Is Hemp Seed Oil Good For Cats?

a cat lying with cbd oil in front

If you’re a new cat parent, you might have questions about what is safe and beneficial for your beloved pet. One topic that is often discussed is the use of hemp seed oil for cats. Here is a comprehensive beginner’s guide to help you understand the ins and outs of hemp seed oil and its potential benefits for cats.

What is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant, a variety of Cannabis sativa. It is important to distinguish between hemp seed oil and CBD oil. Hemp seed oil does not contain CBD or THC, the compound that causes the ‘high’ associated with marijuana. Thus, it won’t make your cat high or have any psychoactive effects.

hemp seeds in a wooden saucer, hemp seed oil

Why Consider Hemp Seed Oil for Cats?

Hemp seed oil is rich in nutrients that can benefit your cat’s health. It contains essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6, which are crucial for various bodily functions. Additionally, hemp seed oil has vitamins and antioxidants that can support a healthy immune system.

How Can Hemp Seed Oil Benefit My Cat? 

Hemp Seed Oil benefit for cats

1. Skin and Coat Health

Why it matters: A cat’s coat is a reflection of their internal health. When a cat’s coat is shiny and smooth, it often indicates good health. But if a cat has a dry or brittle coat, it might signify some health issues.


The Science: Hemp seed oil is loaded with essential fatty acids, particularly Omega-3 and Omega-6. These fatty acids play a crucial role in skin health, maintaining the oil barrier necessary for keeping the skin hydrated. When this oil barrier is optimal, the skin retains its moisture, and thus the fur remains shiny and soft.


Real-life implication: For cats with skin allergies or conditions, the anti-inflammatory properties of these fatty acids can soothe the skin, reduce redness, and prevent excessive itching. If you notice your cat constantly scratching or if its fur looks dull, a bit of hemp seed oil might help!

2. Joint Health

Why it matters: Just like humans, as cats grow older, their joints can become less flexible. This can lead to discomfort, pain, or diseases like arthritis.


The Science: Hemp seed oil contains properties that can reduce inflammation. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, but chronic inflammation can lead to pain and stiffness in joints.


Real-life implication: Introducing hemp seed oil into your older cat’s diet might lead to them being more active and playful, resembling their younger selves. The oil helps in lubricating their joints, making movements less painful.

3. Immune System Support

Why it matters: A strong immune system helps cats fend off diseases and infections.


The Science: Hemp seed oil is rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Antioxidants combat free radicals — unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging. By fighting off these free radicals, the immune system remains stronger.


Real-life implication: With regular consumption, you might find your cat getting sick less often, showing it’s benefiting from an immunity boost!

4. Mood and Behavior

Why it matters: Cats can, surprisingly, get anxious or stressed. This can be due to various reasons like changes in their environment, new pets, or even changes in their daily routine.


The Science: While the exact mechanism is still under study, there’s evidence to suggest that the compounds in hemp seed oil can interact with the nervous system to produce calming effects.


Real-life implication: If your cat hides during storms, gets stressed with visitors, or shows signs of anxiety for other reasons, hemp seed oil might make them feel more relaxed and at ease.

Think of hemp seed oil as a little health booster for your cat. It’s like giving them a multivitamin but derived naturally from the hemp plant. However, always remember to consult your veterinarian before introducing any new supplement into your cat’s diet!

a kitten with cbd oil in front

How to Administer Hemp Seed Oil to Your Cat

1. Starting Small

Why Start Small? Imagine trying a new food for the first time. You wouldn’t eat a huge portion, right? Instead, you’d try a small amount to ensure you don’t have any allergic reactions or that it doesn’t upset your stomach. The same goes for introducing something new to your cat.


Real-Life Example: It’s similar to introducing a new type of food or treat to your cat. If you suddenly change their diet without a gradual introduction, it can upset their stomach.

2. Increasing the Dosage

Why Gradually? Just as our bodies take time to adapt to new substances or changes in diet, so do cats. By increasing the dosage of hemp seed oil gradually, you’re allowing your cat’s system to adapt without overwhelming it.


