Can CBD Help Cats?

CBD has been known for many years thanks to the various effects attributed to it and its perfect resemblance to cannabis. We know these effects on the human body and its health, but recently, studies are looking at the effects on animals, such as dogs and cats. In this article we will focus on cats and see what effects can occur when these animals consume CBD

What is the etymology of the cat?

Before looking at the effects of CBD on our pets, it is interesting to know what their morphology is, as well as their history

It is important to know that the cat has a very ancient history, since it joined man around 7500 to 7000 BC. But its history is also older, as we will see

First of all, we must remember that all the carnivores present in our current world, have a single common ancestor, which is attached to the miacids. This is an extinct genus of small prehistoric mammals of which the canids, felines, ursids, mustelids, procyonids, viverrids and hyenids are the direct and indirect descendants

These prehistoric mammals are thought to have appeared about 60 million years ago, and it would appear that they have the appearance of today's genets, with an elongated body and a long tail

Afterwards, many other carnivore genera appeared thanks to evolution, but several species would seem to be the close relatives of our current felines. For example, we can find the Proailurus and Pseudaelurus which lived at different times (several million years). The resemblance, according to the estimations of the scientists, would be flagrant since they had a long tail, large eyes, claws and sharp teeth

Subsequently, several families were born, all in the same genre which is Felidae. We find the Pantherinae, which are commonly called"the big cats", in which we can find the lion, the leopard, the jaguar and the tiger. At the opposite of this family, we find the Felinae, which are called " the small felines ", in which we can find the cheetahs, the caracal, the wild cat, the ocelot and finally, the domestic cat. You will have understood, our cats so much adored, descend from distant parents and are considered as small felines

Concerning the domestic cat ?

The domestic cat, as we have seen above, has great descendants and is a small feline. But it belongs more precisely to the genus Felis and was so classified by Carm Von Linnaeus in 1758, although it was naturally classified as Felis Cactus in the thirtieth edition of Systema naturae

Its history is rather complex, because the morphology and the aptitudes of this animal, sowed the doubt at the scientists, who classified it sometimes like a species with whole share and sometimes like a subspecies of the Wild Cat. Fortunately, in 2006, work was carried out on the sex chromosomes and mitochondrial DNA of felines while being assimilated to paleontological research showed that the domestic cat diverged during the Pliocene, passing through deserts, forests and the Mediterranean basin.

In 2007, a second study based on molecules, showed that the domestic cat had a close link with the gloved cat. Indeed, this study was conducted on 979 sand cats and wild cats (to which the domestic cat belongs). These two species would have diverged approximately 130.000 years ago.

The domestication of the cat

As mentioned above, the cat was domesticated several thousand years ago by man. We know all this thanks to various studies that have been conducted as the one of 2004, which allowed to demonstrate that the cat was domesticated by man between 7500 and 7000 BC, since a team of CNRS led by Jean Guilaine found the remains of a cat alongside those of a human in a burial in Cyprus

The cat discovered certainly does not resemble the domestic cat we know today, but rather the wild cat of Africa. The notion of domestication is also rather blurred, as the cat seemed to be tame and not domesticated

Another study carried out on 979 cats made it possible to demonstrate the origin of the domestic cat, which comes from five different lineages. This means that the domestic cat, or rather, the African wild cat would have had five different domestications between 8000 and 10,000 BC

But why would the cat come to our civilization and get closer to man?

The causes of this cohabitation

At the time, man was a hunter-gatherer, which means that he hunted and gathered for food. Of course, with time, evolution progresses and man evolves by developing techniques of hunting and dwelling. Previously, he lived in caves, like the Lascaux Caves, and only moved around to change his place of habitation or to hunt, when food began to run out in his area. Later on, he discovered fire and many possibilities opened up to him, such as the improvement of certain tools or habitable structures.

This evolution led man to cultivate his own ingredients for consumption or for manufacturing. Of course, the grains had to be stored in dedicated places, which inevitably attracted mice and other rodents, and then attracted cats, their natural predators

However, it doesn't stop here, as it is widely accepted that cats and humans have developed a relationship based on commensalism. In other words, man gave food to the cat and the cat thus stayed next to what we can call, its host. Over the millennia, the cat has accentuated its commensal relationship to the point of developing a form of dependence on the human, who fed it and provided it with all the necessary comfort, directly or indirectly speaking.

This chain of events clearly led to the domestication of the cat, which was thus gradually achieved between these two species. But beware, a commensal relationship does not necessarily lead to domestication !

In China, archaeological evidence has shown that humans and leopard cats had a commensal relationship, since the latter hunted rodents in agricultural villages and could also have been fed. But this relationship between the two species did not lead to domestication.

