Cats are real people, but with four legs and fur—every cat owner knows that. When your feline friend suffers, it touches you as deeply as it would with your own child. Therefore, many pet owners turn to cannabidiol (CBD) for cats to address a number of health issues, such as blog writer Kiki did.
Read on for her story and for more information on CBD oil dosage for cats as well a bit about the science behind it.
Blogger Kiki gave a true, heart-rending account of her short journey with her sick cat, Zaphod, and CBD oil for cats.
Despite taking good care of Zaphod, Kiki found herself having to stuff her feline friend with pharmaceuticals to manage inflammation, organ functioning, and more. However, after a while, this was not enough, and she decided to give CBD oil a try.
Kiki said: "Having talked to other pet owners about this, it seems as if many of us are just looking for another tool to ease pain and suffering in our elderly or terminally ill companions. I know that was the case for me."
Kiki added Zaphod's CBD oil to his wet food according to the package recommendations. However, this proved a bit excessive for the fella. The CBD oil relaxed him too much, causing him to be wobbly on his feet, so Kiki divided the dose over two meals. This hit Zaphod's sweet spot. The CBD oil relaxed his facial expression and allowed his owners to pet and pick him up.
Sadly, the black cat's condition continued to decline rapidly (he was already 14 years old and besieged with ails), so he was put out peacefully to reduce his obvious suffering.
Kiki reported: "On his last day with us, he got a little extra CBD oil in the morning. My husband and I took turns holding our cat and telling him how amazing and wonderful he was, as we shared our favorite memories...While it was so hard to let go, we found peace in the fact that we had tried every avenue to help him be at ease in his final month with us." 
Perhaps if Kiki had discovered CBD oil for cats sooner, Zaphod might not have suffered as he did. The pharmaceutical medicine he was fed, such as prednisone for inflammation, can have serious side effects, especially when taken chronically.
So, what do you need to know if you want to add CBD oil to your cat's health regime? Is it safe, and what dosage should you give?
Truth is, there's very little veterinarian data available on CBD's effect on pets, and even less research on it for cats.
As University of California researchers point out in a recent review of the literature forToxicology Communications Journal:
"...CBD's short-term or long-term effects on companion animals remain largely unknown...the veterinary research community needs to determine the pharmacokinetic parameters for short- and long-term duration and conduct rigorous clinical trials to assess CBD's and other cannabinoids' impact on various diseases."
It is also problematic to use human models of CBD therapy to justify giving it to pets, as their physiology differs from ours. Cats, for instance, have only CB1 receptors in their bodies. To date, no evidence of the other main receptor, CB2, was found.
Receptors are the binding sites for CBD and other cannabis compounds in the bodies of vertebrates. These and other less known receptors form part of the endocannabinoid system, which is only found in humans and animals with a spinal column.
That said—the authors of the review also mention that a staggering 93 percent of pet owners felt that their animals performed equally well or better on CBD compared to standard veterinary medication and treatment.
Marijuana has been shown to have severe effects in cats, and it is inadvisable to give them CBD treats with high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. Unfortunately, there are no toxicity data available for the use of CBD alone. 
Should this stop you from feeding your cat CBD oil?
No, says Dr. Gary Richter, a holistic veterinarian, scientist, author, and owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital and Holistic Veterinary Care in Oakland, California.
In an interview with PetMD, he comments: “I think the bigger issue, from a medical perspective, is making sure that animals are dosed appropriately. This means that the CBD oil is having the [e]ffect you want it to have and that you’re not accidentally overdosing."
He advises that if your cat shows symptoms such as stomach upset and acting woozily upon CBD oil administration, discontinue use. Or, like Kiki, simply halve the dose.
In addition, Dr. Liza Guess, a clinical assistant professor at the Ohio State University Department of Veterinary Medicine in Columbus, Ohio, advises that pet owners research the CBD products they give their animal children.
She comments: “The marketplace is very much a ‘buyer beware’ environment, and people should be sure that the product they’re buying has been laboratory tested for both content, as well as contaminants like bacteria, fungus, and heavy metals.” 
Dr. Andrew Jones from Canada suggests the following guidelines when you consider giving CBD for your pets: for management of pain, epilepsy, or cancer, start with a low dose of 1 mg per 9 kg or 20 lbs. Increase till your pet responds well and shows no signs of side effects. The standard dose, according to Jones, is 2mg / 4.5kg or 10 lbs. 
As Richter points out, the law is still not fully in favor of CBD possession, especially in states where it is still legal for limited use by a limited population.
“In a perfect world, your veterinarian would be able to discuss this treatment as an option for your pet, but depending on where you live, your veterinarian may or may not be legally at liberty to have this conversation with you,” he says.
He still advises pet owners to only consider cannabis or CBD oil for cats after discussion with a vet. This is crucial if your cat is taking a pharmaceutical, as CBD is known to interact with other drugs. 
Fortunately, medical cannabis and CBD oil legality in the U.S. is looking up. Hopefully, CBD oil for cats will soon be an option for all American cat lovers.
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