Cats are easily queen of the castle. They’re spoilt rotten by their in-love owners, love to play and always make a house feel like a home. But just like us humans, cats can struggle with a number of issues. As their owner, its never easy watching your pet in some sort of distress. Perhaps you’ve realised your feline friend is struggling to adapt to a new environment. Or maybe you’ve even noticed them behaving rather differently when you leave a room. These little but definitive signals are signs that your furry friend might suffer from anxiety. Not to worry though! there are a number of ways in which you can help them, namely CBD.
For those that aren’t too familiar with anxiety, it is a completely natural response to stress. It’s that feeling you get before an important interview for a new job, where your palms become sweaty, you start to tremble a bit and you find it hard to swallow. of course, anxiety is different for everyone. Some people can lightly shake the feeling off whilst others can have intense panic attacks.
Anxeity On Both Humans And Animals
Although most commonly associated with humans, our friends over in the animal kingdom often get it too. Albeit, they don’t have to worry about important job interviews or even have to deal with sweaty hands. Nevertheless, they still get affected too. People are surprised by this because when we see cats, they usually look pretty relaxed, but there are several things that can raise a cat’s anxiety. For example, unanticipated loud noises can really put a cat on edge. As well as unfamiliar beings and surroundings. A cat’s response to all these things are to usually hide in a place they deem safe, and on some occasions where they feel threatened – they can get aggressive. Remember, those are incredibly normal reactions too, its all part of a cat’s fight of flight instinct.
The real concern to cat owners is when their furball suffers from chronic anxiety or in some circumstances an extreme fear or phobia to specific situations. There are cats who can’t cope being separated from their owner, others that a scared of essential household appliances and some who even have problems socialising with their own kind. This is when a cat’s anxiety can become problematic to both the owner and cat in question. This kind of anxiety is what makes pet owners turn to CBD to help their loved-one.
Common Cat Fears And Phobias
These are just a few of the most common cat fears and phobias that cause anxiety:
- Separation anxiety/ being left home alone
- Traveling in a vehicle
- Being put into a cat carrier
- Going to the vet
- Strangers in the house
- Moving to a new environment
If you’ve noticed your cat react weirdly to any of those situations, then it’s quite possible your cat suffers from anxiety. Not many cat owners know of the symptoms to look out for when it comes to anxiety in cats because it is not a highly spoke of subject, despite the fact many cats suffer from this problem. You’ll notice anxiety is an issue in a lot of shelter cats, some of these cats have experienced abuse and may have associated that fear with something like being touched. In this circumstance, no matter how hard you try or how gentle you are, the cat will run away or become aggressive with you when you touch them due to that traumatic experience. Alike humans, each cat will have their own individual relationship with anxiety, but here are a few common symptoms to look out for.
- obsessive grooming – to the point of having bald spots in their fur
- over/under eating
- scratching up furniture or other aggressive behavior
- dramatic sudden changes in activity
as you can see, there are many ways in which a cat can hint at their anxiety. In turn, there are a lot of ways you can help them deal with it. Don’t be fooled though, treating anxiety in cats takes quite a bit of time and effort. Start out by playing with your cat. Not only is this a bit of fun for the pair of you, but it’s extremely critical to do for the both of you to create a strong integral bond. Moreover, playtime is such a great way for cats to relieve stress and fear. Create a safe space for them. Providing your cat a safe environment ensures that they can well and truly relax. If a cat ever is frightened, they need that spot to go to that instantly soothes them. This is why you see so many cats hide behind furniture.
Be extremely patient with them. All good things take time, and at the end of the day you want to do what’s best for your four-legged friend. When introducing your cat to someone or something new, don’t rush it. Make sure you handle the situation with care and most importantly, slowly.
CBD And It’s Anti-Anxiety Properties
When you’ve done all this, and your cat is still seemingly in distress, perhaps it’s time to try using supplements like CBD to tackle the anxiety. CBD is an anxiolytic, which means it can help calm the feelings of fear and stress and therefore treat your cats’ symptoms of anxiety. CBD has gotten a tonne of attention over the last few years due to the increasingly positive scientific research being done. This research is constantly showing us new ways to use the properties of this amazing plant as both a supplement and medicine.
Perhaps you’re already familiar with CBD’s anti-anxiety properties, live in an area where cannabis medications or the whole plant itself is completely legal or maybe you or someone you know is an avid user of CBD and knows just how powerful and life-changing it can be. But do you know the effect CBD can have on a cat? Is it the same as humans? I’ll tell you…
Cats have the exact same system in control of dealing with cannabinoids, like CBD, as human do! It’s called the Endocannabinoid system (ECS for short). The ECS is made up of 2 particular kinds of receptors, CB1 and CB2. It also involves at least 2 endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG. What all of that science talks means is that the ECS system can manage a whole host of different bodily processes like initiate inflammatory responses, boost metabolism and so much more. The most important part however, is that the system has been revealed to directly help combat anxiety and the symptoms that come with it. Preliminary research is signifying that CBD interacts with a specific serotonin receptor in the brain (known as 5-HT1A). From this, it is believed that CBD can momentarily increase serotonin activity in the brain. This is believed to help enhance mood and reduce anxiety symptoms.
