Tony Reeves

Medically Reviewed By

Piet Hellemans, DVM
Veterinarian & Veterinary Consultant

Nothing is more crucial to cat owners than the health of their four-legged friends. Anxiety is a serious issue for many cats. No matter what is causing your cat’s anxiety (fear of loud noises, separation anxiety, PTSD, etc.) – they all have the same negative impact on your feline’s quality of life.

Most cat owners are now reaching for a bottle of cannabidiol (CBD) oil. Cat owners are praising it. But why? Is CBD oil safe for cats? And how do you choose the best CBD for your cat?

In this blog, we will dive deep into the topic of CBD and cats with anxiety, what are the symptoms, and how to help your cat feel secure.

Is my cat suffering from anxiety?

One of the difficult things about our relationships with cats is that they cannot express themselves with words when something is up. The onus is on us, the cat owners, to detect any unusual reactions and subtle signs in our feline’s behaviour.

Unluckily, symptoms may vary from cat to cat depending on the severity and type of their anxiety. However, the easiest way to know if your cat is suffering from anxiety is by paying close attention to their body language.

Signs and symptoms of cat anxiety and fear can include:

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• Vomiting

• Increased lethargy

• A change in weight or appetite

• Aggression

• Change in mood

• Failing to use the litter tray

• Hiding

• Excessive meowing (an increase in vocalisation)

• Following individuals around the house

In short, if your cat or fur buddy is behaving strangely, but isn’t showing any signs of physical sickness, they may be troubled by fear and anxiety.

What causes anxiety in cats?

A number of different things can cause anxiety in a cat. They’re mostly similar to the things, which cause people to feel anxious, like big changes in the environment or routine. Events like introducing a new individual to the family or moving home can prompt feelings of fear and anxiety in a cat.

Similarly, most cats can become anxious and nervous when a historical trauma such as abuse is triggered. So, before you adopt a cat, try to know as much about its previous care and background as possible. Doing this may help you avoid putting your cat in situations, which could trigger their anxiety and cause them to revisit a traumatic event.

A cat that has been rehomed several times is more likely to be anxious. There’s also a connection between a cat that has not been socialized and an increased possibility in developing fear and anxiety.

What can I give my cat for anxiety?

There are several things that you as a responsible owner can do to help your cat stay calm. You can try to create a stimulating, yet comfortable environment for your kitty. This can include items such as:

  • Scratching pole
  • Cat bed which is just theirs
  • A comfortable litter box

A good idea is to make their meal times more interesting, by using things like a puzzle feeder. This stimulates your cat’s interest and provides a fun activity, which is rewarded in the end with their favorite food.

Other natural anxiety relief includes some calming tinctures or oils. Talk to your vet before administering these to your cat. 

CBD for cats – an overview

CBD is one of more than eighty different compounds referred to as cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another well-known cannabinoid, CBD isn’t psychoactive.

All CBD products for cats should be manufactured from industrial hemp and go through an extensive filtration process to remove any byproducts which could be harmful to your cat.  Therefore, never give CBD oil for humans to your cat. The formulation is different and it may have a negative effect on your pet. 

Will CBD oil make my cat high?

There are significant differences between the hemp plant from which cat or pet CBD oil is derived and other cannabis varieties. Strains known as  marijuana have a higher concentration of THC, giving it psychoactive properties, and far less CBD. On the other hand, hemp is high in CBD but contains less than 0.3% THC. That said, THC can be toxic to a cat, but CBD derived from hemp is legal and safe.

How do you choose the best CBD oil for cats?

Providing cats with not only the best pet CBD oil but also a safe CBD, is important. With so many CBD and hemp products in the market claiming so many things, how do you know which CBD oil is the best for your cat? You want to begin with the source. Below are some questions to ask:

What is the THC count of the CBD? Some firms make CBD oils from a high THC plant which can be toxic to a cat. It should have no THC or non-detectable THC.

Is the CBD organic? Quality CBD oils are extracted from organically grown hemp, which is free of toxins.

Is the CBD independently tested? Purchase CBD from firms that independently test the product and offer a COA (certificate of analysis). The high-quality CBD oil firms even post their COA directly on their site.

The process used to extract CBD oil significantly contributes to quality and safety of the product. As pet parents it becomes your responsibility to opt for highest quality products for your pets well-being. 

What CBD products can I give to my anxious cat?

Make sure you give your cat a CBD product that is created for pets. CBD products for humans usually have added terpenes and may also contain an added flavour component, which could be displeasing to your fur friend’s taste buds and stomach. CBD doses for humans are also higher than is fit for felines, and products created with full-spectrum CBD can contain high traces of THC, which could be toxic. Make sure the THC in pet products is non-detectable.

CBD pet products are typically made with special formulas to make sure they’re safe for your cat.

Lastly, whichever CBD product you purchase, just ensure that it is safe for your cat. Also, use smaller CBD doses than what is recommended on the bottle. In addition, consult your vet before giving your cat CBD if it has an underlying health concern.

What’s the best way to give CBD to an anxious  cat?

As most cat owners know felines are notorious for being fussy feeders and CBD is no exception. Luckily, there are a number of great ways to give a cat CBD oil.

Direct feeding method is one of the easiest ways to give your cat CBD or CBD oil. All you have to do is take a couple of CBD oil drops into a dropper and then present it near your pet’s nose and mouth area. Hopefully, if you have a curious cat, they’ll lick the dropper, and you squeeze the CBD into their mouth.

Another good method to give a cat CBD is adding CBD oil to cat treats or food. Just prepare your fur family member food and evenly spread the cat’s CBD oil dose on top of the food or treat. It is best to mix cat CBD with wet food.

Using coconut oil with CBD is also a super effective and simple way to give your cat CBD oil. You can dab CBD or CBD oil on your feline’s paws to lick.

How much CBD should I give my cat?

Choosing the right CBD dose for your cat can be pretty confusing or tricky. First of all, every company’s CBD dosage guidelines can vary widely since CBD concentration varies in the oils they normally produce. The CBD dosage can also differ depending on the severity of their condition.

The typical recommendation is 1 mg to 5 mg of CBD for a 10-pound feline, but there’s no known harmfulness level.

Just try a CBD dose in the middle of the recommended range and then watch for calming effects, which should occur within 15 to 45 minutes. If not, consider giving more CBD until you find the right dosage for your cat. Keep in mind that the CBD effect lasts for approximately 4 to 6 hours, depending on ailments, breed, their own personal chemistry, and activity level.

Can I give my cat CBD along with prescribed medications?

While we still don’t know the extent that human’s medications will interact with CBD or CBD oil, even less is known about cat CBD medication interactions. The CBD research done so far claims that there are almost no side-effects, aside from those coming from cheap and low-quality CBD oil. It is always wise to purchase quality CBD.

Also, check with your vet before using CBD if you’re giving your cat any prescription medication. Most local holistic vets are aware of CBD, and they’ll advise you right.

The bottom line

We hope that this piece on CBD and  cats with anxiety was helpful. Just remember: CBD is safe for felines when sourced by premium manufacturers. Additionally, it’s essential to administer it properly to get the full benefits of CBD. When giving your cat CBD, it’s wise to measure out the right dose and have your cat consume it on its own. You can also mix the oil with cat treats or food.

When first starting to introduce cannabidiol or CBD to your cat’s diet, begin with a range of 1-5 milligram in order to test how your cat responds to it before gauging your pet’s full CBD dosage.


David is our expert for all things concerning CBD and your four-legged friends. Animals often need special attention and care and that's David’s specialty, but he’s also an expert in all CBD topics, so whatever your question, he's happy to help.

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