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Can Cats Overdose on CBD Oil? Our Vet Answers

Written by: Dr. Luqman Javed DVM (Veterinarian)

Last Updated on March 29, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

orange cat taking CBD oil

Can Cats Overdose on CBD Oil? Our Vet Answers


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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In recent years, several pet parents have explored CBD oil for ailments like pain, anxiety, and inflammation. If you’re just starting out on exploring the possibility of using CBD oil for your pet, you might be wondering if you can give your cat too much and what the consequences would be if you did.

Like many substances, too much of something, even something useful, can have side effects. CBD oil is no different, and it is possible to give your cat too much. The side effects your cat can experience range from minor to more severe.

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Can Cats Overdose on CBD Oil?

Absolutely. In fact, there’s no universally accepted CBD oil dose for cats or any other pets out there. To date, the FDA has not approved any CBD product for use in pets. Though CBD is legal for pets on a federal level in the US, state laws may vary and there is very little oversight on the CBD products available in the market.

With manufacturer doses being the only guideline for CBD oil users, it’s definitely possible for a cat to overdose on CBD, especially if their underlying health status isn’t known. For example, a cat with liver issues wouldn’t be able to tolerate the same amount of CBD as a cat with a healthy liver.

Though CBD has been promising in humans, it isn’t possible to assume the same doses or benefits would translate to cats (or other pets, for that matter). Therefore, it’s definitely possible for cats to overdose on a CBD product.

The 5 Tips for Cat CBD Dosages

Regarding CBD oil, there are a few rules you can follow that will ensure you establish should you wish to use it for your pet.

1. Always Start With Veterinary Input

Though veterinarians will likely not be able to prescribe CBD for your pet, they should still be consulted if you’re considering using CBD oil on your pet. This is because CBD may interact with other medications your cat is on, and your cat may have underlying health issues that would make the use of CBD counterproductive to their care.

A cat having a check-up at a small animal vet clinic
Image Credit: Tyler Olson, Shutterstock

2. Research the Product

With so many products on the market and very little regulation for pet CBD products, it’s very important to note that, by and large, you may be taking a risk. It’s therefore very important to thoroughly research the company and the product you wish to use for your pet. Look for verified reviews, quality certifications, and other relevant information prior to purchasing a product. As a general rule, if a product’s description sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

3. Do Not Combine Products

CBD is sold in different forms, from oils to tinctures to treats. The concentration of each product varies, and a drop of one product may have a completely different dosage than another product. Therefore, it’s best to not combine products, as you may easily end up overdosing your pet.

giving cat cbd oil
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

4. Every Cat Is Different

Just because one cat requires a certain amount of CBD does not mean the same is true for another cat, even if they are the same size. Just like humans, cats are unique, and so are their needs. We recommend taking it slowly and starting small, so you can gauge your cat’s responses.

5. Make Sure the Product Is THC-Free

Always do your research and get your CBD products from a reputable source. A reliable product will provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) which proves the ingredients used are trustworthy and accurate. In most cases, you’ll find that CBD oil doesn’t contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which gives marijuana the psychoactive properties that get users “high.” CBD products for animals should be hemp-derived and THC-free.

cbd oil and cat on background
Image Credit: Lightcube, Shutterstock


Potential Side Effects of Too Much CBD Oil

If you make the mistake of giving your cat too much CBD oil, they may experience a few signs:

  • Dry mouth (which presents as drinking more)
  • Inappetance
  • Lethargy/drowsiness
  • Low blood pressure/dizziness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

If your cat experiences any of these signs, they should be seen by a vet. If it’s a large dose, especially where THC is present, signs might be more severe. This would include, but is not limited to:

Cat vomiting
Image Credit: Tunatura, Shutterstock
  • Dilated pupils
  • Inflamed eyes
  • Unexplained gluttony
  • A wobbly gait or an inability to walk
  • Collapse

If you suspect that your cat has overdosed on CBD or consumed THC-containing products, promptly consult your veterinarian.

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Final Thoughts

CBD use has increased in popularity among humans, and many people use it for helping ailments like anxiety. However, CBD isn’t FDA approved for pets, and though there are CBD products for pets, much research needs to be done prior to establishing safe dose protocols for your pet cat. It is absolutely possible for a cat to overdose on CBD. If you suspect that your cat has overdosed on CBD, promptly contact your veterinarian for advice.

Featured Image Credit: Velement, Shutterstock

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