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Using CBD As A Cat Appetite Stimulant [Does It Work?]

Using CBD as a Cat Appetite Stimulant [Does it Work?]

Cats are picky eaters, but there comes a point where we distinguish finickiness from 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 appetite issue is serious, your cat’s vet will most likely prescribe medications. However, you might instead prefer a more natural approach for your pet and decide not to use drugs that can have adverse effects. Fortunately, CBD fits these criteria and it might be one of the best cat appetite stimulants available. 


Why is My Cat Eating Very Little?

If you notice that your cat is eating very little, you should contact a veterinarian as soon as possible to find out the underlying cause. It could be serious enough to cause harm to your cat.


There are several possible reasons that can explain why your cat is eating too little:


  • Illness – Even we sometimes lose our appetite when we get sick. Your cat may have some sort of illness that you do not know about. It is important that you take your cat to a vet to make sure nothing is serious.


  • 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 his 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 – 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:
      • Twitching
      • Hyperactivity
      • Increased vocalization


  • Cyproheptadine – 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:
      • Hyperexcitability
      • Dry mouth
      • Increased heart rate


  • Corticosteroids – 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:
      • Aggression
      • Thirst
      • 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.


  • Boost 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 her 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 for cat appetite stimulant


CBD as a Cat Appetite Stimulant

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural cannabinoid that comes from the hemp plant. It is an extensively studied compound that has several health benefits. One of those health benefits that stand out is its appetite-stimulating properties.


Cats and virtually all other mammals have an internal endocannabinoid system (ECS) that interacts with cannabinoids. The ECS is responsible for regulating many functions in the body.



The ECS involves two primary receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found in the brain, while CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral organs.


Cats already produce natural cannabinoids on their own. However, the introduction of an external source of cannabinoids, such as CBD, can boost the ECS activity, resulting in more noticeable effects.


CBD can stimulate hunger in cats by indirect interaction with CB1 receptors in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the main brain structure that regulates hunger.


cat eating

Studies on humans demonstrate that CBD can help regulate appetite along with many other physiological functions. Since cats share the same ECS as humans, CBD affects cats the same way it affects us! So when you are reading about all the benefits of CBD oil for humans, keep in mind that those apply to your cat as well!


CBD reduces pain, anxiety & discomfort

Remember that loss of appetite can be due to one of many reasons. Pain and anxiety are just some of these factors. If your cat has a toothache, he may not want to eat because of the pain. CBD can be effective in reducing pain and inflammation caused by toothaches. This pain reduction will allow your cat to eat comfortably.


Sometimes, anxiety can be the reason your cat does not want to eat. CBD is also a great anti-anxiety medication. It can promote calmness and effectively reduce anxiety. These can both contribute to the improvement in appetite.


CBD may help to relax the stomach muscles of a tense cat. Relaxing the stomach muscles of a cat with discomfort in the gut might be just the trick to getting it to eat in peace. CBD can reduce the messages from the brain to the gut which essentially reduces muscle contractions. With less tension in the stomach, the cat can eat without feeling discomfort.


Does CBD Have Any Side Effects?

CBD is very well-tolerated by all mammals. Our bodies are meant to interact with cannabinoids. This fact is highly supported by the ECS and its role in promoting homeostasis in our bodies.


Contrary to popular belief, CBD will not get your cat high. It possesses no psychoactive properties. CBD is often confused with THC, which is the compound in cannabis plants that is responsible for altering the state of mind. This popular and well-known side effect of THC is not present in CBD. Since CBD comes from hemp plants, it contains no THC and will certainly not affect your pet’s mental state.


As an appetite stimulant, CBD is completely safe and non-toxic for cats, and it is virtually impossible to overdose on. High dosage can cause drowsiness at worst. There are no known fatal deaths due to CBD overdose. 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.


Some of the possible side effects of CBD include:


  • Dry mouth – CBD can decrease saliva production, causing dryness in the mouth. Additionally, your cat may show signs of thirst.


  • Lowered blood pressure – CBD can slightly reduce blood pressure due to its relaxing properties. This can cause light-headedness, but only to a small degree.


  • Drowsiness – Because CBD promotes relaxation, high doses can cause drowsiness.


How Much CBD Should I Give My Cat?

The regular strength dosage for pets is 0.25 milligrams of CBD oil 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 do not be 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 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.


holistapet cat bundle

Suggestions for CBD as a cat appetite stimulant

If you are looking for a tasty treat to stimulate your cat’s appetite, we suggest you try using a CBD infused cat treat. Our CBD cat treats are specially formulated for cats. They have been taste-tested and approved by many happy cats and their owners. These treats will stimulate your cat’s appetite with the natural power of CBD and also provide some much-needed nutrients for the cat.


If your cat is having a tough time keeping food down we recommend to try using a CBD oil tincture. Administer it sublingually (under the tongue) so the cat’s glands can absorb the CBD, thus avoiding the cat having to digest or possibly regurgitating it.





Marcin Ossowski

Marcin Ossowski is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, California. He graduated from UCLA in 2007 with a major in linguistics and a minor in biology. During his time there, he undertook original research in neurolinguistics and cognitive science, specifically focusing on language disorders and dementia. Over the past decade, he has worked as a writer and researcher for several political consulting firms, taught English abroad in Poland, and ghostwritten two books. In his downtime, Marcin spends a lot of time outdoors and actively pursuing his passion for writing fiction, creative nonfiction, and satire. He was once nicknamed “Cool Breeze” by a drunken woman outside of a bar, something he found both flattering and profoundly hilarious.

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