Chronic kidney Disease (CKD) commonly occurs in cats upon reaching old age where they suffer from progressive symptoms that gradually worsen over time. CBD oil may help relieve some of your cat’s kidney disease symptoms. Read more to know how CBD helps and how to use CBD oil for cats with kidney disease. 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…
CBD Oil for Cats With Kidney Disease – August 2022
Can CBD Help Cats With Kidney Disease, and if So, How?
- Chronic kidney disease (CKD) commonly occurs in cats upon reaching old age and felines that have it suffer from progressive symptoms that gradually worsen over time. In most cats , CKD is idiopathic, which means that they happen spontaneously and without a clear cause (1 ) .
- The traditional treatments for kidney disease in cats focus on reducing its symptoms, with strong evidence proving that renal support diets can help with the condition. Restricting the amount of sodium, protein, and phosphorus in meals while increasing omega-3 have shown to reduce the symptoms of feline CKD (2 ) .
- A growing number of reports from pet owners claim cannabidiol (CBD) as a potential treatment for easing symptoms of chronic kidney disease. Several studies have shown that CBD oil is a natural anti-nausea agent while providing relief for pain , inflammation, and anxiety , all of which are symptoms of CKD (3-4 ) .
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cautions against the use of CBD products on animals while advising pet owners to consult a veterinarian before application.
Why Cat Owners Are Turning to CBD Oil for Cats with Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is one of the most prevalent conditions that affect cats upon reaching old age. In most cases, felines with CKD experience progressive symptoms wherein there is a gradual worsening of the disorder and a decline in the cat’s health.
Common symptoms of CKD in cats include frequent urination, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, bacterial infections, and loss of appetite.
The disease is commonly observed around the age of 12 years and happens more frequently in felines than canines. CKD in the majority of cats is also idiopathic, which means that it occurs spontaneously and does not have a clear cause (5 ) .
Conventional treatment of feline chronic kidney disease focuses on reducing the symptoms that arise due to hampered renal function. There is strong evidence that proves renal diets can help with CKD.
Rather than provide felines with standard cat food, kidney support diets contain less sodium, phosphorus, and protein. Cats are given increased omega-3 in their meals since studies have shown that this fatty acid can reduce the symptoms of CKD.
A review in 2016 investigates four studies on the potential health benefits of omega-3 for patients with CKD. The scientists confirmed that this particular fatty acid could help improve the quality of life in CKD patients, making it an attractive treatment option to alleviate its symptoms (6 ) .
However, there is also another option that could potentially benefit felines with kidney problems. A growing number of anecdotal reports and testimonials from pet owners claim that CBD may help ease chronic kidney disease symptoms.
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is one of two primary active compounds present in Cannabis plants. It is said to have numerous therapeutic applications, which include providing relief for pain, inflammation, and anxiety.
Symptoms of CKD, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and appetite loss, can be dangerous since these three combined can lead to rapid weight loss. Aging felines with kidney disease are particularly sensitive to losing weight, which can significantly affect their quality of life.
A study published in 2012 aims to investigate reports of how CBD can bind to human serotonin receptors and produce anti-nausea effects. The research results show that CBD is capable of suppressing nausea and vomiting in rats upon targeting the said receptors (7 ) .
One study that was published the following year shows the antiemetic and anti-nausea effects of CBD along with other cannabinoids such as cannabidiolic acid (CBDA) and cannabigerol (CBG). Researchers further confirm that these non-psychoactive compounds can inhibit anticipatory nausea and toxin-induced vomiting in shrews and rats (8 ) .
The clinical trial once again targets the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which significantly affects emesis (vomiting) in the animal model.
A study on CBD extract being given to treatment-resistant epilepsy patients shows that it improves appetite while stimulating body weight gain (9 ) . Although the test was made on human subjects, the benefits of CBD can translate to animals since both models are commonly used in clinical trials.
These preliminary findings exhibit CBD as a promising treatment for nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss, which are all common symptoms of CKD.
How CBD Oil Works to Help Cats with Kidney Disease
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system that regulates normal bodily functions in mammalian species, including humans and cats (10 ) . Since the ECS works similarly in all mammals, many cat owners believe felines can benefit from using CBD the same way humans do.
Cannabinoids, such as CBD, bring about their therapeutic effects by the way they interact with the ECS and its neurotransmitters. The CB1 and CB2 receptors are the two main transmitters that are available in the ECS.
