Do you have a cat who struggles with pain, seizures or anxiety?
Unfortunately, veterinarians don’t have a lot of options for drugs to treat these specific conditions. And even among the drugs that can be effective, the side effects are often unpleasant.
This is precisely why many cat owners have started turning to CBD oil to relieve their cat’s pain, anxiety or seizure disorder.
But you’re probably wondering, is CBD oil safe for cats? And how does it work?
CBD Oil and Your Cat
Just like people, cats have an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS works to regulate certain bodily functions such as appetite, mood, pain level, sleep, and immunity.
Both human and feline bodies naturally produce cannabinoids called endocannabinoids to keep this system functioning.
So when you give your cat CBD oil, you are supplementing his or her endocannabinoid system. It’s similar to how you take vitamin C to support your immune system.
You’re simply helping your feline’s body’s natural functions.
But where cats are concerned, there’s a big difference between CBD and THC.
CBD Vs. THC
There’s plenty of talk about the benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) for people. Many swear by its ability to ease conditions like pain, nausea, insomnia, and depression.
But it turns out that CBD is also believed to have similar therapeutic properties. And unlike THC, CBD no psychoactive components.
This is a crucial difference when it comes to treating your cat because the THC in marijuana can be toxic to cats. This has been noted countless times when cats took it upon themselves to nibble on marijuana plants.
So when we talk about CBD for cats, we are referring to products derived from the hemp plant. Therefore, you should only administer CBD oil derived from the hemp plant to your feline.
CBD pet care products come in many different forms – from chewy or chicken-flavored edibles and oils to creams and balms that cat owners rub on their feline’s skin.
Among the many different forms, CBD oil seems to be the most effective. It reaches the highest concentration in the bloodstream and remains there for the longest amount of time.
But what about the issue of safety?
Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?
Just as with CBD oil for humans, there hasn’t been a lot of scientific research on the impact of CBD on cats.
But the vast majority of anecdotal evidence points to its effectiveness – as long as the dosing is correct.
And this is where it gets a little dicey.
Once you land on a CBD oil that you feel is working for your cat, it can take time to find the right dosage that will deliver the effect without accidentally overdosing.
Overdosing isn’t lethal. But it could cause heavy sedation or gastrointestinal issues.
So once you do get the dosing and the product right, it’s important to keep using the specific product that’s working.
The truth is, the FDA doesn’t regulate the CBD products that are available on the market. So if you find what you feel is the right dosage but then switch to another product, you can’t be sure you’re getting the dosage you think you are.
So if you’re thinking about giving your cat CBD oil, do your due diligence.
If you’re able, find a vet or a provider that sells CBD oil as opposed to simply buying it online. There are a lot of scammers selling subpar products that, at best, won’t be effective and will end up being a waste of money.
At worst, they could be dangerous.
So even if you’re buying from a trusted source, ask if the product has a certificate of analysis. In fact, insist on nothing less than a COA.
Certificate of Analysis (COA)
Legally, CBD products cannot contain more than 0.3% THC. But CBD oil with even the smallest amount of THC is not from the hemp plant.
Once again, to be absolutely safe for your cat and avoid potential THC poisoning, use only CBD from hemp.
When you use products that come with a certificate of analysis (COA), you can be sure they’ve been lab-tested to confirm the product’s ingredients and potency. They will also be clear of mold, fungus, bacteria or other potentially harmful toxins.
Are There Side Effects of Using CBD Oil?
All studies on the side effects of CBD oil have been conducted on humans. But as this article shows, any side effects noted have been minor. And there is no danger of fatality from overdosing on CBD.
Dryness of mouth is one of the main side effects and can be overcome by drinking a lot of water or other fluids before, during, and after consuming CBD oil. The assumption is that cannabinoids inhibit the secretion of the salivary glands.
Another potential side effect is drowsiness. This can be alleviated by lowering the dosage. It should be noted though that CBD oil can have the opposite effect as well – making a person more energetic and alert.
A slight drop in blood pressure is another side effect. For those with hypertension or heart disease, this can be a beneficial side effect. But it can create lightheadedness too. And for those who are taking medication for low blood pressure, CBD is often counter-indicated.
There is also the potential to experience diarrhea and/or changes in weight and appetite. Again, this could be alleviated by modifying the dosage. And it may also be the result of the body adjusting to the introduction of CBD. Once it has adjusted, these may pass.
Again, it should be noted that these side effects apply to humans. So it’s very difficult to say at this point what, if any, side effects your cat might experience.
Could CBD Oil Be Right for Your Cat?
The answer to the question is CBD oil safe for cats seems to be a resounding yes. But whether it will work for your cat remains to be seen.
If you’re interested in trying CBD oil for your cat, your best course of action is to do some research to find the right product, then start slow. It may be just what your feline friend needs.
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