CBD for Cat Stress: How Can it Help?

June 13, 2024
CBD for cat stress

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Cats might seem like they’ve got it all figured out with their cool aloofness, but just like us they can get stressed and anxious. Unlike dogs, it’s sometimes tricky to spot when a cat’s feeling off–they might start grooming themselves obsessively, hiding more than usual, or getting a bit grumpy. Their stress can come from all sorts of things like changes at home, new pets, loud noises, or those dreaded vet visits.

Lately, CBD (cannabidiol) has been making waves as a natural stress reliever for humans, and now it’s being looked at for our furry friends. Broad spectrum CBD can help promote a sense of calm and well-being. For cats, this means they might feel more relaxed and happy, ready to tackle their day without all that extra stress.

In this blog post, we’re going to dive into how CBD could help manage your cat’s stress. We’ll cover how it works, whether it’s safe and effective, and give you tips on picking the right CBD product for your kitty. Whether your cat is anxious about a new home, stressed from traveling, or just generally nervous, CBD might be the solution to helping them chill out, naturally.

Understanding Cat Stress

Signs and Symptoms

Cats are masters of hiding their discomfort, making it crucial for pet owners to recognize subtle signs of stress. Common signs include:

  • Excessive Grooming: Cats may groom themselves more than usual, sometimes to the point of creating bald spots or sores.

  • Hiding: A stressed cat might hide in unusual places and avoid social interactions.

  • Aggression: Sudden aggression towards humans or other pets (Non-recognition aggression) can be a sign of anxiety.

  • Changes in Appetite: Stress can cause cats to eat more or less than usual, leading to noticeable weight changes.

  • Litter Box Issues: An anxious cat might start urinating outside the litter box as a way to communicate their distress.

Understanding these behaviors can help pet owners identify when their cat is stressed and in need of intervention.


Several factors can contribute to stress in cats, and it’s important to identify the triggers to address the issue effectively:

  • Environmental Changes: Moving to a new home, rearranging furniture, or introducing new pets can cause significant stress.

  • Loud Noises: Thunderstorms, fireworks, or loud household noises can be particularly distressing for cats.

  • Travel: Car rides and trips to the vet are common stressors for many cats.

  • Social Stress: Changes in the social structure of the household, such as new pets or family members, can disrupt a cat’s sense of security.

  • Physiological changes: some natural changes that cats undergo over the course of their lives can cause increased stress, such as going into heat.

By recognizing the causes of stress, pet owners can take proactive steps to minimize their cat’s anxiety and create a more comforting environment.

Understanding these signs and causes is the first step in managing your cat’s stress. In the next section, we will explore how CBD can help alleviate these symptoms and provide a more relaxed and happier life for your feline friend.

What is CBD?


CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant, specifically in the hemp variety. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), another compound found in cannabis, CBD does not induce a “high.” While full spectrum CBD products do contain THC, broad spectrum CBD products don’t contain THC, making them a popular choice for those looking to harness the therapeutic benefits of hemp without the effects associated with THC.

How it Works

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex cell-signaling system present in all mammals and birds, including cats. The ECS plays a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes such as mood, appetite, sleep, and immune response. It consists of endocannabinoids, receptors (CB1 and CB2), and enzymes. When CBD is introduced into the body, it interacts with these receptors, particularly CB1 and CB2, helping to maintain balance and homeostasis.

For cats, the interaction between CBD and the ECS can help manage anxiety and stress by promoting natural calmness and relaxation.

Benefits of CBD for Cat Stress

CBD offers several benefits that can help manage stress in cats:

Environmental Changes

  • Benefit: CBD can help reduce anxiety caused by environmental changes by promoting a sense of calm and stability in the cat’s routine.

  • Application: Regular doses of CBD can help cats adapt more smoothly to new environments or changes in their living spaces.

Separation Anxiety

  • Benefit: CBD’s natural ability to promote calmness can ease tension from fear-inducing situations, such as separation from caregivers.

  • Application: Administering CBD to cats can help manage separation anxiety, making it easier for them to handle periods of absence and reducing stress-related behaviors.

Loud Noises

  • Benefit: CBD’s calming effects can help mitigate the stress response to loud noises such as thunderstorms and fireworks.

  • Application: Administering CBD before anticipated loud events can help cats remain calm and less reactive to these stressors.


  • Benefit: CBD can alleviate the anxiety associated with car rides and vet visits by reducing overall stress levels.