The cat in Ancient Egypt

We all know the Egyptian cat and the different representations attributed to it

Many scientists and people in the popular culture, thought that the cat had been domesticated during the fourth millennium BC, but as you have seen, it is not so

It is necessary to know that the cat was venerated like many other animals at the time of Ancient Egypt and this, since the ancient Egypt. Previously, the Egyptian priests venerated the lions, but these, being more ferocious and more cumbersome, the cat was easily imposed

The most famous representation of the glorification of the cat is that of the goddess Bastet, who was the symbol of fertility and beauty. She was represented with a cat's head and whoever attacked this animal risked the death penalty, according to the laws of the Pharaohs

The cat was not the only animal venerated by the Pharaohs, since snakes, cows and fish were sacred. To say, the cult of the cat was transmitted from father to son and at the time of their deaths, they were mummified to accompany the deceased in the afterlife by being accompanied by embalmed mice. The cat's host family also shaved their eyebrows and huge funerals were held. In 1890, in Tell Basta, the former capital of Egypt, more than 300,000 cat mummies were discovered

A small anecdote to see how much cats were revered, in 525 BC, the Persians besieged Peluse and Cambyses II had the idea to attach cats on the shields of the soldiers. The Egyptians, frightened by the idea of touching the cats, did not counterattack, which caused the loss of the city

During the Middle Ages and today

During the Middle Ages, the cat was appreciated by the peasants, because it ate rodents and thus reduced the damage to the crops. However, despite the good intentions of the latter, around the middle of the 14th century, the cat began to decline in the eyes of the population

We all know the famous curse associated with the black cat, and well this one comes from the association of the black cat with pagan cults and the rise of occult cults. Thus, the cat was exterminated in a rather brutal way and its decline played a great role in the plague according to historians

Indeed, the plague was spreading between rodents and the cat not being as present, could not limit the spread, while if it would have been as present, the disease would have developed less

Today, the cat is very well installed in our homes in France, as well as worldwide, since we count more than 14 million domestic cats in France in 2019. The love of humans for this ball of fluff would even exceed that of dogs!

Nevertheless, CBD seems to have interactions with the cat. We will see this

Why use CBD for cats?

CBD can become useful in certain situations for domestic cats, to help in their daily life. Just like for humans, CBD has benefits for cats, at a lower dose of course, but still keeping the nature of the molecule. We will see the different situations in which CBD can be useful to cats

CBD relieves stress in cats

We don't necessarily see it, but our cat is often stressed for different reasons, and this can greatly affect his mental and physical health. There are different ways to find out if your cat is stressed, but before you do, you need to know the different risk factors

  • Change of residence
  • Departure of the owner
  • Physical or psychological trauma
  • Meeting with another cat

Of course, there are many, and each cat feels stress in a different way than another cat. For example, some cats will not feel stress at all from any of the above situations, while others will be stressed by only one of them

If your cat is stressed, it will behave in different ways. For example, it may meow more and more often than usual, it may also mark its territory with its urine, or eat more rarely. There are of course more serious signs, such as self-mutilation or loss of appetite

CBD can help you manage cat stress, as it helps to reduce the feeling of anxiety and the reaction associated with that anxiety. You should know that the amount will obviously be less, but the effects will be the same as for humans

CBD strengthens the cat's immune system

This effect of CBD is quite interesting, although it is quite surprising to some people who are dubious about the ability of CBD to improve the immune system. However, it doesn't improve it by acting directly on it, but by acting generally on the body and mind

For example, CBD reduces stress and anxiety in individuals who consume it, as well as in animals that are administered this molecule. It is well known that stress plays a very important role in destroying the immune system by acting on the good cells present in our body

For our favorite pet, the immune system can be deregulated by several factors

  • The change of temperatures, such as cold and heat
  • Air pollution in which he lives
  • The stressful events we have seen above

By administering CBD to the cat, many of these factors will be lessened and the cat will be able to enjoy ideal health and live happily ever after, without worrying about the usual concerns

CBD improves the cat's appetite and digestion

A living being that eats properly and digests its food correctly can then maintain good health throughout its life. While humans have a more varied and healthy diet, cats do not have all of these elements. Indeed, the kibbles we offer him are, of course, well balanced, but are considered as junk food on the long term and it will then be necessary to bring him some ingredients from time to time to break this "routine"

Several elements can impact his appetite and digestion

  • An intestinal disease
  • A digestive problem
  • High impact stress
  • A sudden change of food

It is important to pay close attention to the cat's stool and digestive problems in order to detect the problem and call a professional if necessary. Regarding CBD, it has been proven that by acting on the endocannabinoid system, naturally present in the body, and on the CB1 and CB2 receptors, it helps regulate digestion and improves appetite by working with the brain's receptors

