There have been no scientific studies that investigate the impact cannabis has on pets, but many pet parents are turning to it for help with their cat’s anxiety. And yes, it does work.
When considering CBD for your pet, the most important things to factor into your decision of whether it is right for your pet kitty are the benefits and risks. We delve into this below, so keep reading if you’d like to know exactly how CBD treatment can help your cat with anxiety.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. When choosing a CBD treatment for your pet, it’s essential it doesn’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives marijuana the psychoactive properties that get users “high.” Most CBD products are derived from hemp and not marijuana.
Many veterinarians won’t recommend using CBD oil for their patients, as the scientific research is still ongoing, but holistic vets are using it to treat ailments like pain, seizures, inflammation, and anxiety. CBD treatment comes in oils, tinctures, and treats. We recommend trying the oil or tincture because they are easier to control the dosage.
What Is Cat Anxiety?
Anxiety is a physiological and emotional response to stressors. When we think about anxiety, it isn’t a single disorder. Instead, it’s a group of multiple conditions. Cats experience anxiety differently from humans, which means their symptoms may also differ.
Diagnosing anxiety in a cat can be tricky because the symptoms are similar to other conditions. Cats can develop anxiety, or they might be born anxious. If you suspect your cat may suffer from anxiety, contact your vet to discuss the available treatment options.
The top three types of anxiety are:
1. Environmental Anxiety
Your cat may experience environmental anxiety when its environment doesn’t provide enough stimulation. Signs to look out for are constant meowing, frequent hiding, scratching carpets or furniture, over-grooming, house soiling, and loss of appetite.
2. Separation Anxiety
Cats that are anxious when they are alone may suffer from separation anxiety. Symptoms you may notice include destroying things in the home, defecating in the house, and meowing excessively.
3. Social Anxiety
This is the most common type of anxiety in cats, and it refers to cats that suffer from anxiety with other animals or their owners. They may be aggressive and refuse to come out of a hiding spot.
Treatment Options for Cat Anxiety
There are a variety of options open to you, all of which you can discuss with your vet. To tackle the problems your cat is facing, you could investigate some of these options:
- Environmental change
- Cognitive stimulation
- Behavioral modification
- Change of diet
Another option is, of course, CBD. CBD products are made from organic hemp plants, which contain terpenes and other natural compounds that calm the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Just like humans, dogs, and other mammals, cats have an ECS, which is responsible for regulating mood, sleep, appetite, memory, and other bodily functions. If your cat has a healthy ECS, it will be healthy and happy overall.
What to Look For From a CBD Treatment
As long as you stick to the recommended dosage, which will be based on your cat’s weight, CBD treatment is completely safe. We recommend as we do whenever you’re introducing something new, starting small. Always select the smallest dosage because it’s easy to increase a dose, whereas once your cat has ingested the CBD oil, you can’t go back.
A reliable product will have a Certificate of Analysis (COA), which means you can trust the product and its ingredients. You also want a product that has little to no traces of THC.
Side Effects of CBD Treatment
If your cat shows side effects from their CBD treatment, keep in mind it might not be anything to do with the dosage or the treatment itself. Instead, it could be an ingredient in your particular product. Your cat should be fine if you follow your vet’s and the product’s instructions.
- Dry mouth (which presents as drinking more)
- Low blood pressure/dizziness
If you notice any of these symptoms, cease using the product immediately, and contact your vet for advice.
CBD treatment can be used not only to treat anxiety but also for pain and seizures in cats. Contact your vet for advice if your cat could benefit from CBD. It might be tempting to give CBD for humans to your pet, but we don’t recommend it. Getting the dose right is so important, and introducing something new to your pet should always be done with your vet’s approval.
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