Interest in cannabidiol (CBD) products has soared over the past decade, with people looking for the lowdown on the “cannabis that doesn’t get you high.” However, humans are not the only creatures that benefit from CBD. Cats are also able to benefit from the substance, by virtue of having an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Unlike cannabis, CBD is perfectly safe for cats when used appropriately, as it doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. Wholesale CBD products are already being made with pets in mind. These can be used to manage chronic pain, inflammation and also to treat agitation and anxiety in pets.
Anxiety in cats
As in humans, anxiety is something that cats suffer from when they become stressed out by a situation. Cats become on edge when they sense danger, and they move into ‘fight-or-flight’ mode, psychologically preparing themselves to take major action to avoid harm. This response can be absolutely critical to survival when it’s necessary, but anxious cats move in to a ‘fight-or-flight’ mindset far too often, and when they don’t need to. This effect can be devastating and stressful for a cat, severely affecting their mood and quality of life.
Anxiety can be a triggered by many different things, but the most common anxiety-triggers are a change of environment and being left alone. For instance, a cat moving into a new home will be placed into unfamiliar surroundings, and likely experience some initial nervousness. If they are left alone in this new environment, that can make their anxiety even worse.
Is my cat suffering from anxiety?
Determining whether your cat has anxiety can be a tricky task, as they are unable to make it immediately obvious. The onus is therefore on you, the owner, to detect any subtle and unusual changes in your cat’s behaviour.
Frustratingly, not all cats exhibit the same symptoms. For example, being unusually shy and constantly finding places to hide away could be a sign of anxiety, but so could excessive meowing. Some cats can act more aggressively than normal when they are feeling anxious, or become tired and fatigued. Cats suffering from anxiety may also lose some of their trademark independence.
In a nutshell, if your cat is behaving oddly but is not showing any signs of physical illness, they may be troubled by anxiety.
What causes anxiety, and why may CBD help?
Anxiety remains a mysterious psychological condition, both in cats and humans. While we know that it is linked to excess excitation in the brain, the exact cause is unclear. However, boosting active levels of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter which has a calming effect on the brain, can help, as can interacting with the 5-HT1A receptor in the serotonin system (once activated, this receptor can aide in reducing anxiety). Antidepressants are prescribed to humans to treat anxiety, but are somewhat unpopular because they are very slow to take effect.
In contrast, CBD can trigger an anxiety-reducing effect at the 5-HT1A receptor (which is a type of serotonin (which is known as “the happy chemical”) receptor in the nervous system whose activation is linked to reducing depression and anxiety), and works to increase the prominence of GABA which is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system by acting as a positive allosteric modulator at GABA-A receptors to increase serotonin levels which in turn reduces anxiety. Basically high GABA levels leads to less anxiety and CBD helps to make these receptors more inclined to bind with GABA neurotransmitters, helping to strike a chemical balance in the brain between excitation (caused by glutamate) and inhibition (caused by GABA).
GABA is also a crucial neurotransmitter for cats, and felines have endocannabinoid and serotonin systems as well. Therefore, while there is an absence of research on CBD for cats with anxiety, joining the dots at least gives us an indication of why it may be beneficial.
What CBD products can I give to my cat?
Before getting into specific products, it’s important to note that CBD intended for humans should not be given to cats under any circumstances. The doses are typically higher than is suitable for cats, and products made with full-spectrum CBD may contain traces of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which could be harmful. CBD pet products are also made with special formulas to ensure they are safe for your four-legged friend.
Some cat owners like to use CBD oil drops, although as these have to be administered directly, they are not recommended if you have difficulties keeping your cat still. CBD oil sprays, which can be applied to food, or flavoured CBD edible treats may be a better option. Products usually offer dosage guidelines based on the size of your cat. Whichever CBD wholesale product you go for, just make sure it’s safe for your cat and you don’t give them too much.
Find some great CBD products for cats at cbdvapejuice.net.
For more information check out this article on other ways CBD can help your cat.