The Benefits of CBD Oil for Cats
There’s a lot of discussion regarding the benefits of CBD for both humans and dogs, but cats are usually left out of the CBD conversation. That raises the question: can cats also benefit from CBD? And, if so, how?
The short answer to this question is: yes. Cats can benefit from CBD . Just like us, and our dogs, cats have an endocannabinoid system that plays a critical role in keeping them at optimal health. A cat’s body, just like other mammals, have a system of receptors which interact with the compounds found in CBD oil to maintain balance in the body .
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Benefits of CBD Oil for Cats
The benefits of CBD oil for cats are numerous, similar to the many benefits CBD can provide to our dogs. The most common use of CBD for cats is often decreasing levels of inflammation in the body leading to decreased pain. Allergies, chronic pain, arthritis, autoimmune disease, and diabetes, are all examples of conditions associated with inflammation in the body. By addressing the inflammation, CBD can address many conditions that are ailing your pet. CBD is also neuroprotective which means it can help with conditions like seizures in our cats.
CBD For Cats With Anxiety
Determining whether or not a cat has anxiety is a bit more difficult than a dog in most cases. Cats aren’t as obvious with their anxiety and tend to react a bit differently. Some signs your cat may be experiencing anxiety include hiding in odd areas, lack of appetite, increased urination or defecation, and/or suddenly no longer utilizing the litter box.
According to Jae Kennedy, co-owner of Two Crazy Cat Ladies , Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC) can be caused by stress. The term ‘idiopathic’ means unknown. That’s why it’s Feline Idiopathic Cystitis; the exact cause of FIC is unknown resulting in a lot of frustration and confusion among cat lovers. But, studies have shown 75-80% of cats who have been diagnosed with FIC will significantly improve when stress is decreased. Jae Kennedy also states that “ cats internalize stress, so it is not often that you will notice the stress your cat is enduring. If your cat has feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), just work to reduce his stress by putting him on a healthy diet, reducing unnecessary vaccines and medications and keeping him on his daily routine .”
According to Jae Kennedy, not only is full-spectrum CBD helpful for FIC, but also helpful for most (if not all) other conditions involving stress in cats including other urinary problems, lack of socialization, or lack of interest in activities the cat once enjoyed. Having CBD for cats on hand may help your cat feel more comfortable while you determine what could be triggering the increased anxiety levels. For Anxiety, we recommend our CALM: CBD Oil for Cats, formulated to help your cat’s anxiety, stress and fear.
CBD For Cats With Arthritis and Joint Pain
The term ‘arthritis’ literally means inflammation of joints. Since CBD is a known anti-inflammatory, it comes as no surprise it can help ease the symptoms of arthritis in our cats. Full Spectrum Hemp Extract can offer your cat a safe and natural alternative to pain medications. The discomfort that our arthritic cats experience is typically caused by inflammation in their joints. By soothing that inflammation, you can address the cause of the issue, and prevent the pain.
According to Dr. Gary Richter, an Integrative Veterinarian , “anecdotal reports and my own professional experience with medical cannabis in dogs and cats lead me to be 100 percent certain that it is safe in appropriate doses and, in many cases, effective in the treatment of disease and relieving pain.” A study published in 2006 in Current Neuropharmacology also concluded that CBD has therapeutic benefits, for both people and pets suffering from chronic pain and acute chronic pain episodes. For cats with Arthritis, we recommend our EASE: CBD Oil for Cats, formulated with frankincense and turmeric, to naturally manage your cat’s inflammation and pain.
CBD For Cats With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
CBD is also one of the safest options for cats with Inflammatory Bowel Disease . As stated earlier, CBD is an anti-inflammatory and works with the endocannabinoid system to restore balance to the body. CBD has been demonstrated to help cats with gastrointestinal issues maintain a healthy gut microbiome. Much of our cat’s health and well-being, is determined by the gut microbiota. A healthy gut is always the most crucial aspect to consider when it comes to healing your pet, and it all starts with the microbiome.
