How Long Does CBD Take to Work on Cats? (2023)

Cats and dogs have been domesticated for over 10,000 years. But despite this lengthy time as companions, cats, unlike dogs, have not entirely transferred their total allegiance to people. Consequently, the house cat can revert to self-dependence much faster than most dogs.

Regardless, cats still pretty much rely on humans for survival. This is necessary because, like humans, cats are also affected by many ailments that can affect people. Typical cat diseases include rabies, salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis, roundworms, cryptosporidiosis, and giardiasis.

However, with the emergence of natural supplements like cannabidiol (CBD), pet owners have a wide array of treatment options besides conventional prescription medications.

The effects of CBD kick in within 15-45 minutes in cats and can last for 4-6 hours, depending on the cat's characteristics.

But before you give your cat CBD, it is crucial to have basic information regarding how CBD works for cats. It’s also a good idea to consult a veterinarian before treating your pet in any way.

Key takeaways

  • Cats can take pure CBD oil due to its low toxicity level.
  • CBD's effects kick in within 15-45 minutes in cats
  • The amount of CBD to give your cat depends on its size, the severity of its condition, and the strength of the CBD oil.
  • The rule of thumb as far as CBD dosage for cats goes is 1-5 mg per 10 pounds of body weight.

    Can cats have CBD oil?

    CBD oil is made by diluting CBD extract in an oil carrier element. These are nut- or plant-based oils that help the body absorb CBD. There are many types of carrier oils, and some CBD products use a blend of multiple oils.

    The most familiar carrier oils used to make CBD oil are coconut, avocado, olive, hemp seed, and MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oils. MCTs are the most preferred CBD carrier oil due to their health benefits and easy digestibility.

    At the very minimum, CBD oil has two primary ingredients: CBD and carrier oil. However, many CBD products contain other ingredients depending on the CBD source, extraction method, and purification. These include phytonutrients, other cannabinoids (e.g., tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC), terpenes, and flavonoids.

    As to whether cats can use CBD oil, the answer is yes. CBD appears to be safe for pets though large doses have been associated with unwanted side effects. It remains unclear if the side effects are due to CBD or the trace amounts of THC that may be contained in CBD products.

    This is why it’s important to make sure that the CBD has been approved to use on pets and that it doesn't contain any additives that could be harmful to your pet. If you’re not 100% sure of the ingredients, don’t give it to your pet.

    (Video) Does CBD Work On Cats?

    Pet owners mainly use CBD oil for their pets to relieve ailments and improve their quality of life. The most vital consideration when giving a cat CBD is administering the correct dosage. The correct dosage helps alleviate symptoms associated with your cat's ailments, and in due time, you'll have a healthier, more active, and playful feline.

    How does CBD oil for cats work?

    Mounting anecdotal evidence suggests CBD oil may help cats with a variety of conditions. Though you should always ask your vet before attempting to treat your pet on your own.

    Indeed, a 2021 survey by Leafreport, an online reviewer of CBD products, showed that nearly 50% of the respondents (N = 1448) used CBD for their pets. Most of the survey participants did so on the recommendation of their veterinarian.

    So, how does CBD work in cats? All mammals have a neuromodulatory system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is made up of endocannabinoid receptors (mostly CB1 and CB2), endocannabinoids, and enzymes.

    The ECS regulates many body functions and processes, including, but not limited to, sleep, motor control, mood, digestion, stress management, skin function, and mood. It is a relatively new discovery, so researchers are not fully knowledgeable about its full scope of functions.

    Nonetheless, one of the ECS's most important functions is homeostasis, i.e., maintaining a stable internal environment to enhance the survival of an organism. This essentially means when a change in the external environment causes internal instability, the ECS triggers a raft of corrective measures to rectify the situation.

    The basic action mechanism of CBD on the ECS is similar across humans and pets. The body produces its version of cannabinoids called endocannabinoids ("endo" means internal) which attach to cannabinoid receptors spread throughout the body.

    The binding of endocannabinoids to receptors triggers wide-ranging physiological processes that are typically beneficial to you and your pet. For instance, in humans, THC binds to the CB1 receptor to induce psychoactivity, i.e., an altered state of mind that may result in euphoria, relaxation, pain relief, or paranoia (depending on the amount inhaled or ingested).

    Cats and dogs don't process THC the same way we do. In fact, THC is highly toxic to dogs because they have more receptors than humans, which essentially implies that the same dose of THC can have far-reaching effects on dogs than on humans.

    There is reason to believe THC can have more or less similar side effects on cats which is why we insist that all CBD pet products must be THC-free!

    (Video) CBD for Cats: What You Need to Know

    By all means, only give your pets CBD products designed for pets.

