Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Until science gets its act together and finally gifts us the ability to speak with our furry feline friends, we are left at a bit of a loose end when it comes to dealing with anxiety!
We adore cats, we really do – but even as cat lovers, we must admit they are the temperamental kings and queens of our lives! We’ve all been the victim of a belly rub flip out from a cat that was perfectly happy milliseconds before!
Their very nature can make finding the root cause of an anxiety problem a formidable case for even the greatest of pet detectives.
But what if there was an easier solution for helping our kitty-cats chill out a little? Enter CBD!
Table of contents
What Causes Anxiety in Cats?
There is a number of common causes for anxiety in cats. It could be any single cause or maybe a combination of several. Some of the most common causes are:
- New people
- Other animals
- The vet
- Their home environment
- Their health
Cats are naturally suspicious animals. Once they get to know you, they can be the most loving and affectionate creatures we know. But, until then, they can often be wary and standoffish. For example, if your cat doesn’t regularly get to meet new people or other animals, they can become anxious around them when they finally have to be.
A good way to try and identify the root cause of anxiety is to apply the Health, Instinct, Stress and Symptoms (HISS) test.
How Can You Tell if a Cat is Anxious?
Anxious behaviours in cats are far easier to identify than the actual cause of the anxiety. Some of the easiest and most common to spot include:
- Hissing and crying
- Wide eyes
- Peeing or messing in the house (outside of litter trays)
- Scratching (people or objects)
Some cats are naturally more anxious than others and may exhibit these sorts of behaviours much more regularly. If this is the case, identifying the cause of the anxiety can become incredibly challenging and leaves many cat owners scratching their own heads about what to do to help!
How Can You Make Your Cat Less Anxious?
IF you can identify the root cause of your pussy-cat’s anxiety, then you can take simple steps to help lower their anxiety levels around the cause or remove the cause entirely.
For example, if your cat is nervous around new people, you could slowly introduce it to a new person while rewarding calm and positive behaviours.
However, if your cat is naturally anxious, pinpointing and fixing these behaviours can be much harder. There are a few things you can do to try and make your cats calmer including:
- Providing a cat tree or safe space for your cat
- Improve and regiment their toilet regime (particularly if using a litter tray)
- Allow them to explore freely (outside if possible)
- Engage their brain with play and puzzle toys
- Reduce contact with more aggressive cats
- Use calming pheromone diffusers
- Introduce CBD into their life
As we are sure you have probably guessed by now, the one we are most interested in here is our final suggestion – introducing CBD into your cat’s life!
CBD For Cat Anxiety
By now most of our readers know what CBD is, but if this is your first time here we’ll quickly recap the basics so you’re not missing out.
CBD is the short name for cannabidiol (can-uh-BIH-dee-all), which is a cannabinoid found in the hemp and cannabis plants. CBD is known to have an enormous range of health benefits for people and animals alike including reducing inflammation and joint paint, helping skin disorders, reducing the symptoms of epilepsy, having calming effects and lowering anxiety levels as well as the frequency and severity of panic attacks. The list goes on and on.
CBD reduces anxiety in both humans and cats by blocking the receptors in the brain connected with fear and anxiety, as well as increasing the body’s ability to regulate the stress hormone cortisol.
CBD is also able to reduce anxiety levels in both humans and cats by encouraging whole system health known as homeostasis.
Will CBD Make My Cat High?
Even though CBD is extracted from a type of cannabis plant it will never get your cat high! That’s because it’s the cannabinoid THC that reacts with the part of your (and your cat’s) brain responsible for getting high. Any CBD products that are sold in the UK and Europe have to have a THC content of less than 0.3% which is nowhere near enough to experience any psychoactive effects.
You will probably be aware of a certain substance that cats simply cannot get enough of – catnip.
More pet-related articles from our CBD blog
CBD vs Catnip
Catnip has earned itself the reputation as the cannabis for cats. This is because of the ‘high’ like reaction that ‘some’ cats experience when they’re around catnip plants, toys and treats. Some cat owners have experienced great results in using catnip to nip their cats’ anxiety in the bud (see what we did there?).
Terrible joke. Sorry.
Anyway… Back to the matter at hand…
Not all cats experience this relaxed and calming reaction to catnip, however. It is quite common to see cats become boisterous and aggressive around catnip and some even become quite sexually promiscuous (ooh la la).
This is all because catnip produces a pheromone-like terpenoid called nepetalactone. Nepetalactone mimics a pheromone that cats are attracted to and when they smell it, it binds to receptors in their nose and activities the amygdala, hypothalamus and pituitary gland in their brain.
All these areas of your cat’s brain are associated with the behaviours mentioned above – which is why the affected behaviours can seemingly be random depending on the cat and what day of the week it is.
CBD, on the other hand, affects your cat’s endocannabinoid system, much in the same way that it affects our human endocannabinoid system. This means that whilst both catnip and CBD can exhibit a calming effect, CBD doesn’t run the risk of producing negative behaviours in the same way that catnip does.
Another benefit of CBD over catnip is the length of the effect. The effects of catnip are noticeably short-lived. Once your cat is removed from the catnip plant or toy, its behaviour will very quickly return to normal. However, because CBD works by building up in your cat’s system, the effects are much more steady and controlled – lasting for the entire duration that the CBD course is taken for.
How Do I Give My Cat CBD?
The most widely used method of taking CBD for both animals and humans alike is through CBD oil. These oils come in a variety of strengths and can be dosed according to both yours and your cat’s needs.
The needs of humans and animals are very different in terms of dose size and strength. It’s for this reason that we developed our own line of pet-specific CBD oils for you to use with your pet. They can be found by clicking here!
CBD oil can be pipetted straight into your cat’s food or water, but as we all know, some cats are amazingly fussy eaters and will turn their nose up at anything that they suspect has been tampered with.
If you do have a fussy eater, then you can try our line of delicious (according to our cat and dogs) line of CBD laced pet treats. These are also packed with omega 3 and 6 and vitamins A and D, which is great for your cat’s digestion and coat!
If you have any further questions or queries relating to CBD for your cat or anything else CBD related – please feel free to get in touch with our fabulous team who are always more than happy to help!