I am sure you are familiar with the popularity of CBD oil. It is used to treat a number of maladies in both pets and their people. So, what about using it to treat psychological symptoms that contribute to your pet’s overall wellness? Since medical cannabis is now legal in many states and has proven successful in treating a number of human medical conditions, let’s see if that part of the plant without the psychoactive ingredients can be used to improve the lives of our pets.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the non-intoxicating compound made from cannabis that has been successful in treating various human conditions, both physical and mental. CBD oil for pets is now produced by a number of different manufacturers and is proving to be one of the most effective means for treating anxiety in pets. Let’s look into why this plant product has proven so helpful.
As you know from reading this column, most cats are obsessive/compulsive to varying degrees, depending upon the individual cat. Felines prefer everything in its place, and they will not suffer changes to their daily routine without becoming anxious. A common propensity towards anxiety exits in cats, the degree of which will vary with each individual. As humans, we may not even be aware of all the stress triggers that produce anxiety in our feline’s world.
When fear or stress produces anxiety, the cat’s body prepares for “fight or flight.” His adrenaline and cortisol hormones increase while his muscles tense and his heart rate rises. Unfortunately, this response comes from perceived threats which can be exaggerated in the cat’s mind. The cat is frequently on edge and manifests the unhealthy physical reactions described above. When these reactions become ingrained, they become all too habitual, interfering with his quality of life. Though drug interventions are available, many of today’s pet parents are opting for CBD as a more natural alternative treatment.
How to tell: It is sometimes difficult to determine if your cat is suffering from anxiety. Signs that could be indicative of feline anxiety include too much hiding or sleeping, too much meowing or clinging, or lack of appetite. Obviously, these signs can be subtle and are often masked by the cat’s independent attitude.
However, do take note of some of the outward environmental changes that can commonly produce feline anxiety: Changes to routine, as mentioned, can be the biggest trigger. This can include a physical relocation or move, or the introduction of additional animals into their territory. Even mild alterations to their daily routines can have lasting effects unless these changes are introduced slowly and carefully, allowing cats to become gradually accustomed to them.
Finally, there is situational anxiety. This includes triggers such as loud noises like thunder or fireworks, or simply having too many people in the house. As you should know, cats’ hearing is one of their superpowers and it is extremely sensitive. In essence, very loud noises are hurtful to their sensitive eardrums.
What to do: Despite a dearth of clinical studies, we know that cats, like people, have the neurotransmitter gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is key to reducing symptoms of anxiety. CBD facilitates an upsurge of this brain chemical, leading to a lessening of the harmful reactions brought on by the usual triggers.
CBD oil should be started with low doses that will be best tolerated by your cat. Never use human-grade CBD, as that will prove much too strong. If pharmaceutical intervention is eventually needed, see your vet. By being vigilant, you can help your fur companion combat his cat anxiety and live his best life.
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