CBD also helps turn bad fats into useful fats, in other words, it helps you lose weight indirectly. This is obviously not enough to keep an individual or an animal in good health, as it is obviously necessary to maintain a regular physical and sporting activity. For your cat, do not hesitate to stimulate it, by playing with it or by walking it in your garden if you have one

CBD promotes the well-being of the cat

For an animal, like a human, it is important to feel healthy and well in his skin to move forward in everyday life. There are different exercises to feel mentally and physically healthy, such as sports in particular, but CBD seems to act in a natural way on this state of mind

Indeed, well-being plays on several factors, such as a good quality of sleep, a good diet, or a fulfilled and happy life. In the case of cats, their well-being will be strongly affected if they have sleeping disorders, poor nutrition or constant agitation in their living environment. The risk of developing diseases is as important as for humans

Consuming CBD helps regulate all these elements, some of which we have already seen, as well as sleep. Indeed, the cat is also subject to the effects of daily stress on sleep. Cats can have bad nights if their day has been traumatic or very stressful and dreams are frequent, as are nightmares. CBD helps reduce anxiety and promotes sleep and especially restful sleep. It is indeed in this sleep that the body will recover from its emotions and repair the damage to the cells or psychic, to start again on a good day the next day

CBD allows cats to find an inner peace, which will allow them to move easily in the day to come and avoid the stress that can be felt at night and during the day

CBD balances the cat's metabolism

A good metabolism allows the cat to feel healthy and to face the hazards of everyday life and various diseases more easily

The metabolism is very much impacted by stress caused by the environment, trauma, fatigue or lack of hygiene. When a metabolism is no longer balanced, it cannot perfectly fulfill its main functions, in other words, protect the individual from physical and psychological impacts caused by external elements

CBD helps to improve the balance of the cat'smetabolism by acting on the organism and on the cells of the body which are essential to this balance.

CBD is not addictive!

We often confuse addiction with dependence, but these two terms are very different. Indeed, addiction is the adaptation of the body to a drug or food, while dependence is a reaction of the brain that asks the individual to consume such a substance or perform some action to feel good

The advantage of CBD is that it is not addictive. In other words, no matter how much you take, the reaction will be just as effective, which greatly favours its use compared to some drugs

How do I give CBD to my cat?

To administer CBD to our favorite hairballs, we will favor CBD oil, which allows an ideal dosage and will be very simple to consume for the cat

Obviously, as the cat is a much smaller animal than us, the dose we consume will not be the same for him. To dose correctly, you should know that most of the information is provided on the product packaging, but we will provide some additional information

It has been shown that depending on why we want to give CBD to our cats, the dosage can vary. Veterinarians believe that a dosage between 0.2 and 0.5 mg/kg is ideal for most cats. Since the dosage is based on the weight of the cat, the heavier the cat, the higher the dosage

Regarding the reasons for administration, the dose will vary

  • For arthritis, the dosage will be 0.5 mg/kg twice a day;
  • For asthma, the dosage will be 0.5 mg/kg twice a day
  • For digestive disorders, it is recommended to administer 0.2 mg/kg twice a day;
  • If it's to help him eliminate his anxiety and limit his negative actions, you can administer the minimal dose once or twice a day.

As with humans, do not start with the highest dose directly! You should obviously start with the lowest dose and begin to increase as the weeks go by and no results are felt.

Also be aware that CBD does not act directly, it takes weeks before the effects are felt. Be patient and regular in your administrations, in order to bring the best result for your pet.

Are there any side effects to worry about?

In humans, we know most of the side effects of CBD consumption. For example, we know that some people experience nausea and dizziness when consuming CBD at low doses, whereas generally, you need to consume CBD at a high dose to feel the effects

Regarding the cat, this is still quite recent, but results have already appeared in scientific journals or reported by consumer experiences. Everything depends on your attitude towards it. You should know that if you respect the maximum doses specified, you will not have any side effects for your cat, while if you use too large doses, your cat will have the same effects as a sedative. Fortunately, nothing is lethal at that point!

It is important to know that CBD oils for cats contain no trace of THC, as this molecule is very dangerous for him! If we, humans, consume this substance recreationally for its psychotropic effects, the cat is highly likely to have sequels, since it is extremely fragile and sensitive to this substance

Most of the effects observed are based on consumer experience and many are not scientifically proven, or at least no studies have been conducted on these results. However, while it is important to take them in perspective, most cat owners have observed very interesting results in combating certain symptoms related to diseases and more!

CBD will not solve all problems! You will have to keep a balanced diet and sports for your cat to feel healthy! Do not hesitate to talk about it with your veterinarian who will be able to guide you without worries on the products to use for your cat.

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Pelin YILDIZ, autrice psycho et voyage
Publié par : Pelin, autrice psychologie, santé et voyage
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