CBD (cannabidiol) – the seemingly all-beneficial hemp cannabinoid that has benefits for both humans and pets.
In the realm of pets, CBD is most commonly used with dogs, but it also renders many of the same benefits for cats – like dogs, they have an endocannabinoid system with which CBD can interact.
But how much CBD are you supposed to give your cat? What other considerations need to be made when giving your cat these products?
To answer these questions, we’ve made a CBD dosage guide for cats, and we’ve built a calculator and chart to quickly help you find your cat’s dosage.
This guide is based partly on research, and partly on the thousands of pet parents we’ve been grateful to serve over our past five years in business through our CBD for pets product line – rest assured, you’re getting battle-tested advice.
Want to quickly determine your cat’s CBD dosage? Use our calculator below!
- In the top field, enter your cat's body weight in pounds (lbs.)
- In the bottom field, select your cat's CBD dosage strength based on their condition or use
- Click the calculate button to determine your cat's daily CBD dosage
Benefits of CBD for Cats
CBD has a variety of benefits for cats. Some are backed by research, while others are more based in the experiences that pet parents have had with using CBD for their kitties:
- Pain, swelling, and inflammation — Research has shown CBD to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) properties in both humans and animals. In addition to other types of pain, CBD is commonly used to help cats deal with discomfort caused by asthma and arthritis.
- Muscle & joint health and mobility — The benefits of CBD mentioned above also apply to your cat’s muscles and joints. CBD may help cats with joint issues (particularly older cats) move about more easily and comfortably.
- Mental health — CBD has relaxing properties in animals and may have benefits if your cat is dealing with anxiety or depression.
- Cancer — Preliminary research suggests that CBD may be able to kill cancer cells. While more studies are needed on this, what we are more sure of is that CBD has therapeutic potential for pain and inflammation in cats, so it may be able to address the discomfort your pet experiences as a result of cancer.
- Skin and coat health — CBD’s relaxing properties may be able to reduce itching, which in turn leads to a healthier coat and healthier skin for your cat. Also, many CBD tinctures are made with an MCT or hemp seed oil base, both oils that have a myriad of skin-supporting benefits for animals.
- General health and quality of life — Since CBD supports the endocannabinoid system, which has a hand in regulating pretty much every vital function, CBD can help your feline friend live a better quality life on all fronts.
- Seizures & epilepsy — Research suggests that CBD may be able to help with epileptic seizures in humans (there’s even an FDA-approved CBD product for epilepsy), and it’s frequently used for the same purpose with cats. Due to its neuroprotective properties, CBD has the potential to reduce seizure frequency and intensity in cats.
- Cats in heat – If you have a female cat that hasn’t been spayed, chances are that you’ve experienced their anxious, unpredictable behavior while they’re “in heat” – a fertile period in their reproductive cycle in which they’re seeking to mate. CBD may promote relaxation for your cat, helping her to settle down a bit during this period.
How Much CBD Should You Give Your Cat?
Although your cat’s CBD dosage will vary depending on why you’re giving it to them, and on other factors, we generally recommend starting by giving your cat 2mg of CBD for every 10 pounds that they weigh.
However, we find it’s best to start with a specific weight-based dosage formula, rather than a given amount:
For a low-strength CBD dosage for your cat, use the following formula:
(0.2) x (your cat’s body weight in pounds) = your cat’s CBD dosage in mg
For a medium-strength CBD dosage for your cat, use the following formula:
(0.4) x (your cat’s body weight in pounds) = your cat’s CBD dosage in mg
For a high-strength CBD dosage for your cat, use the following formula:
(0.6) x (your cat’s body weight in pounds) = your cat’s CBD dosage in mg
With these dosage formulas in mind, see the “CBD dosage for cats by use” section to determine which formula is best.
Talk to your vet first
In addition to using a formula to guide your cat’s CBD dosage, we always recommend speaking with your cat’s veterinarian beforehand – especially if they’re on medications.
This will allow you to ensure CBD is safe for your cat, as it can interact with some medications and create adverse side effects for your pet.
CBD Dosage for Cats By Use
Based on why your cat needs CBD, we recommend using a specific dosage formula to calculate their dose. Once you’ve found the right formula, see the calculator (above) or chart (below) to determine your cat’s ideal CBD dosage!
