What Happens If A Cat Has Too Much CBD?


CBD (cannabidiol) has become an increasingly popular supplement for both humans and pets in recent years. But what happens if your cat gets too much of this cannabis-derived compound?

CBD is generally considered safe, even in high doses, but too much CBD can cause side effects in cats. Understanding the potential risks can help you avoid overdosing your feline friend.

What Happens If A Cat Has Too Much CBD

What Is CBD?

CBD is one of over 100 active compounds found in the cannabis plant called cannabinoids. Unlike the cannabinoid THC, CBD is non-intoxicating, meaning it does not produce a euphoric high.

CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate various functions like mood, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, and pain. When introduced into the body, CBD can influence the activity of endocannabinoid receptors and help the body maintain homeostasis.

While human research on CBD is limited, preliminary studies show CBD may provide therapeutic benefits for a variety of health issues. Anecdotal evidence suggests CBD may also benefit cats. That’s why more and more pet owners are giving CBD supplements to their feline friends.

But what happens if a cat consumes too much CBD?

Is CBD Safe For Cats?

CBD is generally well-tolerated by cats, even at relatively high doses. Unlike THC which can be toxic to cats, CBD is non-toxic.

According to a study published in 2018, CBD has a wide margin of safety in cats. Researchers gave cats 2-20 mg/kg doses of CBD daily for 6 weeks. This is equivalent to a 10 pound cat consuming 100-500mg of CBD per day.

At these dosages, the CBD showed no observable side effects. Blood tests also revealed no abnormalities. Based on this research, experts consider doses up to 2 mg/kg generally safe for cats.

So a 10 pound cat could safely take up to 20 mg of CBD daily. But that doesn’t mean more CBD is necessarily better.

Potential Side Effects Of Too Much CBD In Cats

While not considered toxic, too much CBD may cause undesirable effects in cats. Possible side effects of CBD overdose in cats include:

  • Drowsiness - As CBD can have a sedating effect, too much may make your cat lethargic and sleepy.
  • Diarrhea - High doses of CBD may cause digestive upset resulting in loose stools or diarrhea.
  • Changes in appetite - Both increased and decreased appetite have been reported with high doses of CBD.
  • Dry mouth - CBD binds to cannabinoid receptors in salivary glands reducing saliva production.

So while not inherently dangerous, too much CBD may make your cat uncomfortable. It's best to stick to recommended dosing guidelines.

How much CBD is too much for a cat?

There is no definitive lethal dose of CBD established. But doses over 2 mg/kg body weight may increase the risk of side effects.

To avoid adverse effects, most veterinarians recommend starting with an extremely low dose and gradually increasing slowly over several weeks. For therapeutic purposes, most cats only need 1 mg or less per 10 pounds of body weight.

Doses above 5 mg/kg are considered high and increase the chance of side effects. Consistently giving your cat more than this without veterinary guidance is not advised.

For example, a 10 pound cat should not exceed 10 mg CBD per dose. And doses above 25 mg may be cause for concern.

While individual tolerance varies, more CBD does not always mean better results. Finding the lowest effective dose for your cat is ideal.

Signs Your Cat Has Had Too Much CBD

If you think your cat may have consumed an excessive amount of CBD, watch for these signs of overdose:

  • Lethargy - If your once-active kitty suddenly becomes very drowsy and uninterested in playing, too much CBD could be the cause.
  • Unsteady gait - Difficulty walking in a straight line or seeming off-balance may indicate CBD intoxication.
  • Low energy - Lying around all day without usual spurts of energy can suggest your cat is sedated from CBD.
  • Increase thirst - Excessive CBD can cause dry mouth leading to increased drinking.
  • Decrease appetite - While CBD may boost appetite in some cats, too much can have the opposite effect resulting in decreased interest in food.
  • Diarrhea or vomiting - CBD overdose can irritate the digestive tract causing diarrhea or vomiting.

If you notice any of these effects in your cat, stop giving CBD and call your veterinarian, especially if symptoms are severe. Most side effects resolve on their own within 24 hours but veterinary guidance is recommended.

