses only the highest-quality hemp grown in Colorado, USA, in its Holistapet CBD Oil for Dogs and Cats. 

Another CBD nutraceutical, Canna-Pet Advanced Capsules are used by sprinkling the contents of the capsule into the pet’s usual food or onto a pet treat, allowing the product to dissolve in the pet’s mouth as they eat. 

Canna-Pet powder is easily absorbed in the mouth and the digestive tract when used in food or treats of both cats and dogs.

Massage therapy is also beneficial for cats as an alternative treatment for some symptoms of medical conditions.

A 2014 study published in Topics in Companion Animal Medicine described massage as the therapeutic manipulation of soft tissues. 

Massages have many effects on the muscles, the circulatory system, the nervous system, and the mind(37).

With the use of different techniques to achieve the desired effect, massages can help in the treatment of many conditions, including swelling, osteoarthritis, and chronic pain.

Meanwhile, CBD massage oils contain CBD oil, which has been shown in studies to provide therapeutic benefits that might also benefit cats. 

CBD oil shares a similar texture to standard massage oils formulated to moisturize the skin without leaving an oily or greasy residue. 

Most CBD massage oils include other natural ingredients, like coconut oil, almond oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are also present in high concentrations in full-spectrum CBD oil. 

How to Choose the Best CBD Products for Cats

CBD oil is a Cannabis Sativa extract which may come from either the marijuana plant or hemp plant. The primary types of CBD oil are CBD isolate, broad-spectrum CBD oil, and full-spectrum CBD oil. 

The full-spectrum variety contains a complete range of cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other compounds naturally present in cannabis.

Broad-spectrum CBD oils are like full-spectrum oils that are THC-free or contain trace amounts (less than 0.3%) of THC. CBD isolates carry only isolated cannabidiol that is substantially pure CBD oil.

Not all oils are the same. Cat owners must only insist only on the highest quality of pet CBD oil to have a better chance of it working. 

To help consumers to make educated purchases for their cats and ensure the safety and reliability of the CBD oil pet products purchased, consider the following: 

  • Purchase only GMO-free, organic hemp-derived CBD oil products from legitimate and reliable CBD brands known for their high-quality products. 

  Most CBD companies grow their hemp from their own farms, or they purchase hemp from licensed producers.  

  • Choose CBD pet products that contain only organic CBD oil and other natural ingredients. While CBD oil is a natural compound, some CBD cat treats may have additional ingredients like essential oils, vitamins, herbs, and other elements.
  • Look for CBD pet products that used the CO2 extraction technology. This method utilizes pressurized carbon dioxide to extract all of the essential cannabinoids, terpene oils, and waxes out of the hemp plant safely and cleanly.

  The most natural carrier oils used in CBD pet tinctures include MCT oil (medium-chain triglycerides from coconut oil), hemp seed oil, and   extra-virgin olive oil.

  • Look for lab results or the certificate of analysis (COA) of each product. Compare company claims about their products’ potency with that of the third-party lab test results. 

The COA lists the other active cannabinoids contained in the CBD product. The COA also indicates whether or not the products are non-GMO or if they contain other additives, preservatives, or contaminants, such as heavy metals, fungicides, and herbicides.

Several certification authorities approve certain products only after some thorough screening tests and third-party lab tests. 

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on dosing, and administer CBD only upon the advice of a veterinarian.
  • Always consult with a trusted medical professional experienced in CBD use before using any CBD products.

CBD Dosage for Cats

There are many factors involved in knowing the most therapeutic dose of CBD for one’s cat. The dose also depends on the cat’s body weight, diet, and health condition. 

However, finding the right CBD oil dosage for cats based on their health issues can be tricky because cats rarely outwardly display irritation and discomfort. Also, because CBD is not regulated by the FDA or veterinarian bodies, there are no official dosage guidelines to follow.

In an article posted by Veterinary Cannabis Education and Consulting, pet parents are given guidelines and tips on how much CBD oil should be given for particular health issues(38).

However, different CBD oil brands recommend different dosing guidelines. Also, most manufacturers give dose values in ranges. 

