A Cat Owner’s Guide to CBD

We all love our four-legged friends. Whether you have a dog or a cat – we always want them to be healthy, happy, and to live a long life. With their wellbeing at the forefront of our minds, many pet owners have turned to cannabidiol (CBD) – a naturally occurring, non-psychoactive compound found in hemp and cannabis plants – to better the lives of their furry friends.

Most of the information about CBD and cats, such as the responses collected in this survey, is drawn from anecdotal evidence, meaning that individual people who have given their cats CBD have made claims that it helps to relieve pain, inflammation, anxiety, and even seizures. We know that cats statistically suffer from chronic kidney disease more often than other domestic pets, and some owners have claimed that CBD has provided symptom relief for this condition.

Before deciding to give your cat CBD of any kind, you should speak to your veterinarian about the specific dosing, safety, and applications of CBD for your cat and their health conditions. Every animal is different, so simply going off of what a friend shares with you and deciding to replicate that treatment plan is never a good idea. Just like humans get their medical advice from a doctor – animals should, too!

With that being said, if your veterinarian does believe that CBD would be a beneficial addition to your cat’s wellness regimen, we’ve taken the time to research the available products in the industry today and provide our suggestions and why we love them!

Best CBD for Cats – Our Top Picks

NuLeaf Naturals Pet Oil

Honest Paws CBD Oil for Cats

CBDistillery Pet Tincture

CBDMD Feline CBD Tinctures

NuLeaf Naturals Pet Oil

  • Full-spectrum pet CBD oil, high-grade hemp extract
    • 240mg CBD per 5mL bottle
      •  Cost = 0.16/mg
    •  725mg CBD per 15mL bottle
      • Cost = 0.14/mg
    •  1450mg CBD per 30mL bottle
      • Cost = 0.12/mg
  • Additional ingredients: Not listed.
  • Third-party lab testing: NuLeaf Pet Oil is tested by two qualified third party labs in California and Massachusetts – ProVerde Labs and Steep Hill Labs. This is to make sure that it always contains the highest percentage of pure CBD hemp oil and never contains additional chemicals, pesticides, or harmful metals. Lab reports are available on the product pages under the descriptions of each product. If you cannot find a lab report or certificate of analysis, you may contact their customer service department and ask that one be sent to you.
  • Why we love them: The company itself is led by three, planet-conscious executives who are more focused on the purity and quality of their products than major industry trends and fads.  Best known for their sustainable farming practices, NuLeaf products are all made from non-GMO hemp plants grown in Colorado. Their pet oil is made from all-natural ingredients, with no additives or preservatives, and contain CBD oil extracted from 100% organic plants.
  • Want more information? Here’s a full company review!

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Honest Paws Purrity CBD Oil for Cats

  • Purrity – CBD Oil
    • 125mg of CBD per 30mL bottle
      • Cost = 0.32/mg
  • Additional ingredients: MCT oil (fractionated coconut oil)
  • Third-party lab testing: With an easy search tool to find each product batch’s certificate of analysis, Honest Paws makes it easy to verify all cannabinoids and other compounds present in these oils for cats. The lab testing process also ensures that no harmful pesticides or heavy metals are present in the final product. All third-party lab testing is conducted by Agriscience Laboratories.
  • Why we love them: With only two simple, straight-forward ingredients: 100% pure CBD-oil and MCT oil, this product uses the bare minimum ingredients necessary to help our cats. All of their products available for purchase are non-GMO, soy-free and all-natural. Their dedication to long and long lives for all animals is apparent in the company’s origin story and their wide variety of products with minimal ingredients represent that commitment as well.

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CBDistillery Pet Tincture

  • CBDistillery Pet Tincture
    • 150mg of CBD
      • Cost = 0.13/mg
    •  600mg of CBD
      • Cost = 0.06/mg
  • Additional Ingredients: Hemp Seed Oil, CO2 Hemp Extract (Aerial Parts)
  • Third-party lab testing: On each products’ landing page, a photo is included of the lab test in order to provide buyers with as much information as possible. All certificates of analyses are provided by Proverde Labs. The products available for purchase have also been certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority.
  • Why we love them: CBDistillery products are consistently reviewed as the highest quality and most cost-effective CBD products available. With their large product line, CBDistillery has options for each method of ingestion, giving every person a chance to buy a product that works best for them and their lifestyle. All CBD products are sourced from naturally grown, non-GMO, U.S. industrial hemp and hemp CBD oil extracted from aerial plant parts.
  • Want more information? Here’s a full company review!

