Is your cat struggling to adapt to your new home?
Does he act out when you leave him home alone while you go to work?
If so, he might suffer from anxiety, and you’re probably wondering whether CBD can help.
Well, I’ve got good news:
Below I’ll take a closer look at how CBD can help cats with anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a natural response to stress.
We experience it as humans all the time and see it in animals regularly, too.
Think back to the last time you had a big presentation at work or an important meeting for a new job.
Maybe you had clammy hands or started taking short, shallow breaths.
Maybe you even got slight tremors in your hands and fingers.
Those are all natural responses to the anxiety you felt about the upcoming presentation or interview.
More extreme situations can obviously cause even more intense symptoms of anxiety, like shaking or even panic attacks.
At least, that’s how humans tend to experience anxiety.
But what about cats?
What Causes Anxiety in Cats?
You might look at your cat asleep in the sun and think:
What could he possibly be stressed about?
And while your cat probably isn’t making presentations at work or going for job interviews, they are still prone to experience anxiety nonetheless.
Environmental factors are what most commonly cause acute anxiety in a cat.
Think unanticipated loud noises, another cat suddenly showing up in the yard, or a glass crashing to the floor.
All of these things will likely cause your cat to feel stressed or threatened and get scared.
Maybe they’ll run off and hide, or buckle over and get aggressive.
Remember, these responses are pretty normal, and are the result of your cat’s “fight or flight” instinct kicking in.
What’s more concerning for cat owners is chronic anxiety or extreme fears and phobias of specific situations.
This can include separation anxiety, fear of traveling, or even problems socializing with new pets or members of the family.
This kind of anxiety is more problematic and is what pet owners try to treat using supplements like CBD.
Common Cat Fears and Phobias:
Some of the most common fears and phobias that cause anxiety in cats include:
- Separation anxiety (being left home alone)
- Traveling in a car
- Leaving the house in a cat carrier
- Going to the vet
- Visitors or strangers in the house
- Moving to a new home
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety in Cats?
The phobias I mentioned above cause a fear response in your cat that they’ve somehow associated with a specific situation or event (like being left alone for extended periods of time).
When they are presented with a similar situation, that fear kicks in and causes them to act out in specific ways.
You’ll see this a lot in shelter cats, for example, who may have been abused and built up a fear to something like being picked up or patted.
No matter how gentle you are, these cats might run off or become aggressive as soon as you reach out to pat them, just because they associate that with a particularly traumatic moment from their past.
Each cat will express their anxiety differently, but some common symptoms include:
- Urinating or spraying
- Obsessive grooming (sometimes to the point of leaving bald spots in their fur)
- Over- or under-eating
- Scratching furniture unnecessarily
- Aggressive behavior like biting and clawing
- Sudden changes in activity levels
How Can You Treat Anxiety in Cats?
Treating anxiety in cats takes a lot of time and effort.
Some effective ways to help treat your cat’s anxiety include:
- Using Natural Supplements Like CBD. CBD is an anxiolytic and can help calm feelings of fear or stress and treat symptoms of anxiety in cats. I’ll cover the benefits of CBD for cats with anxiety in more details below.
- Playing. Playtime is a great way for cats to relieve stress and fear. It also helps create a strong bond between you and your pet, which is important for cats with anxiety.
- Providing a Safe Space. Cats need to have a safe space to rest and feel at home, or even retreat to when they feel scared. That’s why so many cats hide behind couches or beds, for example. Creating a dedicated “safe spot” for your cat is a great way to help them deal with their anxiety.
- Being Patient. When introducing your cat to new family members or taking them out of the house, make sure to do so slowly. The “diving off the deep end” approach really doesn’t work with cats.
How Can CBD Help Cats With Anxiety?
CBD has gotten a lot of attention over the last couple of years.
As researchers continue uncovering the mysteries of the Endocannabinoid System, they’re constantly finding new ways to use this powerful compound both as a supplement and a medicine.
If you’re reading this, you might already be a bit familiar with CBD’s anti-anxiety properties.
Maybe you live in an area where CBD and cannabis medications are legal, maybe you have a friend who uses CBD, or maybe you’ve even tried it yourself.
Below I’ll take a more detailed look at how CBD affects cats and how it can provide them with relief from anxiety and it’s symptoms.
Cats Have an Endocannabinoid System Just Like You
Most of the pet owners I talk to about CBD ask me the same question:
“Just because CBD works for humans, how can I be sure it’s going to work for my cat?”
And I answer by telling them that cats have the same system responsible for processing cannabinoids like CBD as humans do.
This system is known as the Endocannabinoid System or ECS.
The ECS is made up of 2 kinds of receptors, known as CB1 and CB2, and at least 2 endocannabinoids (known as anandamide and 2-AG).
Studies show that the ECS is involved in managing a whole variety of different bodily processes.
It can help initiate inflammatory responses, boost the metabolism and endocrine systems, and much more.
More importantly, the endocannabinoid activity has been shown to directly help fight anxiety and it’s symptoms.
