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#CBD

CBD oil for cats? What you should know

22/08/2022 3 MIN. READ Sophie Klingler
22/08/2022 3 MIN. READ Sophie Klingler

If there's one thing you can't accuse cats of, it's being clingy. Put in a more positive light, let’s just say that they like to show their love in less direct ways. But that somehow makes the little divas all the more beguiling and doesn't seem to affect our feelings for them.

It can be rather sad to see your furry four-legged friend lose his headstrong nature to psychosomatic disorders or age-related conditions. Increasingly, we hear more and more about using CBD in such cases, a not entirely new issue for pets. There are also a few small-scale studies that have been conducted on CBD’s effectiveness for treating osteoathritis in dogs.

Curious about compatibility issues and the effectiveness of CBD for cats? Then read on.

Possible applications of CBD oil for cats

It’s not uncommon for aging cats to develop behavioural problems or to struggle with physical aches and pains. Advocates of CBD oil for cats argue that this is where it shows the most potential.

Like most other animals – and humans – cats have an endocannabinoid system, which means they have cannabinoid receptors throughout their bodies. Among other things, these receptors are involved in the regulation of pain and how the immune system functions – both of which are processes where CBD oil can have an impact. So much for the theory.

Cat owners who have had experience with CBD oil for cats report a possible effect with the following complaints:

  • Mobility problems
  • Change in appetite
  • Weak immune system
  • Stress associated with vet visits, thunderstorms, fireworks on New Year's Eve, or with traumatised animals from the shelter.

Does CBD oil get my cat high?

Neither humans nor cats get high from CBD, as it is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid.

CBD from controlled commercial hemp cultivation must therefore be clearly distinguished from products made from the cannabis plant that contain the psychoactive component THC. Although dogs account for 96 per cent of THC poisonings in animals and cats for “only" 3 per cent, it goes without saying that you should absolutely keep your cat away from THC. It’s good to know, for example, that in Germany, certified CBD products are only allowed to contain a maximum of 0.2 percent THC anyway.

CBD and cats – the problem with terpenes

Just because your cat doesn't get high from CBD oil doesn’t mean there aren’t things to consider before giving it to your feline friend. With cats, you should be mindful of terpenes, the main components of essential oils. While terpenes are true all-rounders for humans and, as a component of CBD oil, contribute to the so-called entourage effect, they can be poisonous to cats.

So if you want to use CBD oil on your cat, you should definitely go for CBD oil made specifically for cats, that is, an oil without terpenes.

Study on cat tolerability of CBD oil

The tolerability of CBD oil made specifically for pets was explored in a small-scale study. The researchers administered 2 milligrams of CBD per kilogramme of body weight twice daily to eight healthy cats and eight healthy dogs over a period of 12 weeks.

One of the eight cats was found to have a persistent increase in the alanine aminotransferase enzyme (also called ALT enzyme) that fell outside the reference range. Excessive licking and head shaking was also observed among the cats due to the administration of the oil.

The researchers also observed that CBD oil seems to be absorbed or eliminated more quickly by cats than by dogs. Whether CBD oil dosages for cats should be adjusted accordingly remains unclear.

In sum, the authors of the study recommend monitoring liver values when using CBD oil with cats. They also state that more research is needed to evaluate the metabolism and benefits of CBD oil for cats.

CBD oil for cats – several open questions remain

We currently have no studies that prove a positive effect of CBD oil for cats. There’s also a lack of sufficient information on the appropriate dosage and long-term effects. We therefore cannot, at this point, recommend using CBD oil on cats.

If you know someone who has had positive experiences with CBD oil for cats or have read testimonials on the internet and would still like to give it a try, you should definitely use specialised CBD products for cats and discuss this with your vet beforehand.

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