The CB1 receptors are the primary transmitters involved in modulating the central nervous system and the brain, but it is also found in other parts of the body such as the kidneys. Meanwhile, the CB2 receptors are present on cells that affect the body’s immune system (11 ) .
CB1 receptors play a crucial role in appetite, sleep , mood, pain sensation, motor regulation, and the processing of memory. Studies show that the CB1 receptors have a vital part in attenuating and suppressing pain in the body (12 ) .
The CB2 receptors, on the other hand, bring about an anti-inflammatory response while preventing tissue damage. Activation of these CB2 receptors leads to the reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress (13 ) .
In 2019, a study published by Wolters Kluwer Health showed that CBD’s interaction with serotonin receptors does possess properties for relief of anxiety and pain. The scientists in the research found that consistent low-dose treatments of CBD induce analgesia while reducing stress by activating the 5-HT1A receptors (14 ) .
Serotonin is also the same chemical that mediates nausea and vomiting, with this relationship being the basis for pharmacological therapy on both symptoms (15 ) .
Experts believe that by targeting the ECS with external cannabinoids like CBD, they can trigger the same therapeutic responses from its receptors, thereby improving the patient’s quality of life.
The Pros and Cons of CBD Oil for Cats
- The therapeutic benefits of CBD in felines may be attributed to how the ECS works in a similar fashion for all mammals, including humans and cats.
- CBD affects the 5-HT1A or serotonin receptors in the body, which helps control nausea and vomiting, two primary symptoms of CKD.
- Many veterinarians claim that CBD hemp oil products are generally safe for use in cats, so long as they are applied according to veterinary instructions (16 ) .
- As of March 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet received any reports of life-threatening side effects associated with Cannabis use in animals (17 ) .
- Numerous manufacturers are offering CBD products for cats, with industrial hemp-derived cannabidiol being legal in many states.
- There are no in-depth studies on specific CBD use in cats, along with data on its long-term effects.
- The FDA does not approve of using Cannabis or any of its related products on animals, warning pet owners against the possible adverse reactions from these compounds (18 ) .
- Most of the studies on CBD were either done on humans or rodents, and there is no clear indication that cats can genuinely benefit from its therapeutic effects.
- There is a possibility that CBD will have interactions with supplements, diets, and drugs that are presently being taken by a cat with chronic kidney disease.
How CBD Oil Compares to Alternative Treatments for Cats with Kidney Disease
Some cats may require initial intravenous fluid therapy to help them cope with dehydration. Since CKD is irreversible, the primary means of treatment for the condition aims to support kidney function while minimizing its complications.
Managing kidney failure disease in cats often requires repeat clinical visits to identify treatable concerns such as urinary infections, hypertension, nausea, and weight loss.
Making dietary changes is essential for cats with CKD to slow the disease’s progression while improving their quality of life. A typical diet for CKD patients involves reducing sodium and protein presence in meals while increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Likewise, CBD can also be included in a cat’s daily regimen through various delivery formats. The compound can be inserted as capsules during mealtime or applied directly via oral intake by way of cat treats .
Tinctures, creams, and other edibles are also some of the most popular CBD products available in the market.
CBD is capable of inhibiting the sensation of nausea that is prevalent with chronic kidney disease. Doing so helps prevent vomiting and, thus, weight loss, especially when it happens regularly.
Furthermore, cannabidiol also provides relief for pain and anxiety, which are possible symptoms of feline CKD.
How to Choose the Best CBD Products for Cats
CBD extract is often obtained from the hemp plant due to its high presence of the cannabinoid. There are at least three main types of CBD oil, which are known as full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate.
Full-spectrum CBD is the variety that contains all of the cannabinoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds that are naturally available in Cannabis sativa. It also includes the other major component of the plant, which is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC.
THC is known as the psychoactive chemical that brings about the “high” in medical marijuana. CBD products containing THC are also not recommended by some veterinarians for animal use.
Broad-spectrum CBD oils are very similar to full-spectrum in that they also contain the same cannabinoids, except for THC. Meanwhile, the CBD isolates are made purely of cannabidiol extract and nothing more.
Out of the three options, the isolates are perhaps the safest choice in terms of administering CBD on cats with kidney disease. It is equally important to purchase only the highest quality of pet CBD oil available to get the most effects.
To help pet owners ensure that their CBD oil is safe and of good quality, the following should be considered:
- Buy CBD pet products that are made from organic CBD oil and other holistic ingredients. Keep an eye out for CBD for cats that could contain herb extracts, minerals, and essential oils.