In short, it’s quite similar to how normal antidepressants and anxiety medication works. Drugs like standard antidepressants are known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). True to its name, they work by momentarily obstructing the absorption of serotonin in the brain, this increases the activity of receptors like 5-HT1A. scientific studies now suggest that CBD might have a close and similar effect to these SSRIs. A 2016 study published in the journal of neuropharmacology dived into the potential antidepressant and its anti-anxiolytic effects of CBD on mice. They found out that CBD rapidly increased the levels of serotonin and glutamate in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex – this is a specific part of the brain that normalizes depressive and other correlated behaviours. Interestingly, the author of this specific study noticed that CBD started to work a lot faster than traditional antidepressants.
Revelations From CBD Studies
As well as increasing levels of serotonin, CBD can also help combat anxiety by encouraging the development of new brain cells – in particular, the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a part of the brain well-known for playing an incredibly vital role in the construction and recollection of memories. On top of this, other research has revealed that the hippocampus also plays a vital role in helping normalize our emotions. Therefore, it is possible that the hippocampus can be targeted to treat conditions like depression, anxiety and other related issues. In 2013 more research from the international journal of neuropsychopharmacology showed that after repetitive administration on mice, CBD promoted neurogenesis in the hippocampus. The study also revealed that giving CBD to these mice reduced their response to stress and increased the amount of anandamide in the hippocampus. Therefore, creating a feeling of completely and utter bliss and easing symptoms of anxiety.
With all that science talk and research studies out of the way, are there people actually using CBD for their cat whose suffering from anxiety? Despite the fact that many pet owners are hesitant testing CBD due to the lack of research administered on cats, there are a lot of pet owners who swear by it and are seeing such great results they’ve posted their stories online.
Examples Of Cat Stories
Take Gideon, for example. Gideon is a Persian cat whose owners are frequent travellers. When they go on their travels, they leave their cat Gideon with friends. Gideon used to struggle with the separation, usually taking refuge behind furniture and crying for the first couple days. Gideons owners wanted nothing more than for him to be completely comfortable whilst they were away, looking for a solution they decided to try CBD. Posting their story onto Canna-pet.com, Gideons parents couldn’t believe the change and results they saw from CBD. Another success story is Gracie. Gracie used to be so anxious, shed obsessively groom herself to the point where she gained bald spots and even raw, scabbed parts on her skin from obsessive licking. Her owners chose to try CBD to see if it could help and within a week, Gracie was a new cat. Finally, Mango was a 13 year old cat that struggled most his life with multiple anxiety symptoms like obsessive grooming and all over behaviour. His vet was the one to first prescribe him with CBD to help with the anxious behaviour he was displaying, and his owners have seen tremendous results.
All 3 of these furry friends have seen great results from taking CBD, more specifically a brand called Canna-pet. A CBD product that is specific targeted at cats. Canna-Pet is a line of capsules that can be taken on their own or mixed with cat food and offers a long lasting relief from anxiety and the symptoms that come with it. Another highly praised CBD pet brand is called Holistapet. This company creates a variety of CBD products for not only cats, but our canine pals as well. Their specific cat product, called Holistapet’s CBD treats, are also great for calming your cat. They are a really manageable dosage which taste treat and offer long-lasting relief. Most cat owners have reported that the treats and capsules way of dosage are the easiest method to administer the medication to their cats. They can be hidden within food and treats are always easily accepted!
Products that are oil based are a bit trickier to apply. These oils contain complete hemp extract with varying concentrations of CBD. They are simple to dose as the bottle usually comes with a dropper instrument which easily lets you measure the quantity of CBD you’re wanting to administer. Once you’ve sorted out the dosage, its best to apply the oil right under your pet’s lip or tongue. This way, the oil will absorb through the mucus membranes in the pet’s mouth. The advantage of this method, although more faffy, is that oil-based CBD gives the quickest results as it is absorbed into the skin right away. Unfortunately, trying to put CBD oil under your cat’s tongue is easier said than done. Alternatively, you can add drops of the oil into your cat’s food or water, just know that this method takes longer for the CBD to kick in as it has to move through the digestive system.
All we want for our pet is for them to be completely happy and comfortable, wherever they are and whatever they’re doing. The hardest thing for a pet owner is seeing your loved one in distress and having no idea on how to help them. Although there are many adversaries against using a cannabis-based medicine, there is a growing number of scientific studies and research that is proving how much of a vital product this is. If your feline friend is continuously struggling with anxiety or its symptoms this route might be the one to take to get you and your cat back onto a happier, healthier path.