For most of the 20th century, cats were treated as small dogs at best and second class pet citizens at worst. Once our feline friends became indoor cats and full time members of our households, their behaviors, physical, emotional, and mental needs became apparent, but not fully understood.
In the course of the last 20 years, there has been a kitty renaissance of sorts. Cat behavior experts like Jackson Galaxy, Pam Johnson Bennett, Daniel Quagliozzi and many others have worked tirelessly to educate cat lovers about why cats feel the way they feel and do the things they do.
THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A BAD CAT
In the wild, cats are both predator and prey. They are hardwired with a keen awareness of their surroundings and are ready to hunt or be hunted at all times. They need to own their territory to feel safe. When they don’t, they can become quite anxious, nervous and even chronically distressed (neurotic). Cats also have a great need to exert energy. When they are not provided with proper stimulation, such as interactive playtime, vertical structures to climb and jump on, and places to stretch their muscles and scratch, they can become anxious, reactive, and even aggressive toward their people or even other pets in the home.
CATS CAN SUFFER IN SILENCE
Emotional and mental problems are not the only issues cats face. There are physical issues, such as joint inflammation due to genetics, injury or obesity, IBS/IBD, seizures, etc. With more and more cats living well into their 20s, general aches and pains that come with aging are also quite common. Complicating things is the fact that cats are masters at covering up their discomfort. This is a survival instinct – if they show weakness in the wild, they will be attacked. Signs that a cat is suffering include being withdrawn, lethargic, acting out/attacking others, decreased appetite, unkempt fur, not jumping up on beds or couches, and hiding.
HOW PHYTOCANNABINOIDS CAN HELP
The addition of hemp derived phytocannabinoid rich (PCR) oil to a cat’s wellness protocol can make a world of difference.
As with all animals, cats have an endocannabinoid system that assists in maintaining the physiological, neurological and immunological systems of the body. If there is a deficiency of endocannabinoid production, the system’s multiple receptors will utilize the addition of phytocannabinoids to help create calm and balance and provide support for relaxing, repairing or restoring.
HOW MUCH PCR OIL DOES A CAT NEED?
Generally, 1 milligram of PCR is suggested for every 10 pounds of body weight. However, this is generalized and often based on how well a dog responds. Dogs are especially responsive to phytocannabinoids as they have the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brains and bodies compared to other animals, including cats and humans.
What many cat parents have discovered is that cats often need up to 2 milligrams per 10 pounds of body weight in order to experience the benefits. Like dogs, cats can have multiple servings per day – every four to eight hours – to provide a constant flow of comfort.
TREATIBLES FOR CATS
We have found that our dropper bottles work well with most cats. We recommend getting cats used to the taste and consistency by starting with one drop per meal or mixed with a little yogurt or juice from a can of tuna. Over the course of a week, keep adding drops per serving until the desired serving size is reached. Keep in mind that some cats will accept the drops being administered right into their mouth.
For small cats (10 pounds or less), the 90 mg bottle is a great choice. It contains 3 mg of PCR per dropperful and .1 mg per drop. Start with 1 drop per pound of bodyweight, so 7 drops for a 7 pound cat, 10 drops for a 10pound cat, etc. As mentioned earlier, these serving sizes may need to be doubled.
Larger cats often do well with the 250 mg dropper bottle. It contains 8.5 mg of PCR per dropperful and .28 mg per drop – so three drops is just shy of 1 mg of PCR. A 15 pound cat can start with 4 or 5 drops; a 20 pound cat can start with 6.