- Purchase GMO-free CBD oil derived from organic hemp. Legitimate and reputable CBD companies grow their own hemp or source them from licensed providers.
- Ask for the Certificate of Analysis for the desired CBD products or their lab results. Pet owners can compare the potency of CBD oil with third-party lab test results to verify its quality.
- Administer CBD oil only after consulting with a veterinarian and follow their instructions carefully.
CBD Dosage for Cats with Kidney Disease
There is no recommended dosage of CBD oil for cats with chronic kidney disease since the product is not approved nor regulated by the FDA. Although there may be no specific dosing guidelines, some veterinarians may suggest applying CBD based on the age, weight, diet, and wellbeing of a cat.
The golden rule surrounding CBD use at this time is to start with small doses on a pet and observe its reactions. Owners can eventually increase the dosage until they are able to achieve the desired effect in their cats.
Although CBD is considered by veterinarians to be safe for cats, the results are not guaranteed since there are no in-depth studies on it yet.
Always consult a veterinarian before deciding to apply CBD oil in a pet’s diet or daily regimen to avoid health issues.
How CBD Oil Can Be Given to Cats with Kidney Disease
CBD is available in different formats, with the most common being in the form of tinctures, treats, and capsules.
Cannabidiol sold as tinctures often come with droppers as these are usually applied under the tongue and are easier to measure compared to other CBD products. Pet owners can also add the CBD oils from tinctures directly into their cat’s food or water if they find it difficult to administer by mouth.
CBD cat treats are the easiest and most enticing for feline companions to consume. These contain CBD and usually other natural flavorings such as tuna or catnip, which can be very irresistible to cats.
The treats have the highest caloric content out of all CBD oil products, which may or may not be beneficial to felines that need to maintain a certain weight. Also, applying CBD cat treats according to exact dosing instructions can be harder than tinctures.
CBD oil is also available in capsule format that, although not as appealing as treats, can be inserted into cat food during mealtimes. These CBD pills are an alternative delivery format in case tinctures or treats are unavailable.
The CBD hemp products available today are not equal and may have a different reaction to individual cats. CBD consumed by way of tinctures works the fastest as they enter the bloodstream directly, mainly when applied under the tongue.
Providing a cat with a CBD treat or capsule means that the product needs to travel via the digestive system first before it arrives at the ECS. This route indicates that it is going to take this approach longer.
Ultimately, it is up to the owner to decide how quickly they want their pet to experience CBD’s effects, as one format may be better than the other.
How Chronic Kidney Disease is Diagnosed
CKD diagnosis usually involves a collection of urine and blood samples during the time of analysis.
The conventional approach is to analyze two substances in the blood, which are blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine, since these are byproducts excreted by the kidneys. A cat that has increased concentrations of these two products in their blood often means they have CKD.
Since other conditions can also cause heightened levels of these substances, urine samples are also taken with the blood tests. CKD typically shows an increase in urea and creatinine concentrations, including poorly concentrated urine (positive or negative proteins in the urine).
A new approach in blood testing has recently become available that could be of value in diagnosing feline CKD.
Symmetric Dimethylarginine or SDMA, which is six times more sensitive than creatinine, allows earlier CKD detection in some cats while allowing a more precise diagnosis of CKD staging in others.
Chronic kidney disease is a widespread type of disorder that affects geriatric cats. In most cases, felines may experience CKD’s progressive symptoms, as well as a gradual worsening of their condition.
Nausea, vomiting, bacterial infections, diarrhea, and loss of appetite are the most prevalent symptoms of CKD. In cats, many kidney disease instances are idiopathic, which means that they happen spontaneously and without a clear cause.
Traditionally, feline CKD is treated by reducing its symptoms since there is no cure for the said disorder. However, it is important to test and treat CKD because cats can have an “acute on chronic” form if they develop a secondary problem like an infection, which is treatable.
Diets that support the wellbeing of kidneys, such as providing less sodium, phosphorus, and protein, are often the recommended approach.
Many reports and testimonials from pet owners state that CBD is also capable of easing the symptoms that come with chronic kidney disease. According to several studies, the phytocannabinoid affects the serotonin levels in the body, which regulates the feeling of nausea and vomiting, two common symptoms of CKD.
Furthermore, research studies have also shown that cannabidiol can provide relief for pain, inflammation, and anxiety, which are all sub-conditions of kidney disease.
