CBD Oil for Cats: All You Need to Know


Chances are that you have heard of the many benefits associated with CBD oil for humans: 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 for cats has similar positive effects on your furry companion4.
Considering the fact that all the stigma that was 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?

Since humans share the endocannabinoid system with cats, it means when it comes to CBD and cats, your pet will receive the same benefits and healing properties as you. 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 is 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 are able to get rid of 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.

This anti-inflammatory function of the CBD oil means that it can successfully be used to treat a broad range of conditions that deal with pain including:
• Asthma
• Nerve-related pain
• Pancreatitis
• Arthritis
• Intestinal inflammation
• Neuropathy pain

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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 pet 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 its 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.

For instance, if your cat does not like traveling in the car with you, the CBD 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.

How is CBD for Cats Different Than CBD for Humans?

You might think that CBD oil for humas is just re-packaged and re-branded to suit the needs of your pet, 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 reseach dedicated to this topic, many manufacturers, including Nordic Oil, 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 than for similar products intended for pets.

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

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

As a pet owner, you should understand the risks and side effects that may come with giving your pets 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 pets took CBD for cats.

Gastrointestinal upset is another likely side effect of taking these products. Normally, pet owners notice this after introducing the tincture abruptly to their pet’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 pet suffering from a lack of energy, vomiting, and appetite loss due to kidney disease? CBD oil  can 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 reversethe illness, but it can help manage the symptoms.

CBD Oil for Cats with Cancer

If your pet 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 pet 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.

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. It is recommended that you ease the oil into its diet. This helps ensure that the pet 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.


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 pet owners have been reluctant to try CBD for their pets 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.


  1. El-Alfy, A., Ivey, K., Robinson, K., Ahmed, S., Radwan, M., Slade, D., Khan, I., ElSohly, M. and Ross, S. (2010). Antidepressant-like effect of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and other cannabinoids isolated from Cannabis sativa L. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, 95(4), pp.434-442. [↩]
  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. [↩]
  3. Massi, Paola, et al. „Cannabidiol as potential anticancer drug.“ British journal of clinical pharmacology 75.2 (2013): 303-312. [↩]
  4. Alexandra Greb & Birgit Puschner (2018) Cannabinoid treats as adjunctive therapy for pets: gaps in our knowledge, Toxicology Communications, 2:1, 10-14 [↩]
  5. Kogan, N. and Mechoulam, R. (2019). Cannabinoids in health and disease. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 9(4), pp.413–430. [↩]
  6. petMD (2019). Depression in Cats, Symptoms and Treatment | Mood Disorders in Cats | petMD. [online] Petmd.com. Available at: https://www.petmd.com/cat/behavior/can-cats-get-depressed [↩]
  7. Maroon, J. and Bost, J. (2018). Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids. Surgical Neurology International, 9(1), p.91. [↩]
  8. K. Bischoff and F. Guale. (1998).Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil poisoning in three purebred cats.Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation.10:208–210 [↩]
  9. Fine, P. and Rosenfeld, M. (2013). The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain. Rambam 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 Management. Canadian Journal of Kidney Health and Disease, 6, p.205435811982839. [↩]
  14. Massi, Paola, et al. „Antitumor effects of cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, on human glioma cell lines.“ Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 308.3 (2004): 838-845 [↩]
  15. Shrivastava, Ashutosh, et al. „Cannabidiol induces programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy.“ Molecular cancer therapeutics 10.7 (2011): 1161-1172 [↩]
  16. Petrosino, Stefania, et al. „Anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol, a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, in experimental allergic contact dermatitis.“ Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics 365.3 (2018): 652-663. [↩]
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