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How Long Will It Take CBD to Work in a Cat? Important Facts to Know

Lindsey Lawson

By Lindsey Lawson

Human giving CBD Oil to cat
Image Credit: Lightcube, Shutterstock

With the ever-growing popularity surrounding the health benefits of cannabinoids, it comes as no surprise that cat owners are seeking out CBD as a natural remedy to help reduce their cat’s anxiety, relieve pain, and promote good health overall. As a general answer, after ingestion, it can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes for CBD to go into full effect. In this article, we will talk a bit more about using CBD for cats and go over what you can expect from this product.

hepper cat paw divider

Using CBD for Cats

All animals, humans included, have an endocannabinoid system which is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids that helps regulate and balance many key bodily functions. Since cannabinoids regulate how cells send, receive, or process messages, the body is responsive when introduced to outside forms of cannabinoids like CBD.

Research into the effects of CBD is still ongoing but this natural oil shows promise in many areas for humans and animals alike. While it first became popular for chronic pain relief, CBD has shown promise for cats in the following areas:

  • Anxiety
  • Pain
  • Inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Seizures/ Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Conditions
cat taking CBD oil
Image Credit: Erin Stone, Pixabay

Administering CBD to Cats

When it comes to administering CBD, it’s fairly simple. Most cat owners choose to mix it right into their food. If you have a picky eater, you may have to get creative to ensure they ingest the full dose. The dose will depend on your veterinarian’s recommendation and the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

After ingestion, it can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes for CBD to go into full effect. The effects tend to last anywhere between 4 and 6 hours but each cat is different, and this can be dependent on a variety of factors like activity levels, breed, and genetics.

Is CBD Safe for Cats?

While research is limited regarding the use of CBD for cats, there has been a recent study¹ that suggests CBD is generally safe in both healthy dogs and cats. Dogs were shown to absorb CBD much better than cats, resulting in a need for a higher dosage in cats to get the desired effects.

Reports from both veterinarians and owners also suggest that CBD is safe, though there were some reports of side effects such as upset stomach and increased tiredness when given higher doses. These effects were resolved when the dosage was lowered, or use was halted altogether.

Since there is a lack of sufficient evidence and regulatory oversight over the products on the market, it is best to use caution when shopping for and offering CBD to pets. The big concerns are regarding potentially low-quality products that could potentially contain harmful contaminants or ingredients that could cause adverse health effects.

One study conducted on commercially available CBD products showed that many contain very little CBD if any at all, while some contained more than what the label described. Since cats are particularly sensitive to toxins and certain medications, you need to ensure you are getting pure CBD from a reputable source.

woman giving CBD oil to her cat
Image Credit: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay

How to Find Safe CBD for Cats

It’s important for cat parents wanting to give CBD a try to do so in the safest way possible. This means avoiding those low-quality products that don’t live up to their promise and potentially contain unwanted ingredients.

Here are essential tips on finding safe CBD for your cat:
  • Look for products that contain the Certified Seal of the S. Hemp Authority¹ or the National Supplements Council¹ Quality Seal. This ensures the product you are using has passed third-party testing and is up to par with industry standards.
  • Do not use CBD products that contain other carrier oils like coconut oil, hemp oil, MCT oil, olive oil, or any others. Cats are obligate carnivores with very sensitive digestive systems. They cannot properly digest these other oils; thus they need to be avoided. Any CBD products you are purchasing for your cat should be designed specifically for cats or contain CBD oil only.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about CBD and see if they have any specific products they recommend. CBD is considered a holistic treatment so if you would like to get more information from a holistic veterinarian, you can visit the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association’s¹ website and use their  “Find a Vet”¹ tab to locate someone near you that could answer any questions you may have.

hepper cat paw divider


CBD takes anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes to start working in a cat after it has been ingested. CBD has many promising health benefits that have left many pet owners opting to try out this natural and effective approach. Research is currently limited, and you do not just want to trust CBD manufacturers blindly, make sure you utilize the information above to ensure you are getting a quality product that is meant for cats.

Featured Image Credit: Erin Stone, Pixabay

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