CBD For Cat Anxiety – Can it Help Your Cat Feel Better?
Posted on February 4th, 2021
The recent changes in the legal status of CBD led to a skyrocketing rise in interest that it’s difficult to recall ever happening with a chemical compound. The reason for this makes it really easy to see why this is the case: The compound apparently boasts of many therapeutic benefits.
Supposedly, when people take CBD, they can get much relief. But relief from what? Well, according to research, CBD exhibits anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-anxiety effects, just to name a few. The way this compound delivers its effects to your body is through its interaction with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters running all along your body. Its whole purpose is to regulate more than a few key bodily functions in order to maintain homeostasis in it. The CBD molecules you get when ingesting CBD products will interact with said receptors. The aforementioned, potentially therapeutic effects are the result of that interaction; thus, your ECS is why you can enjoy CBD.
Yet, you are not the only one that can enjoy it; your cat can as well. The ECS is present in most mammals, no only in humans, and cats rank in that list. As a result, the same CBD compound you can derive relief from might offer some to your cat as well. That’s particularly useful if you are going to use CBD for cat anxiety.
As any cat owner can attest to, cats can get incredibly anxious for a myriad of reasons. Taking a simple trip out of the house might be a daunting task sometimes due to their anxious behavior. Well, the use of CBD for cat anxiety might help just those cat owners with much trouble. Read on to find out why.
Understanding Anxiety In Cats
Anxiety in cats has its root cause in their innate fight-or-flight response. When a cat perceives dangers, its body prepares to either run away or fight. Consequently, the cat’s heart rate increases, their muscles get ready for action, while adrenaline floods their body.
This is a natural response that is critical in the survival of cats and any other animal, humans included. However, a fight or flight response can trigger far too often, even if there is no real present danger.
That causes anxiety, which is the state of being uneasy in anticipation of perceived threats. Suffering from severe anxiety is dilapidating, and it will make it hard for your cat to live a normal life.
Anxiety Triggers and Causes in Cats
There are plenty of things that might trigger anxiety in cats. Some of the most common include:
- Changes to the environment: moving to a new home or changing their surroundings.
- Loud noises.
- Presence of other, unknown animals.
- Being in the presence of much larger animals.
- Experiencing physical trauma.
- Separation from their owner from a period of time.
- Being around unfamiliar people.
Types of Anxiety Problems in Cats
Cats can develop different forms of anxiety, usually based on their past experiences. Common anxiety-related behavioral problems that affect cats include:
- Separation anxiety.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Signs That Your Cat Is Suffering from Anxiety
For most, recognizing the signs of cat anxiety can be difficult. Unlike other conditions such as fear that have obvious and somewhat universal signs, anxiety does not have obvious signs. Different cats will exhibit different signs and symptoms of anxiety. This means that while some cats will behave aggressively when anxious, others will shy away and become reclusive.
However, general signs of anxiety include:
- Heightened aggressiveness.
- Diarrhea and or vomiting.
- Decreased or increased activity levels.
- Excessive meowing.
- Hiding away or excessive shyness.
- Increased clinginess.
- Ignoring the litterbox.
- Scratching furniture and carpet.
- Appearing lethargy or sleepy all the time.
How CBD For Cat Anxiety Might Help
We still do not fully understand anxiety in humans and other animals. But we do know that increasing gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels can help reduce it. CBD actually increases GABA levels through the effects of its interaction with the ECS has. That, in turn, helps increase the level of serotonin, which stabilizes your mood-possibly balancing you or your cat out of anxiousness.
Is CBD Oil Safe for To Give Cats?
Research and anecdotal evidence indicate that CBD is safe for animals, like cats, to consume. When given the right dose of CBD, your cat will become less anxious.
However, do be mindful that if you give CBD to your cat, you need to watch the dose carefully. Cats do not respond very well to excessive doses of CBD, neither do humans.
How To Administer CBD For Cat Anxiety
You can give CBD oil to your cats in many different ways; the most popular are:
- On Its Own in A Bowl – This is the best method for cats that can withstand the grassy flavor of CBD. The food scents in the bowl can also help ease the cat into licking due to familiarity.
- Dropper – You can also give it on its own. Just be careful that your cat does not scratch you it holding it for this irks him enough.
- Added to Food – You can also add a few drops of CBD oil to your cat’s wet or dry food. However, better make sure they eat all of the food in the bowl.
- Mixed with Fish Oil – Fish oil hides the grassy flavor almost completely; thus, mixing CBD oil with tuna fish oil will make it very easy for them to ingest it.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Giving CBD to Your Cat
Keep in Mind the Potency of The Product
it is important to watch out for potency. Overdosing CBD might do the opposite of helping your cat. When the potency is high, it is best to turn down the doses.
Give Your Cat an Appropriate Dosage
Give your cat an appropriate dose based on their weight, the severity of the anxiety, and the product’s potency. Start with small doses and work your way up until you find the sweet spot when you observe it delivers the most benefits.
To Feed or Not Your Cat Before Administering CBD
Evidence suggests that mammals absorb CBD better when on an empty stomach. Administering CBD on its own will ensure it is fast-acting and increases its potency. However, taking it with foods or drinks, it’s still very much effective.
The Type of CBD To Give Your Cat
CBD comes in different presentations. What’s more, every type of CBD will have its own unique properties and might yield different results. That said, there are primarily three types of CBD products popular with cat owners:
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil – This one contains the full range of flavonoids and cannabinoids, which includes no more than 0.3% of THC. According to anecdotal evidence, this is the one kind of CBD oil that gives out the most relief.
Raw CBD Oil – Also known as CBD isolate, this is a pure CBD distillate that is 100% CBD content with all other compounds removed. Looks like a white crystal, and it’s easy to sprinkle in food. The effects are, however, not as strong as will CBD oils.
Full-Spectrum CBD Oil – It holds CBD with some terpenes and flavonoids. However, manufacturers remove all of the THC content. The effect is less potent than full-spectrum but higher than isolates.
Legality Of CBD
The 2018 Farm Bill made hemp-derived CBD with no more than 0.3% THC a legal substance on a federal level. Yet, it also gave each state the option to come up with its own CBD laws. As a result, some adopted the federal interpretation and have 0.3% THC CBD is legal. On the other hand, a few still do not allow it within their borders. Research carefully the CBD laws of the state you are in before purchasing or carrying CBD there.
Why Use CBD For Cat Anxiety?
Picture this: You are going on a trip, and you got to take your cat with you. How does that end? With you with a lot of scratches on you, most likely. CBD may offer you a way to avoid this. If cleared by your vet, you could give CBD to your cat a few hours before even attempting to put them in the car. They will be much calmer, relaxed, and, since it’s natural, it may be a better option than using sedative drugs. That’s not the only use by any means. When you give your cat CBD they may also show:
- Improved appetite,
- Increased energy,
- Managing seizures,
- Reduced joint pains,
- Allergy alleviation, and
- Inflammation alleviation.
CBD could possibly help improve your cat’s overall health in many ways.
CBD For Cat Anxiety – A Word of Caution
Do not give your cat CBD without first consulting a veterinarian. Anecdotal evidence indicates that CBD is helpful in alleviating your cat’s anxiety. However, it does not solve the underlying issue of what is causing it. A veterinarian might help you with that on top of recommending a suitable dose for your cat in particular.
Finally, if your cat happens to be on some other medications, the veterinarian will tell you which are at risk of reacting with the CBD. Overall, CBD can offer your cat much relief as long as you are watchful of why they might need it and how much they need of it. You just need to do some experimenting with the dosage as soon your vet gives you the all-clear. There’s little to lose and much relief to gain for your cat with CBD.