CBD Dosing For Anxiety in Cats

As a pet parent, you know that a happy cat makes for a happy home. After all, our feline friends can provide us with tremendous companionship. While cats have a reputation for being aloof, independent, and moody, the truth is, every cat has its own personality.  It’s when your cat’s behavior changes that you need to be most concerned.  So, if you’ve noticed your cat seeming a bit off, he or she could be experiencing feelings of anxiety or discomfort. 

Here at River Organics, we are just as passionate about promoting the health and wellness of our beloved animal friends as we are about the wellness of people and the planet.  In a previous post, we discussed everything you need to know about using CBD oil for your pets to enhance their health and wellness, and here we dived deeper into learning about dosing of CBD oil for pets to determine their ideal dose.  So today, we want to address a major concern for many pet owners - cat anxiety - and explore how CBD could be an effective remedy to help relieve your cat's anxiety.

What are the signs of anxiety in cats?

Like humans, cats can experience many bumps in the road with their mental and physical health. And yes, our feline friends often struggle with the overwhelming sensation of anxiety. Cats’ anxiety can span from mild fears to full-scale phobias, so it is as important to tend to their care as diligently as you would your own. 

Most commonly, cats suffer from separation anxiety. Growing excessively attached to their owners, some cats may feel neglected and lonely if they are left for periods of time, or put under someone else’s care. Their anxiety can also stem from trauma they experienced in the past, or it could be associated with underlying illnesses. As a result, cats can grow restless and exhibit aggressive tendencies.  

It is important to keep an eye out for symptoms of anxiety onset in your cat’s behavior. 

Here are signs to take notice of:

  •     Destructing items by scratching and chewing
  •     Aggression, compulsive behavior, or changes in mood
  •     Hiding, trying to escape, or avoiding the litter box
  •     Lowering or heightening of activity levels 
  •     Excessive meowing or vocalization
  •     Constant grooming
  •     Vomiting, or unusual bathroom accidents
  •     Any sort of trembling or shaking
  •     Changes in appetite and/or weight

Why Do Cats Have Anxiety?

Understanding the background of your cat’s emotions can help you better treat him or her. There are many factors that can contribute to the concerning behavior your cat is exhibiting. 

According to PetMD, there are four primary circumstances that cause cat anxiety:

Pain and Illness

When we’re in pain, we often feel restless, frustrated, and nervous, all emotions we may experience as symptoms of anxiety. When our cat companions are suffering from pain due to illness, infection, aging, etc, they, too, can experience the emotional turmoil that comes with anxiety. And if they struggle with chronic pain, the daily discomfort can significantly alter their behavior. 

Traumatic Experiences

Your cat may have previously had a traumatic experience due to being abandoned or mistreated before they came into your care. Such incidents can leave a toll on your beloved cat, and develop into feelings of unrest or anxiety.

Inappropriate Socialization 

For cats between 7-12 weeks old, an adequate social environment is key to their healthy social and emotional development. If cats are subject to distressing experiences, such as being confined to a room, or being exposed to another animal in the house who is intimidating, anxious behavior can ensue.

Separation from Owner

With such a deep love for their owners, cats can feel overwhelmingly lonely when left without them— triggering distress and anxiety. Cats may also experience separation anxiety if they are abandoned or rehomed.  

Can CBD Help Treat Anxiety in Cats? 

Typically, options for treating anxiety in cats and other pets involve various types of medications. Not only can these medications have unpleasant side effects, they can be tricky to administer, as blood tests are often needed to monitor how the medication is affecting your pet. 

So, you may be wondering if CBD - which offers a host of health and wellness benefits for humans - could be a potential solution for our furry friends too. Well, you may be surprised to know that CBD interacts similarly with pets' endocannabinoid systems as it does to ours!  As such, it could be a beneficial solution to alleviate their stress and anxiety.

How Much CBD Should You Give to Your Cat For Anxiety or Other Ailments?

When deciding the amount of CBD to give to your cat, two main things to consider are his/her weight and anxiety level. You’ll want to take note of the specific behaviors exhibited by your cat to determine the degree of severity:

Mild symptoms: Slightly shifting their body or head away, holding their tail close or slightly flicking it, avoiding eye contact, partially dilated pupils.

Moderate symptoms: Crouching or leaning away, holding their tail tight to their body, ears to the side, more dilation in pupils, looking at stimuli, increased respiratory rate.

Severe symptoms: Escape attempts or freezing in place, holding their ears back, hair standing up, fully dilated pupils, staring, aggression.

The dose should be low, medium, or high according to which level of anxiety you’ve determined your cat has reached. For mild symptoms, you should administer approximately 1mg of CBD per every 10 pounds, up to 3mg of CBD per every 10 pounds for moderate symptoms, and up to 5mg of CBD per every 10 pounds for severe symptoms. 

To make it simple, we’ve created a dosing chart for animals. Since cats are generally no more than 10 pounds, with some larger cats possibly reaching 25 pounds, here are our recommended dosages:

Weight

Recommended Dosage (twice a day)

(lbs)

Low

Medium

High

10

1 mg

2 mg

3 mg

20

2 mg

4 mg

6 mg

30

3 mg

6 mg

9 mg

 

When first using CBD products to help your cat’s anxiety or pain, start with the lowest dose. Again, as all humans respond differently to CBD, cats may react differently, depending on their body composition. Additionally, more CBD does not translate to a greater effect, and giving more than the suggested amount will not likely see better results. As always, it’s best to consult your veterinarian when considering the use of CBD products for your pet. 

If you are considering using CBD to help alleviate tension and anxiety in your cat, try our bacon-flavored 300 mg Organic CBD Pet Tincture. It’s perfect for cats since they are smaller animals.  Each 1ml dropper contains 10 mg of full-spectrum cannabinoids (so about 1/3 of a dropper contains approximately 3mg of CBD).  

Adding CBD to your pet’s care has the potential to boost your cat’s overall health and well-being, the beloved companionship you’ve built, and the happiness of your home. 

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