What To Do If Your Cat Has CBD Overdose

If you realize your cat has taken too much CBD, try to stay calm. While very unpleasant for your cat, CBD overdose is not life-threatening.

Here’s what to do if your cat has too much CBD:

  • Stop giving CBD - Do not give your cat any more CBD until side effects subside.
  • Monitor your cat - Watch for signs of CBD intoxication like lethargy, unsteady gait, and low appetite. Look for vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst or other worrying symptoms.
  • Contact your vet - Especially if symptoms concern you, but even for mild effects, consulting your vet is wise. They can advise you on managing side effects.
  • Limit stimulation - Give your cat a calm, comfortable place to relax until the effects wear off. Too much external stimulation can distressed them while intoxicated.
  • Hydrate your cat - If they seem excessively thirsty, provide ample fresh water to prevent dehydration. Consider adding broth or cat milk to encourage drinking.
  • Offer bland foods - The BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) can help settle an upset stomach. Avoid fatty foods which are harder to digest.

With supportive care at home and your vet's guidance, your cat should recover fully within 24 hours. But contact your vet immediately if you have any concerns.

How To Prevent CBD Overdose In Cats

While accidental CBD overdoses do happen, there are steps you can take to avoid giving your cat too much:

  • Read product labels - Pay close attention to the concentration of CBD in the product. Make sure you understand the recommended dosing.
  • Start low, go slow - When first using CBD with your cat, start with a very small amount and increase slowly over several weeks. This allows you to find the optimal dose.
  • Measure carefully - Use an accurate milligram scale to carefully measure doses. Estimating can easily lead to giving too much.
  • Give ONLY what's recommended - Regardless of product labels, follow your vet's specific dosing instructions for your cat. Don't exceed what they recommend.
  • Monitor your cat - Watch for any reactions after giving CBD and adjust the dose accordingly. Look for signs of CBD intoxication.
  • Use pet-specific products - Make sure any CBD you give your cat is formulated specifically for pets. Human products can contain ingredients unsafe for cats.

Properly dosing CBD for cats takes care and caution. But by working closely with your vet and vigilantly monitoring your cat, you can help avoid CBD overdose. Contact your vet immediately if you have any concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions about CBD overdose in cats? Here are answers to some common queries:

Can too much CBD kill a cat?

No, CBD is not known to be fatal to cats, even in extremely high amounts. Unlike THC which can be lethal to cats, CBD is non-toxic. However, CBD overdose can make cats very ill with concerning symptoms.

How long do CBD effects last in cats?

In cats, the effects of CBD typically last 4-12 hours. With very high doses, effects may last up to 24 hours. Side effects like diarrhea and lethargy generally resolve within this timeframe once CBD is out of your cat's system.

What if my cat ate a whole bag of CBD treats?

If your cat got into a bag of CBD treats, watch them closely for signs of intoxication. Limit food and stimulation but provide ample hydration. Contact your vet for dosage guidance. Adverse effects are usually temporary but veterinary oversight is recommended.

Can CBD help my cat's anxiety?

While more research is needed, some pet owners do find CBD helpful for anxious cats. CBD may ease certain symptoms but should not replace prescribed anti-anxiety medication. Only give feline-approved CBD under veterinary supervision to avoid overdosing.

Is it better to give my cat CBD oil or treats?

Both CBD oil and treats can be effective delivery methods. Oils allow exact dosing but some cats dislike the taste. Treats can be easier to administer but make precise dosing trickier. Choose the method your cat tolerates best and take care not to overdose.

The Takeaway

While CBD offers therapeutic potential for cats, too much can cause side effects like sedation, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. Doses over 2 mg/kg may increase risk. Carefully monitor your cat after giving CBD and adjust dosing with veterinary guidance.

With cautious dosing and monitoring, CBD can likely be used safely in cats. But contact your vet immediately if you suspect CBD overdose. While rarely life-threatening, CBD intoxication in cats can certainly be distressing. By understanding proper dosage and overdose risks, you can harness the benefits of CBD while avoiding adverse effects.

Frequently Asked Questions About CBD Overdose in Cats

CBD supplements are growing in popularity for pets, but what happens if your cat gets too much? Can CBD hurt cats? Here are detailed answers to common questions about CBD overdose in cats.

