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How Much CBD Oil Should You Give a Cat? Dosing Chart & Tips

Elizabeth Gray

By Elizabeth Gray

woman giving CBD oil to her cat

Among humans, the use of CBD as an alternative to traditional medications has grown extensively in popularity. Many pet owners have also begun to explore using CBD oil on their cats, but it can be difficult to find trustworthy information regarding the products because many veterinarians are legally forbidden from discussing or recommending them. Also, very few scientific studies have been completed regarding the effectiveness of CBD in pets.

In this article, we’ll cover how much CBD oil you should give a cat, based on the limited scientific knowledge available, including a dosing chart. We’ll also discuss the precautions you should take when using CBD oil with your cat. As always, please don’t start any medication or supplement for your cat without informing your veterinarian.

How Much CBD Oil to Give a Cat

So far, most CBD studies have been performed on dogs, but those that included cats suggest that kitties don’t absorb CBD oil as well as dogs. However, cat dosing is generally based on what has been studied in dogs until additional research is completed.

Medication dosages for pets are typically calculated using kilograms (kgs) as the unit of measurement instead of pounds, and CBD oil is no different.

A good starting dose for CBD oil in cats is 0.2 mg/kg. To calculate this dose, take your cat’s weight in pounds and divide by 2.2. The resulting number is your cat’s weight converted to kgs. Multiply that number by 0.2 to get your cat’s starting dose of CBD oil.

With any medication, you should use the lowest effective dose. You can work up to at least 0.5 mg/kg or higher for cats. In research studies, dogs received doses up to 2.5 mg/kg, which may be necessary for cats in some cases as well.

CBD Dosing Chart For Cats

Here is a chart showing a low (0.2 mg/kg), mid-range (0.5 mg/kg), and high (2 mg/kg) dose of CBD oil for cats, based on standard cat weights.

Weight Low dose (0.2 mg/kg) Mid-range dose (0.5 mg/kg) High dose (2 mg/kg)
6 pounds (2.7 kg) 0.5 mg 1.4 mg 5.4 mg
8 pounds (3.6 kg) 0.7 mg 1.8 mg 7.2 mg
10 pounds (4.5 kg) 0.9 mg 2.3 mg 9 mg
12 pounds (5.4 kg) 1.1 mg 2.7 mg 10.8 mg
15 pounds (6.8 kg) 1.4 mg 3.4 mg 13.6 mg

To figure out the actual amount (usually drops) of CBD oil to give your cat, you’ll need to refer to the label of your product. There, you should find how many milligrams are in a measured amount. Divide your calculated dose by the amount given to find out how many drops your cat needs.

cat given CBD oil drops
Image Credit: Erin Stone, Pixabay

Precautions to Take When Giving Your Cat CBD Oil

To properly administer your cat’s CBD oil, you need to know the concentration. CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, and some are not labeled, nor are there any quality controls in place to ensure the safety and purity of the oils.

Try to find products that are as up-front as possible about their quality control process, but keep in mind CBD is still somewhat of a “buyer beware” marketplace. If you can find a holistic veterinarian that is comfortable discussing CBD with you, that’s probably your best option to find quality oil for your cat.

Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?

Based on the limited information available, CBD oil appears to be safe for cats. Some cats showed signs of disliking the taste of the products by drooling, shaking their heads, or lip-smacking.

The most commonly noted side effects of CBD oil in cats are upset stomach and sleepiness. The side effects generally went away when owners stopped using the product.

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

While CBD may be safe for cats, marijuana and products containing elevated amounts of THC (the substance that gets you high) are not. Marijuana toxicity is quite common among both dogs and cats. By definition, CBD products are not supposed to contain more than trace amounts of THC. However, without adequate quality controls, there’s no way to guarantee this.

Signs of THC or marijuana poisoning in cats include:
  • Wobbly gait
  • Drooling
  • Disorientation, vocalization, or hyperactivity
  • Sleepiness
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Urine leakage
  • Seizures or tremors

If you suspect your cat (or dog) may have ingested marijuana products, take them to the vet for supportive treatment.

What Is CBD Oil Used For?

Again, without accurate scientific data, we don’t know exactly what CBD oil is effective in treating. Cat owners often use it for many of the same issues they do for themselves, such as anxiety and chronic pain. Because the legality of CBD oil is not settled in all parts of the country, veterinarians may not feel comfortable discussing or recommending CBD oil for specific conditions.

Conclusion

If you are interested in using CBD oil for your cat, try to find a holistic veterinarian to assist you. Remember, there is not much evidence to prove how well CBD oil works, and it will not be appropriate for all medical problems.

As CBD oil and similar alternative treatments become more in demand for pets, hopefully, science and the laws will soon catch up, allowing all veterinarians to play a more active role in the search for unconventional treatments.

See also:


Featured Image Credit: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay

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