CBD Dosage for Cats for Anxiety
For anxiety, we recommend starting by giving your cat a low-strength dosage of CBD:
Low strength: (0.2) x (your cat’s body weight in pounds) = your cat’s CBD dosage in mg
CBD Dosage for Cats for Pain, Inflammation, and Joint Support
For pain, inflammation, joint support, mobility support, and related issues, we recommend starting by giving your cat a medium-strength dosage of CBD:
Medium strength: (0.4) x (your cat’s body weight in pounds) = your cat’s CBD dosage in mg
CBD Dosage for Cats for Sleep
For sleep support, we recommend starting by giving your cat a low-strength dosage of CBD:
Low strength: (0.2) x (your cat’s body weight in pounds) = your cat’s CBD dosage in mg
CBD Dosage for Cats for Other Uses
For other uses, here are the dosage formulas you’ll want to start with when giving your cat CBD.
- General health and quality of life — low strength
- Skin and coat health — low strength
- In heat – low strength
- Cancer — high strength or vet recommendation
- Seizures & epilepsy — high or vet recommendation
CBD Dosage Chart for Cats
Related: CBD dosage chart for dogs.
Now that you know the dosage strength your cat needs, use this chart to find how much CBD they need each day:
How Long Does CBD Take to Work for Cats?
CBD generally takes 45 minutes to 1 hour to begin working in cats, assuming they’re digesting an orally consumed product (which is generally the only way cats and dogs can take CBD).
However, you’ll want to wait more than 1 hour before giving your cat an additional dose of CBD – this will ensure you have time to see how your cat reacts to the dose.
How to Dose Different CBD Products for Cats
There are two main CBD product options for cats: CBD oil and CBD treats. Here’s a bit about using each with your cat:
CBD Oil for Cats
CBD pet oil consists of hemp extract and carrier oil. Our oils feature full-spectrum CBD, which includes other cannabinoids (including THC) and terpenes, naturally occurring compounds in the hemp plant that have benefits of their own.
To give your cat CBD oil, you first need to measure their dosage in the metered dropper that comes in each bottle. Then, you can administer it by mixing it with their food or putting it directly in their mouth.
Depending on your cat’s personality, giving them CBD oil via a dropper may or may not be easy (you don’t want to lose a finger!). If this is the case, simply add it to their food or opt for a CBD cat treat instead.
CBD Treats for Cats
CBD pet treats are much like normal pet treats, but with added hemp extract. Our soft treats feature full-spectrum CBD and additional anti-inflammatory ingredients such as turmeric, arnica extract, vitamins, and minerals.
The beauty of treats is that each contains a set amount of CBD, so dosing is predictable. Many treats can also be split if your cat needs a smaller dose than is allowed for in a single piece. If you cat likes treats, giving them CBD is a breeze.
Conclusion: Helping Your Cat Find Their CBD Dosage
Cats hide discomfort much better than dogs and humans do, so you may not know your cat is struggling until they’re been struggling for a while. Because of this, many pet parents who talk to us are understandably eager to help their cat. However, effective CBD dosing for cats requires some patience and experimentation.
The key to dosing CBD for your cat is to try a small dose and see how they react; does the CBD seem to be helping, or do they seem mostly the same? You can then slowly increase (or back off) their dosage from there.
CBD Dosage for Cats: FAQs
Here are some questions our customers frequently ask us about CBD dosing for cats.
Is CBD safe for cats?
Research has found that CBD is safe and well-tolerated in cats, even in doses higher than the ones we suggest in this article.
Can you give your cat too much CBD?
CBD won’t kill a cat, but it can cause side effects if they consume too much, so in a manner of speaking, a cat can “overdose” on CBD. To prevent this, be sure to start small with the doses.
What are the side effects of CBD for cats?
CBD is generally well-tolerated in cats, but it has the potential to cause adverse side effects such as vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite, diarrhea, and dry mouth.
How often should you give your cat CBD?
We recommend giving your cat their recommended dose of CBD once a day. However, depending on your cat’s situation, it might make more sense to split their dose up into multiple smaller doses that are administered throughout the day or as needed.