By Jenny Menzel, H.C.
The runt of a litter, five-week-old Betty Boots (AKA “BB”) demanded my attention, loudly meowing at my feet after I stepped into the local animal shelter’s kitty room. I was looking for a kitten to welcome home after my 14-year-old cat, Smokey, had been peacefully put down following a struggle with a debilitating jaw tumor. Like Smokey and my first cat Bootsie, BB had a white tuxedo pattern on her chest and matching boots for paws. As I held her, she purred and kneaded. It was clear — she chose me, and I chose her.
After bringing BB home, I realized she was intensely anxious, clingy, and had odd digestive issues, causing her to vomit occasionally after eating. The vet said she would grow out of it, but she never did. It wasn’t until she was six years old that I started considering CBD oil to ease her tummy and her nervousness. I knew the benefits of CBD for pets and believed it would help BB, but I questioned if I could actually get her to take it. As a left-pawed, crooked-sitting, fresh-water-demanding cat that required food rotation to satisfy her need for variety — she was difficult to please. Nonetheless, I was determined to get her on CBD. This article shares how I did it and what results were achieved.
6 Steps I Took to Get My Cat to Take CBD
Step 1: I Found The Best CBD Supplier.
For me, this part was easy since I already learned how to be a smart CBD shopper when I was looking for CBD oil for myself. Finding the best CBD oil for your furry friends involves the same basic steps: I found a trustworthy brand that was third-party tested and well-rated. Luckily, they happened to have a CBD oil formulated for pets. Ensuring you are buying from a quality CBD supplier provides you with peace of mind your product will have accurate labeling and be free of harmful contaminants like heavy metals, microbes, and toxic residue from solvents.
Step 2: I Took My Cat’s Food Preferences into Account.
I chose CBD oil because of how easily it mixes with my cat’s favorite hard food. Because of how much she loves drinking water, I first tried mixing the CBD oil in her water dish. However, I quickly remembered not only does oil not easily mix with water, but I wouldn’t be able to accurately measure BB’s dosage because of how she drinks — constantly requiring fresh water and never finishing a bowl. I wanted to be able to measure progress by monitoring her doses. So, I decided to set her up on a scheduled feeding system rather than free feeding like she had been doing.
When taking your pet’s food preferences into account, the most important is to make sure they are getting the CBD oil into their system orally. Does your cat drink a lot of water, or not enough? Do they prefer soft food or hard food? Do they have a favorite treat? Knowing what your cat loves to eat or drink will help you determine the best way to deliver CBD to them.
Step 3: I Implemented a Feeding Schedule.
Before even attempting to deliver CBD to my cat, I did what I have done with my own health at the beginning of a new regimen: I went back to the basics to establish a true baseline. I realized I had little awareness of how much my cat eats on a daily basis because she was free-fed. I devoted a special notebook to charting my cat’s food intake, with room to jot down objective observations. Since I suspected BB was vomiting due to eating too much in one sitting, I decided only to feed her ¼ cup of food to start. I soon discovered she was satisfied being fed that amount three times daily. This one act of getting her on a feeding schedule offered the stability my cat needed to soothe her restlessness. It was time to see if CBD could add further benefits.
Step 4: I Weighed My Cat to Determine the recommended dose.
Most CBD products will come with recommended dosages on the package. This serves as a general starting point to determine appropriate dosing. A reputable CBD supplier that specifically formulates CBD oil for pets will usually have a recommended amount of drops to deliver per body weight. My cat is 12 pounds, so I did the math according to the third-party tested label and figured she could start with 15 drops per day. At each of her three feeding times, I added five drops of CBD to each quarter-cup of food.
Thanks to the previous week or two of setting up the new feeding schedule, I knew BB liked the food she was eating. But to enhance the chances of her accepting the addition of CBD, I used a plastic baggie to mix up the hard food and CBD drops — shaking it after closing to evenly coat the oil onto the hard food.
Step 5: I Observed and Recorded her Progress.
Although my cat was originally suspicious of the new smell of bacon-flavored CBD on her food, she eventually accepted the change. I was diligent in sticking to the feeding schedule, as well as observing and recording CBD dosage. Through trial and error, I eventually determined a bad brand of cat food and inconsistent feeding times were at the core of BB’s nervous eating and induced vomiting. After introducing CBD to her daily routine, I noticed subtle changes in her mood. She wasn’t as aggressive and restless, and she seemed settled enough to nap longer — as normal cats do. This helped me see the CBD could be having a positive effect on her behavior.
Step 6: I Made Adjustments as Needed.
Because CBD absorbs best in the mouth, I placed my cat on a consistent feeding schedule to monitor how many drops she was getting. But due to her obsession with fresh water, water-soluble, other delivery methods, like nanosized CBD, might be a good option for her in the future, as well as rubbing CBD oil into her outer ear to increase absorption through the capillaries. Depending on your cat, other delivery methods may work better for his or her personality.
These foundational steps to getting your cat on CBD are relatively simple — or as simple as they can be, considering your patient is a cat! I truly learned the sentiment behind the phrase, “It’s like herding cats.” They’re independent, and they do what they want when they want. It can be exhausting trying to get them to follow any new program. However, the effort invested was worth it. So far, CBD seems to have helped BB feel more secure and less anxious, leading to a significant decrease in nervous overeating and vomiting. As she seems more satisfied, secure, and calm, her sweet qualities show as she follows me almost everywhere, nesting in towels she drags onto the bathroom floor.
Jenny Menzel, H.C., is a Certified Health Coach and branding specialist for various alternative healthcare practices, and volunteers her design skills to the annual grassroots campaign, the Lyme Disease Challenge. Jenny was diagnosed with Lyme in 2010 after 8 years of undiagnosed chronic pain and fatigue, and continues to improve by employing multiple alternative therapies, including Āyurveda, Chinese Medicine and Bee Venom Therapy.