CBD Helps Increase Serotonin Signalling
Preliminary research suggests CBD interacts with a specific serotonin receptor in the brain known as 5-HT1A.
It’s believed that CBD temporarily increases serotonin activity in the brain, which is believed to help boost mood and relieve anxiety symptoms.
This is pretty similar to how standard antidepressants and anxiety medications work.
These drugs are known as SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
As the name suggests, they work by temporarily blocking the absorption of serotonin in the brain, which increases the activity of receptors like 5-HT1A.
Studies show that CBD might have similar effects to SSRIs.
In 2016, a study published in the journal of Neuropharmacology looked at the potential anti-depressant and anti-anxiolytic effects of CBD on mice.
The study found that CBD rapidly increased the levels of serotonin and glutamate in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a specific part of the brain shown to regulate depressive and related behaviors.
The authors of this particular study noticed that CBD took effect much faster than traditional antidepressants.
CBD Helps Promote Brain Cell Growth
Another way CBD may help fight anxiety is by promoting the growth of new brain cells, especially in the hippocampus.
The hippocampus is a part of the brain renowned for playing an important role in the formation and recollection of memories.
However, research suggests that the hippocampus also plays an important part in helping regulate our emotions.
Hence, it is an interesting target for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and other related conditions.
Research from the 2013 International Journal Of Neuropsychopharmacology showed that CBD can help promote brain cell growth in the hippocampus.
The study tested the effects of CBD on mice.
After repeated administration, the researchers noted that CBD promoted neurogenesis in the hippocampus.
The study also found that administering CBD reduced the mice’s response to stress and also increased levels of anandamide in the hippocampus.
Anandamide is a cannabinoid naturally produced by the endocannabinoid system which has been labeled “the bliss molecule.”
Studies have shown that anandamide can also help ease depressive behavior, anxiety, and the effects of stress.
So, With All These Great Studies Out There, Are Other Pet Owners Actually Using CBD for Cats With Anxiety?
Many pet owners I talk to about CBD are put off by the fact that there’s not a lot of research specifically testing CBD on cats or other pets.
And I completely understand their concern.
Luckily, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence from pet owners already using CBD with their pets and seeing great results.
Gideon, for example, is a Persian cat whose owners travel frequently.
When they do, they leave Gideon with friends, who say he spends most of his time hiding and crying for the first 1-2 days.
Looking for a solution to help Gideon deal with these situations, his owners decided to try CBD, and saw great results.
His owners also started giving Gideon CBD before grooming him and cutting his nails, which was typically really stressful for him.
The results from CBD has been great for him.
Gracie is another cat who uses CBD to ease her anxiety.
Her owners noticed Gracie going through phases when she’d lick and tear at her fur obsessively.
After going on holiday, her owners came home and found Grace with bald spots and even raw and scabbed parts of her skin from the obsessive licking.
She was also acting out, sleeping in her litter box and hiding out in the bedroom.
Luckily, her owners were familiar with CBD because they’d actually used it themselves.
They tried it with Gracie and within a week she was a lot better.
“Most of her scabs have healed and even her fur is growing back! She won’t stay in the bedroom now and she is even playing again,” write her owners.
Another cat who uses CBD for excessive grooming is Mango.
Mango is 13 years old and has struggled with different anxiety symptoms for most of his life.
His vet recently prescribed him CBD to help with some of his anxious behavior, and his owners are also seeing great results.
It’s helped curb his obsessive grooming and also helped him stay active and healthy.
These 3 cats have all seen great results from a CBD brand called Canna-Pet. They have specific products they recommend for cats which you can learn more about on their official website here: Canna-Pet.com
Finding the Right CBD Product for Your Cat
Here’s a quick review of what were covered in this report:
First, I took a look at anxiety and how it affects cats.
Then, I took an in-depth look at how CBD can help curb feline anxiety.
Now, you might be wondering why I’m spending so much time publishing these reports…
Well, just like you, I heard about CBD a few years ago after my dog Rosie got diagnosed with cancer and hip dysplasia.
Looking for ways to help her manage her condition, I soon found out about CBD.
Once I decided to give it a try, I was blown away by the results.
CBD really helped me give Rosie the best quality of life in her remaining time with us.
Today, I run this website for pet owners who, like myself, are looking to learn about the benefits of CBD for their animals.
And while I don’t actually have a cat, I’ve tried and tested a bunch of different CBD pet products with my dogs, and have spoken with many cat owners about their success with the various products.
Currently I recommend 2 specific brands for cat owners.
The first is HolistaPet, a company that makes a variety of CBD products for both cats and dogs.
For cats with anxiety, I recommend using HolistaPet’s CBD Cat treats.
They are really easy to dose, taste great, and offer long-lasting relief.
Most cat owners report that the treats and capsules are the easiest to give their cats. The oil is a bit harder to administer, however it does produce the quickest results, as it is absorbed right away.
Another brand I recommend is Canna-Pet.
The capsules can be taken on their own or mixed with your cat’s food and also offer long relief from anxiety and it’s symptoms.
For more info on either of these 2 brands, check out my CBD for cats page here.