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CBDMD Feline Tinctures

  • Paw CBD – Feline CBD Oil
    • Available in Natural or Catnip flavors
      • 150mg of CBD per 30mL bottle
        • Cost = 0.13/mg
      • 300mg of CBD per 30mL bottle
        • Cost = 0.10/mg
  • Additional ingredients: MCT oil (from palm kernel oil)
  • Third-party lab testing: All products are tested in an independent, third-party lab (SC Labs). The company provides easily accessible lab results for current batches of their products, but sometimes the certificates of analysis are slightly out of date and hard to interpret. There are no lab results displayed for each product or linked from product pages, but you can find them under the ‘Our Process’ tab from their home page.
  • Why we love them: CBDMD uses 100% non-GMO and organic ingredients in their farming and product creation processes. All of their CBD oil is drawn from USA-grown hemp plants. In products where the ingredient list isn’t quite as simple as this feline CBD oil, CBDMD uses only gluten-free and vegan ingredients. It’s clear from their selection of pet products that the company is equally as committed to providing high-quality CBD products for both humans and their pets.

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CBD for Cats – Buying Guide

What is CBD?

CBD is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis or hemp plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), there are no accompanying psychoactive effects from CBD – making it a relatively user-friendly drug. While research on the use of CBD in humans is ongoing, there are also applications for CBD with our furry and purring friends, particularly in veterinary sciences!

In humans, CBD binds with the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid systems, which are widespread in our central nervous systems. This is why research on CBD in humans has shown associations between CBD and less anxiety, inflammation, stress, and even pain. Thanks to the research done for animals, we know that dogs also have CB1 and CB2 receptors, but cats only have CB1 receptors. There is no evidence of the presence of CB2 receptors in cats. Much like how cannabinoids bind with our receptors, they also bind with CB1 receptors in cats – fundamentally supplementing their system!

What are the benefits of giving my cat CBD?

According to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA), most pet owners who use CBD products on their pets report that they have seen pain relief properties, aid for sleep, relief of anxiety, reduced inflammation, reduced seizures, preventing vomiting and nausea, helping with digestion, and improving skin conditions.

In one empirical study of osteoarthritis in dogs, researchers found that CBD oil helped increase the amount of activity in dogs with the condition and helped to decrease the pain associated with the condition. In an earlier study on CBD and rats, researchers found that CBD induced alertness in the animals, indicating that it may be therapeutic in treating sleep disorders. A second study replicated these findings and concluded that CBD was a wake-inducing drug.

Is it safe to give my cat CBD?

Because CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, it is often marketed as a therapeutic, herbal supplement for animals. As with any new supplement that is supported by anecdotal evidence, the CBD industry for cats and dogs is booming. Despite this new market, it’s important to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not officially approved CBD for the use in animals (or humans, except for one medication).

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) released a statement in 2017 concluding that there are currently no proven health benefits of CBD or THC in empirical research studies. As such, more evidence is needed before the AAFCO supports the addition of either compound in animal food or treats.

The primary concern when using CBD for cats is the potential toxicity for our furry friends. Initial toxicity studies on dogs and monkeys have shown that CBD has a favorable safety margin when administered orally, but these margins clearly depend on the dosage and the length of time CBD is being administered for. Because of the lack of safety and toxicokinetic empirical data for CBD use in cats, a veterinarian consultation is vital to protect the health of our cats.

If your cat takes other medications or supplements, the potential for drug-drug interactions is also a safety concern. As most vets are the ones prescribing medications for your pet, they will be the most knowledgeable about these potential interactions. As with every other interaction with a medical professional, don’t be afraid to ask questions! If your vet doesn’t consider drug-drug interactions when you ask about giving your cat a CBD treat or supplement, speak up and ask them if their other medications pose an issue.

Dosing Guidelines for Cats

Finding the lowest effective dose of CBD for your cat is the best option for both your pet and your wallet! While your veterinarian will provide you with dosing guidelines, you can double-check their recommended dosage by following a simple calculation. Remember – asking questions to advocate for your cat’s well-being is a good thing!

If you want to bring up some numbers with your vet, here are a few simple steps to follow to calculate a good dosage of CBD for your cat:

Step 1: Convert your cat’s weight from pounds (lbs) to kilograms (kg). Divide the weight in pounds by 2.2 to do this! .

Step 2: Multiply the number of milligrams (mg) in one suggested dose by the number of kilograms (kg). For example, if the dose is 0.2 mg/kg, you would multiply your cat’s weight in kilograms (calculated in steo 1) x 0.2 mg. This will give you the correct CBD mg’s per dose.

Step 3: Use the concentration of the CBD product you are using to calculate the volume of oil you should give. Many products specidy “x” mg’s per drop and will demonstrate how to administer one drop only. If you cannot figure out this final step, talk to your vet! Do not simply try to guess the dosage per drop, as this may result in under-dosing or over-dosing your kitty!

If you do not have the ability to calculate your cat’s dosage and want a “cheat sheet” to bring to your vet’s office, check out this resource from a holisitic vet in Boulder, CO:

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