Scientific Backup: A study from the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery has shown that sudden changes in a cat’s diet or the introduction of supplements can lead to gastrointestinal issues. It’s always best to introduce new items in small, gradual amounts.

3. Observing for Reactions

Importance of Observation: Cats can’t tell us when something feels off. The only way to understand if a new supplement is causing any distress is by keenly observing their behavior and physical health.


What to Look For: Changes in their eating habits, lethargy, excessive itching, or changes in stool consistency can all be indicators. If any of these symptoms appear, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian.

4. Consultation with a Vet

Why is this Important? Your vet knows your cat’s medical history, weight, age, and overall health. This information is crucial when determining the right dosage of any supplement, including hemp seed oil.


Supporting Point: According to a study in the Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal Practice journal, weight, age, and health status can influence how a cat metabolizes various substances. For instance, older cats might process substances slower than younger ones.

hemp seed oil

Practical Tips for Administration

  1. Mixing with Food: Many cats might find the taste of hemp seed oil new or odd. Mixing it with their favorite wet food can mask the taste, making it easier for them to ingest.

  2. Direct Administration: If you choose to give the oil directly, using a dropper can be effective. But ensure the experience is as stress-free as possible. Rewarding your cat afterward with a treat or petting can also create a positive association.

While hemp seed oil can offer numerous benefits for your feline friend, it’s essential to introduce it responsibly. Just as with any change in diet or routine, observing, understanding, and adjusting based on your cat’s needs is the key to a safe and beneficial experience.

Are There Any Side Effects?

While hemp seed oil is generally considered safe, some cats might experience digestive issues when introduced to the supplement. In rare cases, cats may show signs of allergies, such as skin rashes or excessive scratching. If you observe any unusual behavior or symptoms, stop administering the oil and consult your veterinarian.

orange white cat with plants in the background

Conclusion

Hemp seed oil can offer numerous health benefits to your cat. However, it’s essential to approach its use with caution and prioritize your cat’s safety. Consult with your veterinarian, and research to make an informed decision tailored to your feline friend’s unique needs. Remember, the ultimate goal is to provide a healthy and happy life for your beloved pet.

FAQs

Can cats have hemp seed?

Yes, cats can have hemp seed. Hemp seeds are rich in essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6, which can be beneficial for a cat’s overall health. However, it’s crucial to introduce hemp seeds into a cat’s diet slowly and in moderation to ensure they don’t have any adverse reactions.

Why is hemp seed oil so expensive?

Several factors contribute to the cost of hemp seed oil:

Cultivation & Processing: Hemp farming requires careful cultivation and processing to ensure high-quality oil. The extraction process, often using cold-press methods, can be labor-intensive.

Regulations: In many areas, hemp farming and product sales are regulated, leading to additional costs for growers and producers.

Demand & Supply: With the rising popularity of hemp and CBD products, demand has surged, influencing pricing.

Purity & Testing: High-quality hemp seed oil is often tested for purity and potency, adding to the production cost.

What is hemp seed oil also known as?

Hemp seed oil is sometimes referred to as hemp oil. However, it’s essential to distinguish between hemp seed oil, derived exclusively from the seeds of the hemp plant, and CBD oil, which is extracted from the plant’s flowers and leaves. They have different properties and uses.

 Can hemp oil be used directly on skin?

Yes, hemp oil can be applied directly to the skin. Due to its rich content of essential fatty acids and natural moisturizing properties, it is often used in skincare products to hydrate and nourish the skin. However, as with any topical product, it’s a good idea to do a patch test first to ensure there’s no allergic reaction

Do vets recommend CBD oil for cats?

The use of CBD oil in veterinary medicine is a topic of ongoing research and debate. Some vets may recommend it for specific conditions or symptoms, such as anxiety or joint pain, based on anecdotal evidence and preliminary studies. However, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian before giving any CBD product to your cat. They can provide guidance on safety, dosage, and potential interactions with other medications.

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