cbd for cats
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Last updated on 25 May 2022

Chances are that you have heard of the conclusions, formed by studies on CBD, stating that it helps to alleviate symptoms associated with anxiety and depression1, reduce pain2 and that it could potentially assist with cancer treatments3. What you may not know is that CBD oil may have similar positive effects on your cat4.

As the stigma previously associated with the use of hemp products is now becoming a thing of the past, you may have started looking into CBD and cats. Many pet owners have started looking into how CBD oil can improve their pets’ health and happiness. This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about CBD oil for cats.

Why Can CBD Oil Be Beneficial for Cats?

Just like humans, cats also have an endocannabinoid system. This means that the compound will be generally well tolerated by your pet. CBD can help in treating chronic conditions that affect comfort and mood levels. Cat owners can also use it as a preventative measure. This means that you can consider using CBD to keep certain conditions at bay. CBD for cats can be beneficial in the following ways:

It Relieves Pain and Reduces Swelling

Swelling and pain are regulated by the vanilloid receptor. The receptor in both humans and cats is located inside the brain. CBD oils can alleviate pain and reduce inflammation5 as their main target is this receptor. When ingested, they ensure that it does not get activated.

When incapacitated, the receptor no longer gets to send signals associated with pain or swelling to other parts of the body. With time, the pain points will start to go away all on their own.

CBD Helps to Fight Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are two conditions caused by an imbalance of hormones in the brain. While many people generally assume that these conditions only get to affect human beings, the reality is that cats are also susceptible to developing symptoms associated with the two conditions6

The ECS system is tasked with regulating appetite, sleep, and mood levels. For this reason, using CBD for cats reduces the effects of the symptoms related to the two disorders. In turn, this assists in rebalancing the cat helping its hormones to return back to its normal levels.

CBD has also been seen to assist in stimulating serotonin and adenosine receptors7 in the cat’s brain. This stimulation will in long-term impact your cat’s happiness levels. It is also important to point out that CBD oil is not only great for anxiety and depression but it is also recommended for other fear and mood issues that your pet may have.

Related Article: CBD for pets

For instance, if your cat does not like traveling in the car with you, the CBD oil for cats can help to ease its fears. It can also be provided to cats that are generally fearful of interacting with other people. Many cats with this problem have a fear of separation anxiety, loud noises, and unfamiliar people.

Can you give cats CBD oil for anxiety?

The non-psychotropic properties of CBD make it suitable and safe for pets. This means that it does not get them high. Cats can get anxious due to several biological or emotional reasons. They are sensitive beings and anxiety can be a common problem to deal with for most cat owners. 

Cats also have the same endocannabinoid system just like we do, therefore CBD oil benefits them by regulating their mood, pain, inflammation, anxiety, sleep cycle and overall immunity. 

A 2016 study reports on the prospective veterinary use of cannabinoids, that the cannabinoids in the CBD possess a myriad of beneficial pharmacological effects. This has been proven with various tests both in the laboratory as well as with companion pets.

How is CBD for Cats Different Than CBD for Humans?

You might think that CBD oil for humans is just re-packaged and re-branded to suit the needs of your cat, instead of yours. While some companies might do that, this should be considered unethical.

There are 2 vital differences between CBD oil for humans and CBD oil for pets:

  1. The lack of terpenes in pet oils
  2. The flavoring

According to a study in 1998 by Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, terpenes of some oils can be toxic and even fatal to cats8. While there has not been much more research dedicated to this topic, many manufacturers, have decided to stay on the safe side and completely remove terpenes from their animal products.

Nonetheless, it is important to note that the Food and Drug Administration has imposed strict standards that insist on different labeling for human dietary supplements, food, or drugs then for similar products intended for pets.

CBD oil for cats is usually flavored. This makes them smell more appealing, making your cat more likely to ingest it voluntarily. The flavoring does not change the effect of CBD.

Can I give my cat the same CBD oil which I use?

The short answer, as to whether or not you can give your cat the same CBD oil like you use, is as long as the CBD oil that you give your cat is THC free, 100% hemp oil with no terpenes then it is good to go. 

