Research Behind CBD Benefits For Cats (Study Links Included!)
Posted on January 13th, 2022
Cats, just like humans, may benefit from taking CBD oil. Sound surprising? Well, it’s true! The current research behind CBD benefits suggests you can even give this supplement to your pets, so they may enjoy its therapeutic potential.
But what exactly does that potential include? Well, current research suggests CBD might be able to prevent anxiety, arthritis, IBS, and other inflammatory conditions in pets. And many online say that the compound works wonders for their pets. Of course, you might be hesitant about introducing CBD to your beloved kitty for the first time. But, fear not, understanding what CBD is and how it interacts with your cat’s body will help you make a safe and informed decision. Keep reading to explore the research behind CBD benefits for cats, so you can have a more informed conversation with your vet.
What Is CBD Oil and How Does It Interact with A Cat’s Body?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound of the cannabis plant. It develops alongside more than a hundred other cannabinoids, including the infamous tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. What it does contain are many potentially therapeutic properties that could improve your pet’s overall health. Manufacturers obtain CBD oil by extracting it from industrial hemp, which has only trace amounts of THC. As a result, hemp does not contain enough THC to get you or your pet high.
Like humans and dogs, cats also have an internal endocannabinoid system (ECS). And just as with humans, a cats’ ECS is also responsible for regulating various bodily functions. When taking CBD, it interacts with the ECS through the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
What are the researched results of that interaction? Introducing CBD into your cat’s ECS can help them manage several forms of discomfort, and even help deal with digestive disorders. While pure CBD should be safe for cats, watch carefully for your product’s THC levels. Any oil holding more than 0.3% THC is not safe for your cat to take. So sticking to high-quality, legal CBD oil is the best way to protect your pet and allow him or her to enjoy the research behind CBD benefits.
Which Are The CBD Benefits for Cats?
After taking CBD, the interaction of the cannabinoids with ECS receptors may trigger therapeutic effects. These include:
Pain Relief And Arthritis Management
Arthritis is a common condition that afflicts aging cats. Most cats will show signs of pain and not be as playful anymore. Still, this condition can be hard to detect in cats, thanks to their flexibility and agile nature. Even veterinarians tend to diagnose the condition when it’s already in advanced stages.
Fortunately, research suggests that giving CBD oil to your aging kitty can help fight the pain and inflammation of arthritis. This is because CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that may ease the symptoms of arthritis. It also offers analgesic properties that may help ease the pain. So your cat may start moving around with greater ease after dosing regularly.
Alleviates Stress and Anxiety
Like you, your cat is not immune to stress and anxiety. But it takes a keen eye to detect even the slightest signs of a stressed or anxious kitty. The most visible symptoms of anxiety in cats include reduced appetite, increased defecation/urination, hiding in odd places, etc. The cat might also suddenly stop using the litterbox, which is never good news. Granted, these might be symptoms of another underlying, more serious condition. Yet, adding CBD to your cat’s diet may help manage anxiety while you figure out if there’s anything else to worry about. Research suggests that CBD will help calm their nerves, making it easier for your kitty to relax.
Cats, just like dogs, also get stressed or anxious when subjected to uncomfortable conditions and environments. Leaving your cat in a constrained space agitates and stresses them like it does taking them on a trip. However, a few drops of pure CBD oil just before a trip might be all it needs to be less feisty about it. Your vet might also recommend changing their diet plan to a more balanced one for better, long-lasting effects.
Combat Seizures and Epilepsy
Epilepsy and seizures are not actually rare in cats. Epilepsy attacks may occur when there’s a burst of electrical activity in the brain, causing your cat to shake uncontrollably. This can pose a severe health risk, so see your vet if that ever happens. Luckily, research suggests that CBD might help combat and reduce the frequency of seizures in dogs and cats. CBD will interact with the ECS’ CB1 receptors to subdue excess electrical activity in the brain. Soon enough, your cat may have less frequent or less intense seizures.
CBD oil, unlike conventional medication for epilepsy, does not have severe side effects. It might also reduce the risk of heart failure, kidney failure, and agitation in cats. For epileptic cats, it may be best to use CBD tincture, since it’s easier to make them drink it.
Lack of appetite in cats isn’t something to take lightly. It might be due to physical sickness or mood-related disorders. Some cats may also have poor appetite due to recent changes in diet or living environment. Whatever the cause, you don’t want your cat to go days without food. A few drops of CBD oil under the cat’s tongue might, however, improve their appetite.
Studies show that hormonal imbalance, stress, inflamed bowel symptom, and mood disorders may trigger cats’ decreased appetite. Giving them a few drops of CBD will help restore their appetite for food. Yet, you might want to also book an appointment with a vet if the problem persists. In this case, CBD works by binding on CB2 receptors to trigger increased production of hunger hormones. In addition, its interaction with the cat’s ECS also helps restore hormonal balance as well.
Improved Gut Health
Your cat’s gut health can make or break their overall health. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), for example, is a condition where the nerve endings of the gut inflame. That may be because of the presence of harmful bacteria in the digestive system. It might also be because food passed too quickly or slowly through the digestive tract, which might cause such flare-ups. This condition often triggers reduced appetite in cats.
CBD oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, which may help manage IBS in cats. It will facilitate faster recovery of the inflamed nerve endings in the gut. Also, it promotes the growth of good gut flora, which expunges harmful bacteria from the digestive tract. If your cat suffers from IBS, some drops of CBD could help them feel better and improve their appetite.
CBD For Asthma in Cats
Asthma is one of the most common inflammatory conditions in cats. Symptoms of asthma attacks in cats are almost the same as in humans, mainly an inability to breathe. While most cats suffer from minor symptoms of asthma attacks at some point in their lives, chronic asthma is also common. Some cats even require an inhaler. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tracts. Although there’s little official research so far, many enthusiasts say they see remarkable improvements after giving their kitten CBD.
CBD Benefits for Cats – Is it Safe for My Cat?
Cats are particularly sensitive to some foods and supplements, yet, their bodies are rather welcoming of CBD. This is because cats, like all mammals, have an ECS designed to interact with CBD to restore optimal body functions. Giving CBD to your cat, thus, may improve their quality of life while upping their chances of fighting off inflammatory conditions. You, however, should be watchful of CBD products with more than 0.3% THC content. Cats do not respond particularly well to THC. Exposing your cat to THC may trigger a myriad of side effects, some of which might be fatal.
Safe CBD Dosage for Cats
While CBD is generally safe for cats, it’s advisable to start with a low dosage then gradually increase it. This is to minimize the risk of side effects. Experts recommend between 0.1-0.5mg of CBD per kilogram of your cat’s current weight. Studies also show that some cats will start responding and feeling better after a few minutes. Yet, it will take a few days or a week to prove effective against certain chronic conditions. The best way to experience the full CBD benefits for cats is by buying products from high-quality manufacturers.
This is because you want to be certain it contains no more than 0.3% levels of THC and no other harmful substances. The best way to do this is to do a background check on the manufacturer you are thinking of buying from. CBD Manufacturers require to submit their hemp batches to 3rd party labs for testing before extraction. The best manufacturers will make the results from those tests public either on their label, website, or both. Make sure to look for them. If you cannot find them, then look for a product from a different manufacturer, your cat deserves only the best, assured quality.