  • Application: Giving CBD before travel can make the journey less stressful and more comfortable for the cat.

Social Stress

  • Benefit: CBD can help manage anxiety stemming from changes in social dynamics, such as the introduction of new pets or family members.

  • Application: Consistent use of CBD can help maintain a calm demeanor in cats facing new social situations or changes in their household.

Although research on CBD’s effects specifically on cats is still limited, anecdotal evidence from pet owners and preliminary studies on other animals suggest that CBD can be a valuable tool in managing feline stress and anxiety.

Choosing the Right CBD Product

Types of CBD Products

CBD products for cats come in various forms, each with its own advantages and potential drawbacks:

  • CBD Oil for Cats: Often considered the most effective form due to its direct absorption. It allows precise dosage control and can be easily added to food or administered directly into the cat’s mouth using a dropper.

  • CBD Cat Treats: These are more palatable and convenient but may offer less precise dosage control compared to oils.

Each form has its benefits, so the best choice depends on your cat’s preferences and how easily they accept new foods.

Quality Considerations

When selecting a CBD product for your cat, it is crucial to consider the following factors to ensure safety and effectiveness:

  • Third-Party Lab Testing: Ensure the product has been tested by an independent laboratory for purity and potency. Look for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to verify that the product contains the stated amount of CBD and is free from harmful contaminants like pesticides, heavy metals, and solvents.

  • Organic Sourcing: Opt for products that are certified USDA organic (logo on product) to avoid exposure to pesticides and other harmful chemicals.

  • THC Content: Keep in mind that while broad spectrum CBD products do not contain any THC, other kinds of CBD products do, and you should keep this in mind when choosing one for your cat.

How to Administer CBD

Giving CBD to your cat can be done in several ways:

  • Directly into the Mouth: Using a dropper, squeeze the oil directly into your cat’s mouth for quick absorption.

  • Mixing with Food: Add the CBD oil to your cat’s food, making it easier for them to ingest without noticing.

  • Treats or Capsules: Use pre-measured CBD treats or capsules for convenience and ease of administration.

Monitoring and Adjusting Dosage

Start with a low dose and gradually increase it while monitoring your cat’s response. This cautious approach helps in finding the right dosage that provides the desired calming effects without causing side effects:

  • Low Dose for Mild Symptoms: 1 mg of CBD per 1 kilogram of body weight.

  • Moderate Dose for More Severe Symptoms: 2 mg of CBD per 1 kilogram of body weight.

  • High Dose for Severe Anxiety: 4 mg of CBD per 1 kilogram of body weight.

It’s easy to figure out how much CBD to use with a usage calculator for CBD Oil for Cats. Regular monitoring and consultation with a veterinarian are essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of CBD for your cat.


Managing stress in cats can be challenging, but CBD offers a promising natural solution. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help alleviate anxiety and promote overall well-being in cats. Understanding the signs and causes of stress is crucial, and CBD can be a valuable tool in your stress-management toolkit, alongside other calming methods and veterinary care.

When choosing a CBD product for your cat, prioritize quality by looking for third-party lab testing, organic sourcing, and low THC content. Various forms of CBD, such as oils, treats, and capsules, offer different advantages, allowing you to select the best option for your feline friend’s needs.

Starting with a low dose and gradually adjusting it while monitoring your cat’s response ensures safety and effectiveness. Always consult with a veterinarian before introducing CBD to your cat’s regimen, especially if they are on other medications or have underlying health conditions such as cancer or a seizure disorder.

By carefully selecting and administering CBD, you can help your cat navigate stressful situations more comfortably, leading to a happier and healthier life. Remember, every cat is unique, so what works for one might not work for another. Patience and careful observation will guide you in finding the best approach for your furry friend.

biscuits story

Biscuit's Story

Chris Kjolseth | CEO, Relievet

I was unprepared for what would happen to my dog, Biscuit. 

Ever since she was a puppy, she’d spend her days running and playing. I’d take her on walks, to the beach, and dog parks.

Unfortunately, at age 10, she started to limp after trips to the beach. It broke my heart to see her in pain doing what she loved the most. I started feeding her a raw food diet and added high-quality supplements to ensure her nutritional needs were met. Unfortunately, while she loved the food, the limping persisted.

I went to the vet, who looked over Biscuit and said she was likely limping due to joint inflammation. She gave us something to help. This worked well at first. Biscuit was moving around more freely, and was limping less. 

However, a few days later, It was to my absolute shock that she…

Read Her Story

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