CBD OIL FOR CATS UK
In recent years CBD has taken the supplement world by storm. It’s supposed uses, though unconfirmed, address everything from pain relief to easing the symptoms of seizures to treating inflammation. It’s not just popular for humans either; many people use CBD to address ailments in their pets. Like humans many mammals have endocannabinoid systems with receptors that react to CBD. In certain cases veterinarians will prescribe CBD to an animal, giving its owner clear instructions on what kind of CBD to use, how to administer it and in what doses.
Although some studies have shown that CBD can alleviate anxiety and relieve pain in animals this is, like every other medical claim surrounding CBD, unconfirmed. More studies are always needed before such claims can be made, and certainly any reliable UK CBD supplier will not make them until this proof is readily available.
Nevertheless, many people are still curious about the potential uses their pets can enjoy from CBD. To help you better understand the science behind this and let you decide what’s best for your own furry friend, read on.
CBD OIL FOR CATS UK: IS CBD OIL SAFE FOR CATS?
This question is asked many times and for good reason. When considering giving anything to your pet, from a dietary supplement to a new kind of food, their health and wellbeing should always be your top priority. In many cases though this question comes from a place of misunderstanding, as people do not realise that CBD is only one product of the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is often confused with THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) – the chemical compound that makes a user “high” in conventional cannabis products. This is one concern that can be safely disregarded for UK CBD products, as those that follow UK law will always contain less than 0.2% THC. This makes it impossible for THC to have any measurable effect on either humans or smaller mammals.
To better understand the reasoning behind CBD use we’ll go into exactly how CBD works within the bodies of both humans and cats. In the normal functions of the body, endocannabinoids are produced and travel across the body through the bloodstream. As they move, they attach to cells containing endocannabinoid receptors that help to regulate internal bodily conditions. The effect of naturally produced endocannabinoids can be greater or lesser depending on various factors, including stress and sickness. When you take a CBD product you are providing your body with an extra dose of these compounds.
CBD isn’t the only extract from this breed of plants that you may come across, as several other cannabinoid products are also widely available in the UK. It’s important to educate yourself about the differences between these products as well as the various types of CBD before investing in them. Here’s an article that explains CBD further.
CBD OIL FOR CATS UK: UK LAW
It’s all well and good to know how CBD works in both humans and cats, but what does the law say? Well under UK law a vet may advise a pet owner to administer a human CBD product to their pet to treat a certain ailment, often relating to inflammation or seizures. This product will be a conventional CBD oil, purchased in-store or online from a legitimate retailer and designed for human use. Administering a CBD product to an animal without the authorisation of a vet is an offence under Regulation 8 of the Veterinary Marketing Regulations 2013.
No UK legal CBD product will ever be labelled as “for pets”, and companies are legally required to avoid adding any indication that it can be used to treat pets. Although companies may use the images of animals as part of their marketing, any indication that these products are for pets is a criminal offence. If you find a CBD product in the UK that is explicitly labelled as “for pets”, do not use it. If this manufacturer is willing to risk criminal action in selling their CBD, there is no way to confirm the safety of their product.
We are not vets, nor are we medical professionals of any degree. While we are happy to explain the science and reasoning behind CBD use in pets, we cannot give our approval for its use in anything except consenting human beings.
CBD OIL FOR CATS UK: WHAT’S THE DOSAGE FOR CATS?
If your vet has given you a prescription to use CBD on your cat, they will also have given you rudimentary instructions about what products to use and at what dosage. To make sure you’re doing it correctly, here’s another rough outline for which products are suitable and what doses are most common.
Many CBD oils are mixed with fatty acids like coconut oils, as this helps with both flavour and consistency. Cats cannot take these kinds of fatty acids because they are carnivores. Therefore you will need to find a CBD oil mixed with other palatable elements, such as sardine or salmon oil. These are readily available from many online retailers as their flavours are effective in infusing savoury CBD edibles.
If it’s the first time cat has taken CBD oil, make sure you don’t overwhelm it with a high dose. Just like a human your cat might have an allergy to this compound, so be cautious when introducing it to them and watch out for any adverse reactions.
Begin with a small dose, somewhere in the region of 1-2 mg of CBD for every 5kgs your cat weighs. It is important to note exactly how your cat reacts to the oil, both for your peace of mind and to better help your vet treat your cat. If instructed to, increase the dosage in small increments until you see the desired outcome.
There are a number of variable factors your vet will consider when deciding what dose of CBD is safe for your cat. These include:
Body Weight – The heavier your cat is the more CBD it can handle. A 3kg cat absorbing 5mg of CBD will behave differently from a 6kg cat with the same dosage.
Age – You can’t give a kitten the same amount of CBD you’d give to a full-grown cat. Apart from the difference in age and metabolism they will also likely be of drastically different weight. The dosage for the younger ones will be much lower while an older cat may be given higher doses.
CBD Concentration – The amount of CBD contained in 1ml of a CBD oil will help to determine how much of that oil is enough for your cat. The higher the concentration of the product the less you will need to administer.
Desired Effect – If the intention of this prescription is to treat a serious disease like arthritic pain or Alzheimer’s, you vet will direct you to administer a much higher dosage. As a general rule the more serious the health condition is, the more CBD it requires.
Once your cat has taken CBD give it about 15 to 45 minutes to allow the effects to be observable. The CBD will remain effective in your cat’s body for anywhere between 4 to 6 hours. This all depends on the ailment in question, the breed of your cat, its age and the activeness of its daily life.
CBD OIL FOR CATS UK: HOW TO ADMINISTER CBD OIL TO CATS
Cats enjoy licking CBD oil when it is mixed with more palatable carriers, such as salmon or sardine oil. If you put a few drops of it in their feeding bowl they’ll likely go for it happily. You can also mix it with their food for ease of dosage. Trying to administer it directly, either through a dropper or a spray into the mouth, will probably just leave you with a bitten hand and an upset cat.
Some veterinarians believe that CBD works best in animals when taken on an empty stomach. As such you may want to administer a dose in the mornings and evenings, being careful to make note of whether your cat responds as expected. Your cat is unique, so follow your vet’s advice and administer their CBD in the way that works best for them. At the end of the day you want your cat to respond favourably to the CBD oil, as their health and happiness should always be your top priority.
CBD OIL FOR CATS UK: CONCLUSION
CBD oil for cats is something that exists in a grey area according to UK law, as well as within the wider understanding of CBD. The World Health Organisation has spent several years engaged in studies to determine the actual health benefits of CBD in small animals, cats included. Their initial findings were what prompted the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to classify CBD as a medicine, requiring a vet’s prescription in order to administer to an animal and giving CBD its unique legal status.
The health of your pet and its quality of life should always be your primary concern when considering dosing your cat. Although it may be tempting to follow anecdotal advice or stories of ‘miracle cures’, particularly when your pet is suffering from illnesses that effect their daily life, the fact is that your vet knows best. Always listen to their advice when giving your cat CBD, pay attention to their directions and follow the dosage guidelines they provide you with. Only ever source your CBD oil from a reputable supplier with the correct contents, avoiding fatty acids and leaning towards those easier savoury flavours. When dosing your cat be patient, take notes on how they react and be sure that the process of dosing is as pleasant for them as possible.
Above everything else keep an eye on your cat when dosing and watch for any adverse reactions. Your cat trusts you to take care of it, so make sure that trust is earned. If you’re thoughtful to the feelings of your pet and listen diligently to the advice of medical professionals, your furry friend should live a long and happy life in your company.