Is CBD safe for cats?

CBD is generally considered safe for cats when used in appropriate doses. Unlike THC which can be toxic to cats, CBD is non-toxic and has a wide margin of safety according to research. However, too high of a dose can cause adverse effects.

What are the side effects of too much CBD in cats?

Common side effects of CBD overdose in cats include:

  • Lethargy and sleepiness
  • Lack of coordination, unsteady gait
  • Diarrhea and digestive upset
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Excessive thirst and dry mouth
  • Vomiting

CBD overdose can also cause more serious symptoms like low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and agitation in very high doses.

What is the maximum safe dose of CBD for a cat?

Most experts recommend limiting CBD doses to 1-2 mg per kg of body weight. Doses above 2 mg/kg may increase the risk of side effects.

For a 10 pound cat that equals a maximum of around 10 mg CBD per dose. Doses over 5 mg/kg (25 mg for a 10 pound cat) are considered very high risk.

How much CBD does it take to overdose a cat?

There is no exact lethal dose of CBD established in cats. But research shows doses up to 200 mg per kg did not cause severe toxicity. So a 10 pound cat could theoretically tolerate around 500 mg CBD without dying.

However, far lower doses can cause adverse effects. Just 10-20 mg CBD could intoxicate a small cat. It's best to stay well below 5 mg/kg doses.

What are signs of CBD overdose in cats?

Signs your cat may have had too much CBD include:

  • Lethargy, sleepiness, lack of energy
  • Wobbly gait, poor coordination
  • Heavy sedation
  • Low appetite or digestive distress
  • Increased thirst and dry mouth
  • Anxiety or restlessness in very high doses

If your cat shows these effects, stop giving CBD and contact your veterinarian. Monitor your cat closely until symptoms resolve.

What should I do if my cat has too much CBD?

If your cat gets too much CBD, remain calm and:

  • Stop giving any more CBD immediately
  • Contact your veterinarian for guidance
  • Monitor your cat closely for symptoms
  • Limit stimulation and allow quiet rest
  • Provide easy access to fresh water
  • Offer bland, gentle foods for digestion

Seek veterinary help if symptoms concern you, but effects typically resolve within 24 hours with supportive care.

How can I prevent CBD overdose in my cat?

To avoid accidental overdose:

  • Carefully read dosing info on CBD products
  • Always start with a low dose and increase slowly
  • Precisely measure doses with a mg scale
  • Never exceed recommended dosing from your vet
  • Monitor your cat for any reactions
  • Only use CBD products formulated for pets

Is it possible for CBD to kill a cat?

No, CBD is not known to be fatal to cats, even in extremely high amounts. However, CBD overdose can certainly make cats very ill. Seek emergency vet care if your cat has consumed an extreme amount of CBD or shows distressing symptoms.

How long does a CBD overdose last in cats?

CBD overdose effects typically resolve within 24 hours at most as the CBD leaves their system. Mild effects may only last 4-6 hours. But seek veterinary guidance even with mild symptoms to be safe.

Can CBD help my cat's anxiety or other issues?

While more research is still needed, some cat owners do find CBD beneficial for certain conditions like anxiety, arthritis, seizures, and more. Always discuss using CBD with your vet first and dose carefully to avoid overdose. Prescription medications should not be replaced with CBD without your vet's approval.

Should I give my cat CBD treats or tinctures?

Both CBD pet treats and oil tinctures can be effective delivery methods. Oils allow precise dosing but some cats dislike the flavor. Treats are often easier to administer but make consistent dosing more difficult. Choose the method your cat tolerates best.

What if my cat ate a whole bag of CBD treats?

If your cat got into an entire bag of CBD treats, contact your veterinarian right away even if symptoms seem mild. Consumption of a large quantity of treats warrants close medical monitoring and guidance.CBC overdose effects should resolve within 24 hours but veterinary oversight is recommended.

In summary, CBD shows promise for cats but dosing requires care and caution. While CBD overdose is rarely fatal, it can make cats very sick. Monitoring your cat closely and working with your vet can help avoid adverse effects. Contact your veterinarian immediately in case of overdose or concerning symptoms.

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