By Luke Sumpter

CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in cannabis. Unlike the main psychoactive component THC, CBD doesn’t get you high. With studies investigating its relation to pain management and conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety, neurological disorders, and many others, CBD is currently a very hot topic.

How Does CBD For Cats Work?

As is the case with humans, cats have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates important physiological functions such as immunity, mood, sleep, and pain. Cannabinoid receptors are found all throughout the body, including the brain, nervous system, and immune system. What makes cannabis so special is that its active compounds can bind or influence these receptors. Just as the human ECS can be affected by phytocannabinoids, so can that of cats.

How Does CBD For Cats Work?

How Can CBD Help Your Cat?

Despite a mounting body of evidence on the potential applications of CBD, the field of cannabis-related medical research is still new. As such, there are few in vivo studies of CBD on cats; however, a growing legion of cat owners have indeed started giving the cannabinoid to their pets in the form of treats and oils.

CBD is currently being observed for its impact on the following conditions in cats:

  • Aggression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Lack of energy
  • Inflammation
  • Infections


Though CBD is being studied for its effect on a wealth of conditions, researchers are perhaps most interested in its potential effects on inflammation and pain.

How To Dose CBD For Cats

Cats are obviously much smaller than humans, which means they will normally require much lower doses of CBD than we do.

If you purchase a CBD oil product made specifically for cats, make sure you read the recommendations for correct dosing that come with the product. You can also use CBD oils that are intended for people, as long as you make sure to use them in the proper low dose.

According to some veterinarians, 0.1–0.5mg of CBD per kg of your cat is recommended. Individual doses may vary depending on the specific condition your cat is suffering from, among other factors. Remember, less can be more. It is always better to start with low doses first to see how your cat responds.

Cats and CBD

Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?

Yes, CBD oil is safe for cats. Just like their human owners, cats also possess an endocannabinoid system. CBD works through these physiological pathways to promote balance and produce various effects. Although generally considered safe and effective, there still remains a lack of scientific evidence documenting the impact of the cannabinoid on our feline friends. If you’re considering giving your cat CBD oil, have a chat with your vet first about the decision and how to go about it safely.

  • Will CBD Oil Get Your Cat High?

No, CBD does not produce a high in cats. The molecule affects cat physiology in a way that makes this impossible. THC produces psychotropic effects by binding to CB1 receptors in the brain. CBD doesn’t possess the same ability. Instead, it alters the levels of internal cannabinoids and acts on other receptor sites.

  • Side Effects of CBD Oil for Cats

CBD may cause a few side effects in cats. When administered in the appropriate dose, you shouldn’t notice any major changes in your cat's behaviour.

Due to the potential effects elicited by CBD in people, we humans are advised to slowly increase our dose to adjust to any sensations. The same applies to cats. You might notice that your pet becomes slightly more lethargic and less energetic after first introducing them to CBD.

To reduce any symptoms of lethargy, simply reduce the dosage. If need be, you can slowly work the dosage back up over time.

Rare side effects may include anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and changes in appetite. However, these effects are usually short-lived and mild.

CBD Treats for Cats

CBD Treats for Cats

The popularity of CBD amongst cat owners has led to the emergence of a large and thriving market of CBD-infused pet treats. Giving CBD to cats has come a long way from dabbing some CBD oil onto a biscuit. Now, cats have the pleasure of chowing down on specially created products designed to enhance health and wellness.

Businesses within the United States—a country with a well-developed cannabis market—are setting the stage for the future of CBD products for cats. Here, hundreds of snacks, treats, and bites are available. Such products include salmon-flavoured treats containing 2mg of CBD per serving, tuna fish-infused offerings with 40mg of CBD, and a large range of relaxing chews.

How To Legally Obtain CBD Oil for Your Cat

Cat owners can legally purchase CBD pet products from specialised online and brick-and-mortar stores. However, CBD products for cats remain relatively rare outside of the United States. If you can’t access these items, you can administer other products, such as CBD oils. Just make sure you stay within the dosage guidelines recommended above.

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