    Benefits of CBD oil for cats

    Now that we have established that CBD oil can work in cats, here are some health conditions and ailments that you can use CBD for:


    According to the Leafreport survey, managing stress and anxiety was why 44% of the respondents gave their pets CBD. So, it does appear this cannabis compound works! Well, human studies strongly support the use of CBD forhelping reduce anxiety symptoms.

    CBD doses ranging from 300 to 600mg have been shown to reduce anxiety in experimental models and patients with social anxiety disorder. Naturally, the doses for pets must be lower because pets like dogs have more CB receptors and need less CBD for the same effect.


    Cats are experts at hiding pain, probably as an evolutionary mechanism to avoid appearing vulnerable to predators. So, it is not easy to detect when your cat is in pain.

    Still, signs such as lethargy, reduced appetite, decreased interest in playing and social interaction, reduced movement, etc., can signify pain in cats. Health conditions such as arthritis, bone disease, cancer, and urinary tract infections can cause occasional pain in cats.

    Fortunately, one of CBD's novel qualities is pain relief. Research suggests CBD shows promising potential in treating chronic pain and could be used as adjunctive therapy in managing pain-intensive conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.


    Inflammation and pain often go hand in hand, and one of the most common causes of inflammation in cats is arthritis. Inflammation can also be caused by bacterial, parasitic infection, or intolerance to certain proteins in the cat's diet. This results in gut inflammation or feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

    Generally, inflammation is the body's natural way of dealing with foreign organisms and irritants. This is the typical consequence of white blood cells releasing chemicals that increase blood flow to an affected area and the subsequent leakage of fluid into surrounding tissues.

    CBD demonstrates potent antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties by modulating the transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and CB receptors. It can also induce anti-inflammatory effects by directly or indirectly activating the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), thereby reducing oxidative conditions.

    (Video) Cbd Oil For Cats - Cbd Oil For Cats Pets At Home

    Besides inflammation, these properties have elevated CBD's profile as a potential treatment for diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.


    Cat arthritis is a common condition that affects joints, making them painful and with reduced range of motion. It is easy to detect when a cat is developing arthritis as the common symptoms to look for include:

    • Stiff gait
    • Lameness in the legs
    • Swollen joints
    • Reluctance to use the stairs or jump
    • reduced mobility

    Cat arthritis is incurable, but NSAIDs can help relieve the pain. Also, some studies suggest CBD could positively impact arthritis pain. For example, a 2017 study showed CBD might be useful in treating joint pain due to osteoarthritis. An earlier study found that CBD topicals could relieve arthritis-based pain and inflammation.

    Be that as it may, further research is still needed to conclusively determine whether CBD can be an effective treatment for arthritis.

    Inflammatory bowel disease

    The prognosis for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in cats is not that bad, although currently, there is no cure for it. The symptoms can be managed, allowing cats to live relatively pain-free and comfortably.

    The causes of IBD in cats range from dietary intolerance, food allergies, chronic infections, parasites, and autoimmune disorders. Stress can also cause IBD and often results in diarrhea. The symptoms to look out for include weight loss, diarrhea, fatigue, gas, and chronic intermittent vomiting.

    The use of CBD for IBD is majorly for symptomatic relief.Indeed, patients with IBD report significant therapeutic effects when using cannabis products to manage abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea.

    CBD's ability to inhibit an enzyme called COX2 is also believed to contribute to its anti-inflammatory property. A 2011 study showed that CBD might reduce intestinal inflammation by controlling reactive gliosis in the central nervous system (CNS). This action reduces intestinal damage, positioning CBD as a new therapeutic option for treating IBD.

    Urinary tract

    If you thought urinary tract infections (UTIs) only affected humans, think again. It turns out cats can also develop UTIs. Unlike in humans, UTIs in cats often indicate an underlying endocrine problem, e.g., diabetes mellitus or hyperthyroidism.

    The most common symptoms of cat UTI are reduced urine amounts, struggling to urinate, urine tinged with blood, discomfort, and pain when urinating, and frequent urination about the house. These symptoms could also point to a feline lower urinary tract disease, so an accurate diagnosis is imperative.

    (Video) CBD for Cats Benefits

    Other causes of lower urinary tract disease in cats include:

    • Congenital abnormalities
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Incontinence
    • Bladder infection
    • Urethral plug
    • Environmental stressors
    • Injury/tumor in the urinary tract.

    Male cats are prone to developing UTIs, as are overweight felines with minimal to zero access to the outdoors, who do not get enough exercise or eat lots of dry food.

    CBD has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that may help cats with UTIs by alleviating pain and inflammation. CBD also has anti-bacterial properties that may help combat bacteria in the urinary tract.