When in doubt, err on the side of under-dosing, and then slowly increase the dose until the desired effect is achieved.

Gradually introduce any change in brand, CBD to THC ratio, or concentration. Then, re-evaluate the dosing whenever the cat’s health condition changes.

Products with high levels of CBD can be expensive. For this reason, it is most economical to find the smallest dose that is effective for a cat. 

CBD is remarkably safe, but every cat responds differently to CBD oil. Follow the instructions on dosing as per the manufacturer’s recommendation and upon the advice of a veterinarian experienced in the use of cannabis oil.

How CBD Oil Can Be Given To Cats

Different forms of hemp CBD for cats are available. The most common forms are tinctures, CBD cat treats, and capsules.

CBD treats are convenient and useful for training cats in various capacities. However, if the cat suffers from vomiting, opt for CBD tinctures.

Cat CBD tinctures with marked droppers are a great option because they are easy to administer to pets. With tinctures, a syringe, dropper, or easily-calculated number of drops allows for consistent and accurate dosing. 

Sublingual (under the tongue) application of tinctures allows for CBD oil to be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. 

The cat may experience results within 30 to 60 minutes after its use, and the effects can be felt for 4 to 6 hours.

Cat owners can easily give their cat the desired dose, dropping in the mouth. If the cat dislikes the grassy taste of pure CBD, consider adding it to cat food or treats. In the same way, cat owners may sprinkle the contents of CBD capsules into the cat’s food.

Meanwhile, topicals, like CBD oil, may also be applied to the bare skin inside a cat’s ears to be absorbed transdermally or dabbed on paws for furry friends to lick. 

There are also CBD hemp oil, creams, salve, or balms that may be applied or massaged on cat skin. These topicals are excellent for cat owners who want to manage their cat’s seasonal allergies, rashes, or muscle aches, as they target a specific area of the body and are only used when needed.

Consider keeping a journal or a log of the cat’s CBD dosing, reactions, and behavior. Remember to share this information with the veterinarian in charge of the cat’s therapy.

Conclusion

The health benefits of CBD oil, as suggested in animal and human studies,  may help address specific medical conditions or symptoms commonly found in cats.

However, studies on CBD use in cats are still lacking, and the long-term effects of CBD remain unknown. There are also drug interactions to consider when a cat is taking CBD in conjunction with other medications.

Cat owners must talk to a veterinarian experienced in cannabis use about all the possible options to manage their cat’s health conditions before deciding to include CBD in their feline friend’s diet or treatment regimen.


