Having a cat with kidney disease can be devastating and frightening. No cat owner likes to see their feline fur baby in pain, and owners will do whatever they can to make their kitties comfortable. Kidney disease is common in aging felines, but there is hope to make them comfortable and not suffer.
CBD oil has become a new craze in recent years for humans to treat a whole slew of health conditions, such as relieving cancer symptoms, neurological disorders, mental health issues, and relieving general pain. You can also buy CBD oil for pets with certain health issues, specifically kidney disease. But does it work, and is it effective? The answer is, yes, CBD oil can help cats with kidney disease but use caution.
Research is a bit hazy regarding the safety of CBD oil for pets, and in this article, we’ll explore the possible benefits of providing CBD oil for cats with kidney disease. We’ll also explore what to look for in CBD oil for maximum effectiveness and what to avoid.
What Is CBD Oil?
Let’s start with the basics. CBD oil comes from cannabidiol, an active compound found in the cannabis plant. CBD oil is not part of the other active compound called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is what gives you the “high.” TCH is toxic for pets and should be avoided. You never want to buy CBD oil that has THC in it for your cat. Any reputable CBD oil company will omit THC for pets, but it’s wise to be aware of this.
How Does CBD Oil Help Cats With Kidney Disease?
While CBD oil is not a cure for kidney disease in cats, studies show that the oil can help relieve symptoms associated with kidney disease, such as vomiting, diarrhea, dry coat, and bloody or cloudy urine.
Both humans and cats have something called an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that regulates critical bodily functions, such as pain control, temperature, control, eating, and inflammatory and immune responses.
CBD oil has therapeutic effects when they interact with neurotransmitters from the ECS system. The ECS system has two receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 is the primary receptor that modulates the central nervous system and the brain, while the CB2 receptors affect the immune system. CB1 is responsible for subduing pain, and the CB2 receptors provide anti-inflammatory responses that protect tissues.
This study shows that CBD oil’s interaction with these serotonin receptors diminishes pain and provides relief from anxiety.
Does the FDA Regulate CBD Oil for Pets?
Unfortunately, the FDA does not regulate CBD oil for pets. Some companies that make CBD oil violate the FDA’s approval for animal-based drugs. Apparently, some companies do not correctly disclose the amount of CBD oil in a product aimed at pets, which could result in minor unpleasant symptoms for the animal, such as upset tummy or feeling drowsy.
Veterinarians cannot recommend CBD oil to their clients because it is unclear if the oil will have an adverse effect with current medications your pet may be taking. Medications veterinarians prescribe for such conditions have been proven to be effective, and the uncertainty of CBD oil with no FDA regulation raises concerns.
What to Look for in CBD Oil for My Cat
Definitely ensure no THC is present in the CBD oil, as THC is toxic to cats and dogs. Broad-spectrum oil will have THC, so avoid it at all costs. Full-spectrum does not have THC and is the safer option. For a hemp source, ensure it is organic, as commercially grown hemp may have pesticides.
Lastly, a reputable brand will have a Certificate of Analysis (COA) on the website. A COA is a document that shows third-party lab testing results that ensures the product is free from contaminants. It will also show the product’s full chemical profile.
As you can see, CBD oil for cats is a bit of a gray area. Even though studies show it improves the health of cats with kidney disease, other factors play a role in deciding whether or not to give your cat CBD oil. However, ensuring the product has a COA will greatly reduce any unpleasant effects.
You can discuss the issue with your vet, but keep in mind they cannot legally advise you to administer CBD oil, but they can warn against using it with any prescribed drugs your cat is already taking.
We hope this article sheds some light on the issue and helps you make the best decision for your cat.
Featured Image Credit: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay