Cats are picky eaters, but there comes a point where being picky poses a much more serious problem. A loss of appetite that persists for more than twelve hours is a sign that your cat could be ill or in pain. If the lack of appetite continues, you may need to seek out a vet for medical attention and possibly medication. However, there are a few things you can try as a natural cat appetite stimulant if you prefer a more natural approach and decide not to use drugs that could have adverse effects. Let’s take a look!
Why is My Cat Eating Very Little?
If you notice that your cat is eating very little, you should try to find out the underlying cause as soon as possible. In some cases it could be a minor issue that you can treat at home. However, in case of a more serious concern, an illness or condition could potentially cause harm to your cat.
There are several possible reasons that can explain why your cat is eating too little:
- Illness – When animals get sick, they sometimes lose their appetite. Your cat may have some sort of illness that you do not know about.
- Pain – Something as little as a toothache can make your cat not want to eat. It may not be serious, but it is still something to take note of.
- Vaccinations – Loss of appetite is a common side effect of vaccinations. Your cat may have had an adverse reaction to a recent vaccination.
- Change in routine – When traveling, your cat may get upset with changes in schedule and unfamiliar surroundings. This can cause your cat to have a reduced appetite.
- Anxiety or depression – A psychological issue such as anxiety or depression can make your cat lose its appetite.
Prescription Appetite Stimulants for Cats
Conventional medicine offers a few treatment options for stimulating your cat’s appetite. Most people turn to these kinds of drugs as a first option because they are prescribed by the vet. The truth is that these drugs can have serious side effects when used for long-term treatment.
Mirtazapine is an antidepressant drug that they use to stimulate appetite in cats. It works by blocking the receptors to which norepinephrine and serotonin normally bind. Possible side effects include:
- Increased vocalization
Cyproheptadine is a serotonin antagonist and an antihistamine that used to be popular for appetite stimulation. The more effective mirtazapine is often used in place of this drug because it does not need to be administered as frequently. Possible side effects can include:
- Dry mouth
- Increased heart rate
Drugs like prednisolone or prednisone can be effective in stimulating a cat’s appetite. Long-term use can have serious side effects, however. Possible side effects:
- Cushing’s disease (long-term use)
Natural Appetite Stimulants for Cats
- Catnip – Most cats absolutely love catnip. It comes from the mint family, so it is natural and therefore safe for your cat. A sprinkle of catnip on a toy or on the floor can significantly change your cat’s behavior and stimulate the appetite.
- New smells – Cats love salty and savory foods. You can try adding some bacon pieces or cheese bits to your cat’s food. These desirable smells might increase your cat’s interest in the food.
- Increase blood flow – An increase in blood flow can help increase your cat’s appetite. Playing with your cat is a great way to do this. You can also try giving them a massage to stimulate blood flow.
- Relaxing environment – Loud people or other pets may cause stress to your cat and depress his hunger. Making your cat’s environment comfortable for him can greatly change his mood and improve appetite.
CBD As A Cat Appetite Stimulant
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural cannabinoid that comes from the hemp plant. It has many healing and therapeutic properties that can help your cat relax and potentially stimulate their appetite. CBD helps support the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to help provide a strong internal balance within your cat. All cats and virtually all other mammals have an ECS that’s responsible for regulating many functions in the body, like sleep, mood, immune response, appetite, and digestion.
What Are the Benefits of CBD for Cats?
Because CBD interacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors, it can help support your cat’s ECS, thus boosting your pal’s overall wellness. Here are some of the many benefits to adding CBD to your feline friends’ diets:
- Provide alleviation from discomfort or soreness, thus helping with mobility struggles.
- Act as an appetite booster, which can help with weight gain.
- Calm nervousness. If your cat requires assisted feeding, this may make mealtime easier for both you and your cat.
- Relax an upset stomach, which can help stimulate appetite.
- Assist with proper digestion so your cat’s body has time to absorb all of the nutrients it needs to function well.
But Will CBD Benefit My Cat?
We know that every pet is unique, and our suggestions are not a replacement for professional veterinary advice. If you’re unsure if CBD is right for your cat or if they’re already taking medications or any prescription appetite stimulants for cats, contact your vet before adding CBD to their diet. A vet will always be able to help you make the best decisions for your cat’s health.
Amazing Calming Effects
Remember that loss of appetite can be due to one of many reasons. Stress can certainly be one of the reasons. If your cat is nervous, they may not want to eat. CBD may help reduce nervousness and promote an overall calming effect. Making your cat calm may allow him to eat more comfortably.
CBD may help to calm the muscles of a tense cat. Calming the stomach muscles of a cat with discomfort in the gut might be just the trick to getting it to eat in peace. With less tension in the stomach, the cat can eat without feeling discomfort. In some cases, your cat may be feeling slight discomfort. CBD offers the perfect solution to manage some of the symptoms from a stomach bug, indigestion, or decreased appetite.
Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?
CBD is generally well-tolerated by all cats and shouldn’t get your cat high at all! It typically does not have intoxicating effects and there are minimal side effects associated with it! It’s one of the many reasons many pet owners have started to try CBD for their cats.
CBD is often confused with THC, which is the compound in marijuana plants that is responsible for getting people high. Even though hemp and marijuana are both cannabis plants, they are actually completely different! This popular and well-known side effect of THC is not present in CBD. You might find some full spectrum CBD products for cats that do contain minimal amounts of THC (legally up to 0.3%). However, these small amounts are not enough to get your cat high!
As an appetite boost, CBD is typically safe and non-toxic for cats, and no overdoses have been reported. Even if your cat takes a large dose of CBD, they’ll be okay and probably feel a bit drowsier than usual. Keep in mind that since you will already be controlling the CBD dosage for your pet, your pet may not even experience any side effects.
Nevertheless, some of the possible side effects of CBD include:
- Dry mouth
- Upset stomach or diarrhea
- Drowsiness or fatigue
How Much CBD Should I Give My Cat?
The regular strength dosage for pets is 0.25 milligrams of CBD per 1 pound of body weight. For a stronger dosage, the recommended amount is 0.50 milligrams of CBD per 1 pound of body weight.
Remember, CBD overdose is unlikely, so don’t be too worried about making adjustments to the dosage if you feel that it will meet your pet’s needs. Some pets react better to higher doses, while others react better to lower doses. Keep in mind that regular, consistent doses of CBD may be necessary to notice changes in your cat’s behavior. For more information regarding dosage recommendations check out our easy-to-use dosing chart!
CBD Product Suggestions for Your Cat
At HolistaPet, we make products that’ll help boost your cat’s appetite so that they can get back to being their happy, full-bellied selves again.
CBD Cat Treats
Specially formulated with your cats in mind, these crunchy CBD cat treats come in delicious salmon flavor, which will leave your pal begging for more. They’re broad spectrum, contain no THC (so you don’t have to worry about your kitty feeling high), and are non-GMO, gluten-free, and dairy-free. Use them as a positive-enforcement treat for good behavior, or mix one into your cat’s food bowl to help encourage them to finish their meal.
Do your elderly cats have trouble with hard snacks? Whether they have sensitive teeth or tummies, don’t worry! HolistaPet also makes Soft Calming Chews that are soft and easy to eat, so your furry friends won’t miss out on any tasty treat.
These vegan capsules are mess-free and contain both CBD and hemp seed powder. Hemp seed powder is considered a superfood and contains added proteins, vitamins and minerals, unsaturated fats (like omega 3), and more that’ll help increase your cat’s wellness. Better yet, you won’t have to worry as much about proper dosing when you give your cat capsules since each dose is already pre-measured for you!
If your feline friend has a specific diet that you prefer they stick to, you can try adding CBD oil to their bowl at mealtime or to the cat treats you already have in your cupboard. Suppose you want your cat to benefit from CBD’s effects sooner. In that case, you can also apply a dose directly into their mouth sublingually (this means underneath the tongue) by using the easy-to-use dropper tool that comes in every bottle of tincture.
If you’ve never given your cat medication by mouth before, it may be helpful to look up instructions online before trying to give them CBD sublingually. It is possible with mindful planning and patience, but be sure to take your time and give your cat lots of praise if you try out this method. If they don’t like consuming CBD this way, it may be better to apply their dose onto a treat instead.