The FDA does not approve nor regulate the use of CBD on animals and warns pet owners about the potential side effects the extract may have. They also suggest that they consult with a reputable veterinarian before deciding to implement CBD in their pet’s daily regimen.
CBD Oil For Cats With Kidney Disease: Is it Safe & Effective?
Cats, especially our senior feline friends, also develop kidney disease. If your pet has been diagnosed with this medical condition, then know that CBD oil can help. It has many therapeutic effects that can help relieve symptoms of kidney diseases.
In this article, we’ll discuss how CBD oil helps cats with kidney disease and how to get the right dosage for them.
Cats and Kidney Disease
The main function of the kidneys is to filter the blood. The important compounds go back into the bloodstream, while the waste products go to the bladder and become part of the urine.
As your cat ages, the kidneys also start to deteriorate, affecting the way it normally functions. The more damage the kidneys sustain, the higher the risk of developing kidney disease.
According to one study, chronic kidney disease is considered one of the most common diseases that affect domesticated cats, especially those who are more than 12 years of age. Senior cats, the study continues, are more prone to chronic kidney disease than dogs, and the prevalence is increasing yearly.
Other causes of kidney disease in cats include genetics, bacterial infection, autoimmune problems, heart dysfunction, trauma to the pelvic region, blockages, ingestion of toxic substances, chronic dehydration, among others.
What are the Symptoms of Cat Kidney Disease?
When your cat’s kidneys start deteriorating, it will no longer be able to filter blood properly. The waste products start leaking and accumulate in the bloodstream, causing the symptoms of kidney disease. These include:
- Lethargy and weakness
- Loss of appetite with weight loss
- Anxiety, stress, and even depression
- Vomiting, which may sometimes contain blood
- Diarrhea, which sometimes contains blood
- Excessive thirst
- Chronic dehydration
- Bad breath
- Pain in the region of the kidneys, characterized by an arched back and stiff gait
- Infrequent, diminished, or absent urination
If left untreated, chronic kidney disease results in kidney failure and even death.
How is Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats Treated?
There’s no cure for cat chronic kidney disease.
However, medications may be given to at least reduce symptoms and slow down the disease progression. Vitamins and supplements may also be administered to correct a chemical imbalance in the body.
Today, an increasing number of pet owners are looking for CBD oil for cats with kidney disease and are using it, saying that it helps improve their cat’s quality of life.
How does CBD oil benefit cats with kidney disease? Is it safe? How do you give CBD oil to your cat?
Cat’s Endocannabinoid System
Studies show that all mammals, which include cats, have an endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS helps keep the balance between the excitatory and inhibitory chemicals in the body. Any imbalance between these two may result in symptoms.
For example, kidney disease not only causes electrolyte imbalance but also affects the neurotransmitter levels in the brain. This causes motor problems, seizures, and even coma.
Now, the ECS works to correct this imbalance, resulting in symptom control.
Similar to the human ECS, the cat’s ECS is also made up of three components.
When there’s a noxious stimulus like pain and infection, the cells release endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids. These compounds bind to the cannabinoid receptors found on the cells.
There are two types of cannabinoid receptors — CB1R and CB2R.
Although found all over the body, the brain and spinal cord contain the highest concentrations of CB1Rs. Their activation in the brain helps control many physiological responses, from appetite and sleep to pain and anxiety. The CB1R is also the receptor that THC stimulates to produce hallucinogenic, psychoactive, mind-altering effects.
The CB2R, on the other hand, is mostly located in the immune cells. Its activation produces a powerful anti-inflammatory effect.
Activation of the ECS helps control many symptoms, but its effects are short-lived because the endocannabinoids are easily degraded by the enzymes. The cells also quickly reabsorb the degraded endocannabinoids.
How Does CBD Oil Benefit Cats with Kidney Disease?
The therapeutic effects of the endocannabinoids are short-lived. They’re quickly degraded by the enzymes for reabsorption back into the cells.
Now, CBD produces many therapeutic effects that benefit cats with kidney disease. It may not directly activate the CB1R, but it works on the CB2R as well as several receptors that control our responses to stimulus.
Below are some of its benefits.
If you notice your cat walking with a stiff-legged gait and an arched back, then your pet might be suffering from kidney pain.
Giving CBD oil helps reduce your cat’s kidney pain. It stimulates the receptors controlling pain, and when these are activated, they prompt the cells to reduce their release of pain-generating chemicals.