  1. UCLA Health. Human Endocannabinoid System. Retrieved from https://www.uclahealth.org/cannabis/human-endocannabinoid-system;  McPartland JM, Matias I, Di Marzo V, Glass M. Evolutionary origins of the endocannabinoid system. Gene. 2006;370:64-74.doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2005.11.004.
  2. Lee Y. C. (2013). Effect and treatment of chronic pain in inflammatory arthritis. Current rheumatology reports, 15(1), 300. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11926-012-0300-4; Medical Home Portal. CBD for Neurologic Conditions in Children. (2019, Dec). Retrieved from https://www.medicalhomeportal.org/clinical-practice/common-issues-for-cyshcn/cbd-for-neurologic-conditions-in-children; Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18–041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041; Crippa JA, Guimarães FS, Campos AC, Zuardi AW. Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age. Front Immunol. 2018;9:2009. Published 2018 Sep 21. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2018.02009; Fernández, E., Martínez-Teipel, B., Armengol, R., Barba, C., & Coderch, L. (2012) Efficacy of antioxidants in human hair. Journal of photochemistry and photobiology. B, Biology, 117, 146–156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2012.09.009.
  3. Deabold, K. A., Schwark, W. S., Wolf, L., & Wakshlag, J. J. (2019). Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats. Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 9(10), 832. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100832.
  4. ibid.
  5. UCLA Health. Human Endocannabinoid System. Retrieved from https://www.uclahealth.org/cannabis/human-endocannabinoid-system;  McPartland JM, Matias I, Di Marzo V, Glass M. Evolutionary origins of the endocannabinoid system. Gene. 2006;370:64-74.doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2005.11.004.
  6. Soderstrom K, Soliman E, Van Dross R. Cannabinoids Modulate Neuronal Activity and Cancer by CB1 and CB2 Receptor-Independent Mechanisms. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:720. Published 2017 Oct 10. DOI:10.3389/fphar.2017.00720.
  7. Carmela Stamper, DVM. (2018, Feb 2). Osteoarthritis in Cats: A More Common Disease Than You Might Expect. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/osteoarthritis-cats-more-common-disease-you-might-expect#endnote2.
  8. Clarke, S. P., & Bennett, D. (2006). Feline osteoarthritis: a prospective study of 28 cases. The Journal of small animal practice, 47(8), 439–445. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-5827.2006.00143.x.
  9. Gamble LJ, Boesch JM, Frye CW, et al. Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs. Front Vet Sci. 2018;5:165. Published 2018 Jul 23. DOI:10.3389/fvets.2018.00165
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  14. Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18–041. doi:10.7812/TPP/18-041.
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  16. Medical Home Portal. CBD for Neurologic Conditions in Children. (2019, Dec). Retrieved from https://www.medicalhomeportal.org/clinical-practice/common-issues-for-cyshcn/cbd-for-neurologic-conditions-in-children.
  17. Hampson, A. J., Grimaldi, M., Axelrod, J., & Wink, D. (1998). Cannabidiol and (-)Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95(14), 8268–8273. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.95.14.8268.
  18. Fernández, E., Martínez-Teipel, B., Armengol, R., Barba, C., & Coderch, L. (2012) Efficacy of antioxidants in human hair. Journal of photochemistry and photobiology. B, Biology, 117, 146–156. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2012.09.009.
  19. ECHO. (2017, April 18). Retrieved from https://echoconnection.org/look-endocannabinoid-systems-cb1-cb2-receptors/.
  20. Ledent C, Valverde O, Cossu G, Petitet F, Aubert JF, Beslot F, et al. Unresponsiveness to cannabinoids and reduced addictive effects of opiates in CB1 receptor knockout mice. Science. 1999;283:401–4. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.283.5400.401.
  21. Turcotte C, Blanchet MR, Laviolette M, Flamand N. The CB2 receptor and its role as a regulator of inflammation. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2016;73(23):4449–4470. DOI:10.1007/s00018-016-2300-4.
  22. 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.
  23. 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/
  24. ECHO. (2017, March 29). Retrieved from https://echoconnection.org/differences-cbd-thc/.
  25. AVMA. Cannabis use and pets. Retrieved from https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/veterinarians-and-public-health/cannabis-use-and-pets.
  26. Nora Volkow. NIDA. Researching Marijuana for Therapeutic Purposes: The Potential Promise of Cannabidiol (CBD). National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/noras-blog/2015/07/researching-marijuana-therapeutic-purposes-potential-promise-cannabidiol-cbd. July 20, 2015. Accessed January 31, 2020.
  27. US 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.
  28. ibid.
  29. ibid.
  30. Burke, A. (2018, Oct 17). How to Talk to Your Veterinarian About CBD Oil. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/talk-veterinarian-cbd-oil/.
  31. Peachman, RR. (2019, April 11). Should You Try CBD for Your Pet? Retrieved from https://www.consumerreports.org/cbd/should-you-try-cbd-for-your-pet/.
  32. ibid.
  33. Kalra EK. Nutraceutical – Definition and introduction. AAPS Pharm Sci. 2003;5:E25.
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  36. Russo EB. The Case for the Entourage Effect and Conventional Breeding of Clinical Cannabis: No “Strain,” No Gain. Front Plant Sci. 2019;9:1969. Published 2019 Jan 9. doi:10.3389/fpls.2018.01969. 
  37. Corti L. (2014). Massage therapy for dogs and cats. Topics in companion animal medicine, 29(2), 54–57.
  38. Veterinary Education and Consulting. Cannabis Guidelines for Pet Parents. Retrieved from https://www.veterinarycannabis.org/guidelines-for-pet-parents.html
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