Ideally there is no difference in the CBD oil base made for humans and cats. There are countless brands distributing CBD products. Quality human grade CBD oil, manufactured using standard Co2 extraction will be good enough for your cat as well. A standard quality CBD oil will be free from any contaminants ensuring 100% safety for consumption.

Once the base CBD oil is prepared, terpenes, flavors and other complementary compounds are added to cater to different tastes of humans. But your cat might not be appreciative of the flavor that you like. Also, keep in mind the dosage would vary according to the size of your Cat.

According to the Food and Drug Administration Act, labelling of products appropriately for humans and pets is mandatory. The label has to include the total net quantity, amount of CBD per serving, THC content, ingredients list, manufacturing and expiry date. Ensure that it does not contain any other additive apart from the carrier oil and terpenes. 

Apart from this, it is a good practice, to separately store products that you use and the ones for your pets even though they may be the same.

Are There Any Side Effects or Risks of CBD Oil for Cats?

Is CBD oil safe for cats?

As a cat owner, you should understand the risks and side effects that may come with giving your cat CBD. Many cat owners who have used it have not reported any serious side effects. But there are those who have noted overly sedate behavior after their cats were given CBD.

Gastrointestinal upset is another likely side effect of taking these products. Normally, cat owners notice this after introducing the tincture abruptly to their cat’s diet. When introducing CBD products, always start by administering the lowest dosage possible.

Related article: Side-effects of CBD oil

 CBD Oil for Cats’ Aggression

Aggression in cats is  harmful or threatening behavior that is directed toward other animals, another cat, or toward another person. Before you start using CBD oil for cats’ aggression you should note that there are different aggression levels. But in many cases, the aggression comprises of emotional behavior, actions, and body language and can be cause by hyperthyroidism, epilepsy, arthritis or other existing medical conditions, causing your cat discomfort.

CBD oil for cats has shown to have positive effect in reducing pain910 and irritability, caused by numerous conditions. Due to its calming11 and anti-inflammatory properties12, CBD oil can significantly reduce your cat’s aggression.

CBD Oil for Cats with Kidney Disease

Is your cat suffering from a lack of energy, vomiting, and appetite loss due to kidney disease? CBD oil  may help ease these symptoms. Research has found that CBD can be effective in treating kidney disease by reducing chronic neuropathic pain13 Normally, it is possible for the vet to reverse acute kidney disease in felines provided that it is caught early. The treatment to apply will vary depending on the severity of the problem. Unfortunately, CBD oil cannot reverse the illness, but it can help manage the symptoms.

CBD Oil for Cats with Cancer

If your cat has recently been diagnosed with cancer, you may be wondering whether CBD oil for cats with cancer can help. The answer is yes! Some studies have shown that CBD plays an important role in fighting the growth and spread of tumors cells14. It can also assist in destroying the cancer cells15. You, however, need to consult with a doctor before you start giving your cat CBD.

CBD Oil for Cats with Skin Conditions

Cats tend to have the same skin conditions as dogs due to exposure to the same causative factors. Popular symptoms associated with skin conditions in cats include inflammation and the emergence of scabs and pale spots. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties16, CBD oil can help ease a variety of skin conditions.

CBD oil for Feline Lower Urinary Tract disease

According to AVMA Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) affects the bladder and urethra of cats. Frequent urination, pain while urinating,howling while urinating, blood in urine are some of the notable symptoms that indicate FLUTD. 

Also, if you find your cats with unusual habits of urinating outside the litter, excessive licking of genital areas, it’s time to consult your vet. 

The most common causes for urinary tract diseases in cats is similar to human conditions, like infection, bladder stone, inflammation, etc.

CBD oil for cats can provide great relief for pain and inflammatory symptoms due to its anti-inflammatory properties

CBD and inflammation are two words that often go together as CBD has been noted to be an effective treatment for inflammation. According to studies CBD also fights inflammation by exerting an effect that is more immunosuppressive to macrophages and microglial cells which are the cells responsible for the inflammation. CBD also reduces chronic inflammatory pain associated with inflammation by activating glycine receptors.

While CBD oil reduces inflammation and provides relief, it also reduces pain and your cats begin to show improvement.

