Cat owners are looking outside of traditional Western medicine towards cannabidiol oil to explore its effects as a treatment for their furry friends’ physical ailments as well as behavioral issues.
While more research studies consistently show the positive impact of the plant on people for inflammation as well as various other conditions, official scientific studies haven’t been conducted yet on cats or pets as a whole.
Regardless, cat owners are gaining encouragement through anecdotal evidence which is leading them to purchase varieties of CBD for cats. But are they safe for their felines or effective? And if so, what sorts of conditions may benefit from it? Let’s take a look.
CBD Oil Explained
Cannabidiol is a compound that is derived from the hemp plant. The oil needs to offer less than 0.3% THC or tetrahydrocannabinol for it to be considered cannabidiol or CBD. Under these circumstances, CBD has no psychoactive reaction for users but is still beneficial which is appealing to cat owners.
The downside is that the CBD market is not well-regulated and not as yet government/third-party tested to ensure safety, making it difficult for those who are purchasing the compound to know for sure what is in the product they’re getting.
The CBD market is fairly new meaning the products you receive can be mislabeled, information can be inconsistent, and the compound could be of poor quality if there is any of the compound in the product at all.
There is a real fear that the CBD oil contains contaminants or offers too high of a level of THC which can be toxic to a cat.
In saying that, it’s critical that when buying CBD oil for your cat, you do extensive research of the supplier.
Only buy from those that practice third-party testing and provide transparency of ingredients with the labeling of their products so the compound that you are giving to your fur baby is safe and beneficial for their health needs.
Read more about the safety of CBD for cats at https://m.petmd.com/cat/care/cbd-oil-cats-what-you-need-know.
Anatomy Of A Cat
As with humans (and dogs), a cat’s anatomy includes an endocannabinoid system. As such, cats can experience health benefits from cannabinoids such as CBD as humans can. Found within the central nervous system and throughout other biologic systems, the endocannabinoid system acts as a network of receptors that can interact with other cannabinoids such as CBD and THC.
CBD, using its antipsychotic and anti-inflammatory properties, influences these receptors allowing them to maintain as well as improve their function which then enhances the integrity of other systems being regulated around them.
This entire interaction is the reason that CBD can deliver its many benefits to cats including stress management, pain relief, reduction in aggression, and more.
Benefits of CBD For Cats
- Arthritis/joint pain. Recent studies have indicated that cats get arthritis nearly as often as dogs with older cats having a higher chance. Previously it was speculated that dogs had the greatest likelihood of succumbing to arthritis. Arthritis leads to decreased mobility, lack of energy, constant pain, and many other symptoms that hinder a cat’s quality of life.
CBD is boasted as being powerful at reducing inflammation while also mitigating the further spread of inflammation. CBD affects the vanilloid receptor within the brain bringing a reduction in the perception of the level of pain being experienced as well.
- Stress/Anxiety. Cats, unfortunately, experience stress and anxiety at varying degrees accompanied by similar symptoms that we do. Things that bring stress for a cat include conflicts with other pets, changes in their surroundings, poor relationship with their owner, health issues. Moderate stress may make for a possible bad day, but prolonged stress can bring a decline in health, advanced behavior problems, poor grooming habits, bad eating habits, and multiple other problems.
CBD moderates cortisol which is a stress hormone aiding in alleviating stress and anxiety. It also acts as an influence on the mood regulation receptors within the brain and those that moderate neurologic activity which helps to improve how the brain reacts to the stress signals.
- Appetite stimulation. A regular eating habit is crucial for your cat’s health and when it is decreased it can cause a variety of issues such as mood-related disorders, dental issues, and multiple health conditions. CBD acts as a stimulant for your cat’s appetite and offers relief for the potential issues causing the decrease including inflamed bowel syndrome, mood disorders, stress, hormonal imbalance.
- Epileptic seizures. Cats, like humans, can suffer from epilepsy and endure seizures of various degrees in severity and frequency. A seizure happens when the brain experiences an abnormal amount of electrochemical activity. CBD is touted as reducing not only the frequency but also the severity of seizures. There is still much research to be done regarding feline epileptic seizures. Read more here about seizures and cats.
With its ability to offer natural relief of a multitude of conditions, CBD can potentially enhance your cat’s quality of life with the possibility of living a healthier life. Researchers continue to learn more every day about this mysterious cannabinoid, with hopes to uncover more ways our pets can benefit from CBD.