Decrease in Low-Grade Inflammation Within the Body
Damaged kidney cells release pro-inflammatory chemicals. These chemicals attract more immune cells to the injured site, causing low-grade inflammation of the kidneys. The longer the kidneys are in a state of chronic inflammation, the more damage it can cause the organ. Not only can low-grade inflammation cause more symptoms, but it can also speed up disease progression.
By stimulating the CB2R and other receptors on the immune cells, CBD reduces low-grade inflammation. Their activation signals the immune cells to stop releasing chemicals that contribute to inflammation. CBD also triggers chemical changes within the immune cells that lead to cell death.
Relief from Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
The most common cause of mood changes in cats is separation anxiety. This problem can be addressed by spending more time with your cat or through behavior modification changes.
If the cause is unknown though, then your cat might be suffering from an underlying medical condition, one of which is kidney disease.
CBD offers relief from anxiety and depression for cats. It stimulates the brain receptors that modulate mood, fear, and anxiety, and stress. CBD also promotes balance between the excitatory and inhibitory chemicals in the brain.
These effects make your cat feel calmer.
Decrease in Vomiting
The buildup of waste products in the blood causes nausea and vomiting in your cat, affecting appetite and resulting in weight loss.
CBD helps control nausea and vomiting through its effects on the serotonin receptor. It also prevents conditioned gaping reactions caused by nausea.
Helps the Endocannabinoid System
Chronic health problems weaken the ECS, and a weakened ECS won’t be able to do its job of maintaining balance within the body.
CBD not only boosts the health of your cat’s ECS but also allows the endocannabinoids to stay longer inside the body. CBD attaches to the enzymes, preventing them from degrading the endocannabinoids.
Is CBD Oil for Cats with Kidney Disease Safe?
Yes, giving your cat CBD oil should be safe. Many pet owners who use CBD oil for cats with kidney disease report an improvement in their symptoms. There may be some side effects at first, but these are usually well-tolerated by our feline friends.
Don’t give your cat CBD oil with a high THC level. Not only is it toxic to cats, but THC also causes neurological side effects. THC affects their motor coordination. It may also cause agitation, aggression, and increased salivation.
As for the side effects, CBD may cause upset stomach and diarrhea in some cats. Motor incoordination may also occur, but this is common in CBD oils with high levels of THC.
Is It Legal to Use CBD Oil for Cats with Kidney Disease?
CBD oil derived from industrial hemp is legal under the 2018 Farm Bill, provided its THC content doesn’t exceed 0.3%. However, the market for pet CBD oil remains unregulated. This puts you at risk of buying inferior and maybe even contaminated pet CBD products that may be dangerous for cats.
To protect your cat’s health, you need to know how to choose a good CBD oil.
How Do You Choose CBD Oil for Cats with Kidney Disease?
How do you know you’re buying quality pet CBD oil? What are the factors to consider? Here are some guidelines to consider to find the best CBD product for your cat.
Source of the CBD Extract
For the safety of your cat, choose hemp-derived CBD that doesn’t contain any traces of THC. If the product contains THC, make sure that its level doesn’t exceed 0.3%.
Type of CBD Oils
You’ll encounter three types of CBD oil — pure, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum CBD oil.
They all contain CBD. The only difference lies in the addition of extra cannabinoids and terpenes.
Pure CBD oil only contains CBD isolate, and no other ingredients.
Broad-spectrum and full-spectrum CBD oils both have additional cannabinoids and terpenes. However, full-spectrum CBD also has some THC in it (no more than 0.3%)
They can all help relieve your cat’s kidney disease symptoms. But for better symptom control, choose full-spectrum CBD oil. The addition of THC makes the CBD oil stronger since it enhances the beneficial properties of the other cannabinoids and terpenes.
Don’t worry about the THC content though. It’s a very low amount and won’t cause any mind-altering effects.
Laboratory Test Result
You’re not always assured of the pet CBD oil’s quality, especially since it’s an unregulated market.
To be safe, always choose pet CBD oils with certificates of analysis (COA). The COA means that the product underwent laboratory testing done by a certified third party.
The laboratory tests look for traces of pathogens, toxic residues, residual solvents, heavy metals, and artificial pesticides and fertilizers, among others. They also check the potency of the product and make sure that it does contain its stated cannabinoid profile and potency.
Stay away from pet CBD oils that don’t have COAs.