What can CBD do for cats?

There are two ways to look at this. 

  1. General health supplement
  2. Medical use

You can begin with small doses of CBD oil infused in treats or foods on a regular basis as a general health supplement. This can help your companions to be healthy as CBD oil functions as a regulator in controlling various physical, and psychological problems that any pet could be susceptible to.

The other purpose is for medicinal use. Studies have shown increasing therapeutic use of CBD oil to be safe for veterinary medicine. CBD oil can be beneficial to your cats in treating symptoms like inflammation, FLUTD, anxiety, fear, infection, abdominal heaving, etc. CBD oil helps reduce pain, inflammation, improves their sleep cycles and has a calming effect. 

Besides physical symptoms, there are several other scenarios where you might find your cats overgrooming, or not grooming at all, excessive meowing, sitting still in a hunched position, hiding from people, losing interest in playing, all of which indicate their mood swings. CBD oil’s calming effect can help your cat do get good sleep and relax well. This helps them a great deal to elevate their mood. 

How Much CBD Should I Give to My Cat?

When you are introducing CBD oil for cats to your pet’s diet, you will need to go slowly. Do not rush this process by giving your pet large amounts of CBD oil from the start.

How to give CBD oil to cats?

It is recommended that you ease the oil into its diet. This helps ensure that the cat gets to reap the many benefits associated with using the oil without having to experience a bad reaction. You can find more dosage information here.

Can a cat overdose on CBD oil?

Always remember the popular proverb “Quantity has its quality on its own”!

We have understood that we humans and cats have similar ECS. But when it comes to dosage, it is always good to consult your Veterinarian and get your cat examined for any medical condition, weight, age, size, etc to determine the right dosage. This will also help you and your cat understand the purpose of giving CBD. 

Although overdosage of CBD oil does not put your cat on a high, they might tend to dislike it. In such a case, it could end up in not solving the purpose for which you started administering CBD oil for them. 

Start with small dosage and increase dosage gradually by 1mg of their body weight. If you find your cat is taking time to adjust, like or show improvements. Wait. On the other hand, if you find your cat excited to get her dosage, make sure you don’t just randomly give her more. Remember to observe improvements and make note.


If you have been contemplating using CBD for cats to help improve your cat’s quality of life, then hopefully this article has answered all your questions.

While there has always been lots of stigma regarding the use of these products, much of it has been inaccurate. Some cat owners have been reluctant to try CBD for their cats mainly due to lack of information. Despite the evidence presented by medical research, it is always recommended that you consult your vet, before treating your cat with CBD.


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  2. Costa, B., Trovato, A., Comelli, F., Giagnoni, G. and Colleoni, M. (2007). The non-psychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an orally effective therapeutic agent in rat chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain. European Journal of Pharmacology, 556(1-3), pp.75-83. []
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  9. Fine, P. and Rosenfeld, M. (2013). The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and PainRambam Maimonides Medical Journal, 4(4). []
  10. Costa, Barbara, et al. „The non-psychoactive cannabis constituent cannabidiol is an orally effective therapeutic agent in rat chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain.“ European journal of pharmacology 556.1-3 (2007): 75-83 []
  11. Campos, A., Ferreira, F. and Guimarães, F. (2012). Cannabidiol blocks long-lasting behavioral consequences of predator threat stress: Possible involvement of 5HT1A receptors. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 46(11), pp.1501-1510. []
  12. Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S., Hegde, V. and Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future Medicinal Chemistry, 1(7), pp.1333-1349. []
  13. Ho, C., Martinusen, D. and Lo, C. (2019). A Review of Cannabis in Chronic Kidney Disease Symptom ManagementCanadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease, 6, p.205435811982839. []
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CBD Expert | View posts

With close to two decades of successful stint in the Media industry, I felt I was surely missing a piece in my life puzzle. I took a break and set out to seek the purpose of my life. I travelled, lived out of a suitcase, let things flow into life without resisting, and after five challenging years, I found my rhythm. I love to write about Cannabis and Health and try my best to simplify esoteric concepts into simple ideas for life.

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