CBD has also been shown to reduce inflammation, particularly inflammation in the gut, and when coupled with a good diet, it can help to prevent future tumors, IBD, and other common issues. According to research, “migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.”
Dosing CBD Oil For Cats
Contrary to popular belief, the dosage of CBD oil for cats depends more on the ailment, rather than the size or weight of your pet. For example, a cat with cancer will require a higher dosage than a cat with noise anxiety. Though clinical research is lacking, according to research, it has been presumed that cats are less sensitive to cannabis than dogs.
CBD Dog Health Full Spectrum CBD tinctures for dogs, cats, and horses are meant to provide the average effective daily dose for several conditions that each tincture is formulated to address, in a single 1mL dose. This is a general guideline that works for most animals; but, as sensitivity to CBD can be dependent on several factors unique to each pet, your pet may require more or less than our standard recommended dose. Therefore, we recommend using a trial-and-error method, to find your cat’s optimal dose. Begin with a low dose and gradually adjust, according to your cat’s individual needs.
Our EASE: CBD Oil for Cats is designed to soothe your cat’s aches and pains. This anti-inflammatory tincture is formulated with turmeric and frankincense to help your cat’s joint pain, arthritis, and allergies, by addressing and reducing inflammation. Ease is our recommended tincture for cats suffering from chronic joint pain, arthritis, mobility problems, allergies, pancreatitis, and other conditions associated with inflammation. A standard 1mL dose of our Ease tincture for cats contains 9mg of CBD.
Our CALM: CBD Oil for cats is designed to manage your cat’s anxiety, stress and fear. This organic, full spectrum tincture is formulated with lavender essential oil, ideal for naturally managing chronic anxiety and situational fear in your cat. Our Calm tincture is recommended as an all-natural remedy for stressful situations including travel, thunderstorms, fireworks, and grooming and vet appointments. A standard 1mL dose of our Calm tincture for cats contains 9mg of CBD.
Our HEAL: CBD Oil for cats was formulated with our highest CBD content. Heal is designed to manage higher levels of pain as well as helping your cat’s more serious ailments including seizures, cancer, tumors, autoimmune diseases, degenerative diseases, and more. Our Heal tincture for cats provides a standard 1mL dose containing 37mg of CBD.
Administering CBD Oil for Cats
Administration (as well as dosage) of CBD oil depends highly on bioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the amount of time, and the rate, that something absorbs into your cat’s bloodstream as well as how much is excreted. That’s why the way you administer CBD oil is so important.
The most effective method, with the highest absorption rate, is administering CBD oil onto your cat’s gums. Lift your cat’s lip and place the dropper over the gums to allow the tincture to be absorbed through the membranes of the mouth. This will allow the CBD to bypass the digestive system and enter the bloodstream quickly.
The second method we recommend is adding the CBD oil into your cat’s food, or with treats. Although fatty foods have been shown to aid in the absorption of CBD, this method will take longer to show effect, as it must pass through the digestive system before reaching the bloodstream. In addition to taking longer, the CBD oil will be filtered by the digestive tract, and some of the cannabinoids in the oil will likely be broken down and excreted.
If your cat absolutely refuses to ingest the CBD oil, the next best place is the hairless area on the underside of your cat’s ear. There are a lot of blood vessels in that area providing another method to bypass the digestive tract. You can also apply the oil to the cat’s paw pads. Paw pads in cats are highly vascularized (a lot of blood vessels) so the CBD can be absorbed into their body in that sense as well.
The Bottom Line
If your cat is suffering from an ailment, especially any of the conditions mentioned above, CBD is definitely worth a try. If you are still unsure of which tincture to choose, how to use the tinctures, or have any CBD-related questions, you can book a consultation with our Cannabis Expert, Angela Ardolino, and Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Zac Pilossoph, by clicking here .
FIP Cure & Palliative Treatments
Prior to February 2019, feline infectious peritonitis was a guaranteed death sentence to cats. Thanks to a lifetime of dedication and devotion, Dr Niels Pedersen of UC Davis discovered the cure for FIP: the nucleoside analog GS-441524, also referred to as “GS”.