    In humans, CBD stimulates the release of anandamide, thus reducing pain sensitivity. All these qualities combined make CBD a worthy consideration for treating pet UTIs.

    How much CBD should I give my cat?

    The amount of CBD you can give your cat depends on several factors, including:

    • Cat size
    • The severity of the condition
    • Strength of the CBD oil

    CBD dosage for cats

    The rule of thumb appears to give 1-5mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. CBD dosage for cats is relatively higher than for dogs because cats have fewer CB receptors, in case you are wondering why the dosing for cats is higher than for dogs. Always consult a vet for accurate dosage.

    CBD products for cats

    If your veterinarian recommends CBD for your cat, our Premium CBD Pet Drops are a sure bet. We don't discriminate between pets and people, which is why this CBD oil is human-grade. We believe your pet should get as good a treatment as you.

    This CBD Pet Drops product is made with premium broad spectrum hemp CBD to ensure it is THC-free and utterly safe for your pet. It comes in three foody flavors and two strength levels for ease of use and dosing convenience.

    Watchthis vidoeto learn more about the benefits of CBD for your cat:

    (Video) CBD for Cats: Top 7 Benefits


    How does CBD oil make a cat feel? ›

    CBD oil for cats can be used situationally for temporary relief or on a longer-term basis for cats with chronic anxiety. If your cat is in pain, the CBD oil can do double-duty, helping them feel more comfortable which can also keep them calmer.

    How long does it take for CBD oil to work on pets? ›

    CBD takes 30-45 minutes to start working. As a rule, oils tend to kick in a little faster than biscuits or treat just because there are fewer ingredients for furry bellies to break down first.

    What effect does CBD have on cats? ›

    CBD oil provides health benefits for all types of cats, whether your feline friend has a decreased appetite or severe anxiety from check-ups at the vet. Aside from relieving symptoms of joint inflammation, CBD oil is known to: Treat chronic pain and infections. Ease anxiety and depression.

    Does CBD relieve pain in cats? ›

    CBD oil for cats helps kitties that have developed arthritis by decreasing pain sensations, restoring their energy, and helping to improve mobility. Cats that refuse to eat can get into big trouble rather quickly. CBD oil for cats is great for helping to restore their appetite, so he can keep his good health.

    Will CBD put my cat to sleep? ›

    Will CBD oil help my cat sleep? Whether their restlessness is due to illness, pain, or anxiety, CBD oil may help improve sleep. That's because it regulates serotonin, relaxes the body, and encourages overall immune health, which is sure to help your kitty sleep through the night.

    Can you give a cat too much CBD? ›

    The pet ingested enough of a CBD product to cause THC toxicity. Hemp can legally contain up to 0.3% THC, so if a pet ingests a large amount of a hemp-based CBD product, mild THC toxicity can occur.

    Does CBD calm pets down? ›

    Drowsiness: Dog owners have used CBD to treat anxiety. The calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.

    How long does CBD last in animals? ›

    The half-life of CBD in most pets is about four-six hours, which means while CBD can be present in a pet's system for twenty-four hours, but it may need to be present at a certain level to achieve desired benefits.

    Does CBD oil calm pets? ›

    CBD oil can help reduce anxiety in dogs - especially separation anxiety or a noise phobia (think thunderstorms or fireworks). It can also help reduce pain and inflammation - giving a dog suffering from arthritis a better quality of life.

    Can I give my cat CBD every day? ›

    CBD Oil is Completely Safe for Cats

    Bear in mind that cats are unique animals. In other words, their reaction to CBD might differ. Many vets have agreed that CBD does not harm cats and might not trigger any side effects. But before giving your cat CBD, make sure to consult with your vet.

    Is CBD good for cats anxiety? ›

    Yes, CBD oil has been shown to be extremely effective in reducing anxiety in not just cats but many pet types. The reason for this is that the products are made from organic hemp oil which contains terpenes and other natural compounds that have calming effects when they interact with the endocannabinoid system.

    What happens if a cat eats too much CBD? ›

    Hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) are becoming more common in calming aids, treats and chews. Overdoses of these types of products may cause gastrointestinal upset, incoordination in walking, depression, sedation, lethargy and sometimes urinary incontinence. If these signs are seen, they may last from 24 to 72 hours.

    How often should I give my cat CBD for pain? ›

    How often should you give your dog or cat CBD? To control pain, give your dog or cat CBD every 8 hours or as needed. For other uses, give once or twice a day.

    How much CBD should I give a cat? ›

    The basic dose for cats is between 1 mg to 5 mg for every 10 pounds of weight. With that said, always consult with your vet or with the manufacturer of the CBD product for the best advice. You'll also need to check and see any interactions with other pet meds that your cat may be on.