Reviews and Feedback
It’s also just as important to read reviews about the company and the products they’re making. These already give you a good idea of how effective the product is (or not!).
Again, avoid pet CBD oils that receive many negative reviews. If they’re not happy with it, you probably won’t be either.
What’s the Best CBD Oil Dosage for Cats with Kidney Disease?
There’s no approved recommended daily intake (RDI) for pet CBD oil yet, but experts recommend giving cats 1 mg (low dose for mild symptoms), 3 mg (medium dose for moderate symptoms), and 5 mg (high dose for severe symptoms) of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight.
For example, your Maine Coon cat weighs a hefty 20 pounds, and you have a 300 mg pet CBD oil in a 30 mL bottle.
The first step is to divide 300 by 30 to get the total milligrams of CBD per one full dropper. This should give you about 10 mg per one full dropper. Since one dropper roughly has about 20 drops, divide 10 by 20, which will give you 0.5. This means that one drop has about 0.5 mg of CBD.
If your cat has mild kidney disease symptoms, then he’ll need about 2 mg of CBD (4 drops) daily; 6 mg of CBD (12 drops) for moderate symptoms; and 10 mg of CBD (20 drops) or one full dropper for severe symptoms.
You can also start your cat at a much lower dose compared to the calculation above. This way, you can easily control the dose and prevent side effects.
If side effects occur, cut down on the dose. If there’s still no improvement even after about three days, you can increase the amount.
Monitor your cat’s response to CBD throughout the trial period. This should help you find the best CBD dosage for his kidney disease symptoms.
How Do You Give CBD Oil to Your Cat?
Flavored pet CBD oils make it easier for you to give your cat his dose. If your pet likes the taste, then you can simply squeeze the oil directly into the side of his mouth.
If your cat doesn’t like the taste, then add the drops to his favorite meal.
You should be able to notice the effects within 30 minutes to an hour after consuming CBD.
Final Thoughts — Can You Give CBD Oil for Cats with Kidney Disease?
Giving CBD oil to your cat with kidney disease should be okay, as long as it’s hemp-derived with a THC level of less than 0.3%. CBD may produce some side effects, but its benefits far outweigh its risks. CBD helps relieve many symptoms associated with kidney disease, allowing your beloved cat to enjoy life.
As a responsible owner, always choose a quality CBD product for your cat. Make sure its CBD came from organic hemp, and that the product underwent laboratory testing.
Do you use CBD oil for your cat’s kidney disease? Does it help? Share your story with us in the comment section; we’d love to hear from you!
References Used in the Article:
- Brown, C. A., Elliott, J., Schmiedt, C. W., & Brown, S. A. (2016). Chronic Kidney Disease in Aged Cats: Clinical Features, Morphology, and Proposed Pathogeneses. Veterinary pathology, 53(2), 309–326. 
- Silver R. J. (2019). The Endocannabinoid System of Animals. Animals: an open-access journal from MDPI, 9(9), 686. 
- Malek M. (2018). Brain consequences of acute kidney injury: Focusing on the hippocampus. Kidney research and clinical practice, 37(4), 315–322. 
- Argueta, D. A., Ventura, C. M., Kiven, S., Sagi, V., & Gupta, K. (2020). A Balanced Approach for Cannabidiol Use in Chronic Pain. Frontiers in pharmacology, 11, 561.
- Yilmaz, M. I., Carrero, J. J., Axelsson, J., Lindholm, B., & Stenvinkel, P. (2007). Low-grade inflammation in chronic kidney disease patients before the start of renal replacement therapy: sources and consequences. Clinical nephrology, 68(1), 1–9.
- Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2019). Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1), 21.
- Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics: the journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836.
- Parker, L. A., Rock, E. M., & Limebeer, C. L. (2011). Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids. British journal of pharmacology, 163(7), 1411–1422.
- Deutsch D. G. (2016). A Personal Retrospective: Elevating Anandamide (AEA) by Targeting Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) and the Fatty Acid Binding Proteins (FABPs). Frontiers in pharmacology, 7, 370.
- Janeczek, A., Zawadzki, M., Szpot, P., & Niedzwiedz, A. (2018). Marijuana intoxication in a cat. Acta veterinaria Scandinavica, 60(1), 44.
Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.
Is CBD Oil Good for Cats With Kidney Disease? What You Need To Know!
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.
Image Credit: Erin_Hinterland, Pixabay
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.
Image Credit: Lightcube, Shutterstock
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.