How GS441 Cures FIP
If a cat’s immune system is healthy and mature, the white blood cells should fight off an infection or virus, and allow the cat to build up an immune response, or antibodies. Cats who develop FIP have an immune defect or deficiency that causes the white blood cells to replicate, rather than fight, the virus. Essentially, the cats immune system is spreading the virus throughout the cat’s body rather than trying to eliminate it. Cats who have no immune response develop wet FIP, while cats who have a partial immune response develop dry FIP.
The nucleoside analog GS-441524 is a molecular precursor to a pharmacologically active nucleoside triphosphate molecule. These analogs act as an alternative substrate and RNA-chain terminator of viral RNA dependent RNA polymerase. In layman’s terms, GS441 interjects itself into the chain reaction and stops the replication of the virus.
Course of GS441 Treatment
Dr Pedersen’s case study determined that a successful course of treatment with GS441 is *84 days*, administered daily. Some owners have stopped treating once blood work and diagnostics returned to normal; however, the few cats who did relapse were among those who stopped prior to the 84 day protocol. Because the course of treatment is both emotionally and financially taxing, most owners currently using GS opt to pursue the full 84 days, to ensure the highest probability of success. Cats who undergo the full 84 days and remain symptom-free for an 84 day observation period following conclusion of treatment are officially cured of FIP.
GS441 comes in both injectable form, and as of June 2019, a pill form. Both are administered daily and the dose is based on the weight of the cat.
For wet & dry FIP without neurological or ocular symptoms, the recommended dosage starts at 5mg (GS) x weight (kg) / GS concentration per 1mL = dose per 24 hr. Ocular FIP cats require a starting dosage of 8mg/kg MINIMUM. Neurological cases start at a minimum of 10mg/kg. These figures are only a guide. Each cat should be assessed based on severity of illness and symptoms in order to determine the appropriate starting dosage. Occasionally, some severe cats do need to go higher than 10mg/kg.
A dosing calculator can be found here.
It is important to note that the dosage should not be reduced during the course of treatment, regardless of how well the cat is responding. Conversely, if the cat is not responding to the starting dosage, it is safe to increase. It is also crucial to check the cat’s weight often, and adjust the daily dose accordingly.
The only known side effect of GS441 is skin lesions or burns, due to the acidity of the solution (injectable form). For this reason, it is recommended to always clean the cat’s skin after giving an injection. Many owners also opt to give oral CBD oil or Hemp oil 30-60 minutes before injecting, to help minimize the stress. Should you opt to do this, it is critical that the product be veterinary grade and the proper dose should be determined by a veterinarian. CBD and/or hemp oil can be fatal to a cat if not administered properly. More commonly, Gabapentin, a mild pain medication can be given orally 60-90 minutes prior to the injection. The vast majority of cats using GS tolerate the injections just fine without the need for any pain medication or sedative.
***84 days is the suggested protocol. In some cases, cats may need to extend beyond the 84 days, if lab work has not yet returned to normal. All cats should have new labs run prior to day 84, to determine if it is appropriate to end treatment.***
While we’ve seen first hand that GS is a miracle drug, it’s not the end-all-be-all. You still need to support your cat’s well-being while waiting for GS to arrive and until your cat starts to respond to it. Proper supportive care can make all the difference as to whether or not the cat survives. Lack of proper supportive care can cause further complications, up to and including death.
Cats need to consume minimally 200 calories per day and 60 ml of water per day. Anemia needs to be treated, whether via B12 or possibly a transfusion, depending on severity. Fluids may need to be drained. Fevers need to be monitored and reduced. For additional information about crucial home care and supportive care of FIP cats, please continue here.
Supplemental Care When Using GS441 to Cure FIP
In general, unless the cat has a secondary or underlying condition besides FIP, all prescription medications can be stopped once treatment with GS begins. However, all cats, FIP or not, can benefit from a high quality probiotic such as Fortiflora. A healthy gut is essential in fighting FIP and can help stave off so many other illnesses too.
For additional information on overall wellness and support, please view the vitamins and supplements page.