    Does pet CBD help with separation anxiety? ›

    cbd oil's calming properties may be helpful for dogs with separation anxiety and its displayed symptoms. for maximum benefit, be sure to give your dog a proper dose of cbd early enough for it to take full effect since dogs can usually pick up on the fact that you are leaving well ahead of time.

    Can CBD help with barking? ›

    CBD Oil works by reducing a dog's stress and anxiety. This helps to remove the factor that is causing your dog to bark, so they can remain calm throughout the day.

    Do pet stores sell CBD oil? ›

    PetSmart and PetCo now sell CBD oil for dogs and cats.

    How long do CBD cat treats last? ›

    Cats should have 1-2 CBD cat treats per day and CBD treats last for cats between 2-4 weeks, depending on the dosage.

    Can animals overdose on CBD? ›

    CBD has no known toxicity level and, if used as directed, is unlikely to cause an overdose. Can my cat use these products? These products are available for both dogs and cats.

    What do CBD look for in pets? ›

    If the company doesn't know much about CBD, steer clear. No Additives: Avoid artificial ingredients or additives in CBD products. Whether the company has added Xylitol for flavor or has added artificial preservatives, the fewer additives and the more natural the ingredients, the better.

    Is hemp oil the same as CBD? ›

    Even though hemp oil and CBD are often referred to as the same thing, hemp oil is very different to CBD oil. For example, hemp oil contains very few cannabinoids compared to CBD. Hemp seed oil is created from the seeds of the Cannabis plant also known as a hemp plant.

    Do vets recommend CBD oil for cats? ›

    “While we don't recommend CBD oil for our patients, holistic veterinarians are using it to treat a variety of ailments, including inflammation, anxiety and pain.” Inman is careful to specify that CBD oil is often used to subjectively increase comfort and improve quality of life in pets, not necessarily cure ailments.

    How do you know if the CBD oil is working in dogs? ›

    If your dog is given a proper dose of CBD oil, you should notice a more calm, relaxed demeanor within 30 minutes or an hour. The benefits of CBD will also be more noticeable after you've been giving your dog the same dose for a few days or weeks.

    How does CBD oil make a dog feel? ›

    How Do Dogs Benefit from CBD? CBD has many health benefits for both humans and dogs. Although there's little research on CBD for dogs, there's evidence that they can benefit from the plant in various ways, including anti-nausea, anti-anxiety, shiny coat, improved appetite, joint health, and arthritis.

    How do I know if CBD works for my dog? ›

    Look for increased movement, a positive change in barking habits, or acute symptom reductions, as signs that your dog may be beginning to respond to the benefits of CBD oil. Trust your instincts—you know your pup better than anyone else does!

    How much CBD does it take to relax a dog? ›

    Aim for about 0.1 to 0.2 mg per kilogram of your dog's weight, given twice daily by mouth. Work up gradually, but beware that more is not always better with CBD, as sometimes the response is biphasic, meaning that it doesn't work if you give too little or too much.

    Can you overdose dogs on CBD oil? ›

    A dog can't lethally overdose on it. However, CBD can be overdosed and cause a few mild side effects, such as dry mouth, lethargy, appetite fluctuation, and diarrhea. If you notice any signs of CBD in your dog, calm down and be patient. The side effects should disappear within a few hours.

    What age can you give a puppy CBD? ›

    While it's not advised to administer CBD to a puppy who was just born yesterday, you can certainly administer CBD when they're at least 4 months old. Again, it's extremely important to consult with your veterinarian and let them know that you'll be adding CBD to your dog's daily regimen.

    What's the difference between CBD oil for humans and CBD oil for dogs? ›

    The biggest differences between CBD for pets and humans is the CBD oil milligram content and any added pet-friendly flavor that will make CBD pet oil even more enticing. When it comes to giving your pets CBD oil, giving them what was designed specifically for them is typically recommended.

    Can I give my dog human grade CBD? ›

    The short answer is yes, but savvy pet parents will seek out a pet-specific CBD for cats or CBD for dogs. While human CBD oil is typically safe for our pets, it's possible that CBD for humans can contain ingredients that are dangerous to pets and possibly a higher THC level that could pose a danger.

    How much CBD do cats need? ›

    The basic dosing rule for cats and dogs: 1–5 mg CBD for every 10 pounds of body weight. Because potencies vary by CBD product, it's important to read the label to determine the amount of CBD to offer, not focus on the volume of the product it's in.

    How do you give a cat CBD? ›

    There are two most effective ways to administer CBD to your cats: Directly on their gums or rubbed into their ears. These two areas are where the CBD is most easily absorbed into the blood stream.


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